Online Courses

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We know that today's park and recreation professionals want to reach their professional goals through education that fits their lifestyles, whether through classroom training, conference education events or fully online. NRPA supports the membership by providing an array of online learning opportunities. Tailored educational courses are offered in the following areas:

If you wish to view and search a full listing of our online learning offerings, please check out the online learning catalog.

Current Courses

  • NRPA Directors School 2019

    Contains 10 Component(s)

    The NRPA Directors School is an exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. The 2019 school will be held August 18-22. Register Today!

    Directors School LogoThe NRPA Directors School is an exclusive two-year professional development opportunity that prepares new and potential park and recreation directors to be effective leaders. Students who complete the program will leave with the knowledge and confidence to face emerging challenges, improve operations and maximize positive impact on their communities.

    August 18-22, 2019

    Hyatt Lodge Oak Brook, Illinois

    2019 Schedule

    Year One Students

    Year one students must first apply, then register for the school.

    Apply For Year One

    Year Two Students

    Only students who have completed year one can register for year two.

    Register For Year Two

    Scholarship Opportunities

    Toro Scholarships

    ToroFive $975 year-one student and five $975 year-two student scholarships are available through the generosity of The Toro Company and The Toro Foundation. Applications will be accepted until June 14, 2019. Notifications will be made by June 21. 2019.

    Apply Now

    John C. Potts Scholarships

    The AIPE/American Academy Foundation will be accepting applications for the John C. Potts Leadership Development Scholarship for the 2020 Directors School in the Spring of 2020.

     

    Key Subjects Covered

    Leadership Development           

    • Building a Responsive Team
    • Leadership for Diversity and Cultural Awareness
    • Developing a new generation of park and recreation directors
    • Creating a High-Performance Agency
    • Community Leadership

    Strategy              

    • Creating a Strategy Focused Organization
    • Creating a Data Driven Organization
    • Going from Information to Inspiration    

    Budget and Finance       

    • Business Management Strategies for Financial Stability
    • Philanthropic Funding for Capital Projects and Programming
    • Developing Capital Improvements Programs and Financing
    • Developing Financial Plans and Solutions
    • Leveraging Outside Plans and Solutions

    Directors Role in the Political Environment        

    • Navigating Successfully in a Political Environment
    • Building Resilient Communities
    • Director's Role in Advocacy
    • Directors Role in Community Development
    • Conservation

    Responding to Changing Communities 

    • Responding to Community Needs
    • Environmental Sustainability and Climate
    • Crisis Management
    • Three Pillars Defining the Future
    • Innovation and Creativity
    • Parks and Recreation as a Partner in Community Health

     

    Who Should Attend?

    This two-year program is perfect for

    • Current park or recreation directors;
    • Current park or recreation assistant/deputy directors; and
    • Mid-level managers being groomed for a park and recreation director position.

     

    What Do Graduates Say?

    “To reach my goal to become a P&R Director and compete in the ultra-competitive recruitment process, I needed every edge possible. Directors School helped me gain that edge. It provided me basic knowledge and tools to use, demonstrated to the hiring City Manager that I was dedicated to the industry and gave me the confidence to share my skills at the highest level. If it’s your desire to become a P&R Director, you should be at this school.” --former participant

    “This has been an awesome and wonderful experience. I only wish I had attended sooner. The classmates, instructors, accommodations and observers were great. The diversity of the school is an invaluable asset as practices, views, philosophies, differences, and commonalities are all brought together for the enrichment of all. My spark is now a healthy flame that is burning bright and hot and my aim is to re-light the flame in those I manage and lead in hopes of motivating in spite of our challenges. Thank you NRPA for a wonderful experience.” --former participant

    “The expertise offered during Directors School is exceptional and the networking opportunity is invaluable.” --former participant

    For more information about the program content, contact customer service at customerservice@nrpa.org

    CANCELLATION POLICY: A cancellation fee of $100 will be charged for cancellation at any time up to 30 days prior to the school. No refunds will be offered for cancellation requests received after July 26, 2019 except in cases of military deployment, or medical emergency, which must be documented. If documented, a registration credit will be applied towards the 2020 Directors School registration fees.  


  • NRPA Splash Pad Certificate: Planning

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.3 credits offered

    As a part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate, Planning helps you to define your community needs and expected benefits, assess proposed sites to ensure proper placement, outline a site plan and create a budget plan for design and ongoing maintenance costs for splash pad features.

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    Planning

    As a part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate, Planning helps you to define your community needs and expected benefits, assess proposed sites to ensure proper placement, outline a site plan and create a budget plan for design and ongoing maintenance costs for splash pad features. This course provides a directed exploration of the planning process as an agency considers the option of a splash pad feature for a park.
    After completion of this course, you should be able to:

    • Define community needs and expected benefits;
    • Assess proposed site to ensure proper placement;
    • Outline a site plan; and
    • Create budget plans for design and ongoing maintenance costs

    The certificate includes four online courses, each focused on key areas of the implementation and operation of splash pad facilities. To receive your Splash Pad Certificate, you must complete each of the four courses. While anyone may sign up for this planning course, you must be currently AFO or CPO certified to enroll for the Operations and Maintenance courses within this certificate program.

  • NRPA Splash Pad Certificate: Design

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.3 credits offered

    As part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate, the Design course will help you to demonstrate knowledge of current safety standards, select appropriate elements based on site plans, and identify other site considerations for splash pad features.

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    Planning

    As a part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate, the Design course will help you to demonstrate knowledge of current safety standards, select appropriate elements based on site plans, and identify other site considerations for splash pad features.

    The certificate includes four online courses, each focused on key areas of the implementation and operation of splash pad facilities. To receive your Splash Pad Certificate, you must complete each of the four courses. While anyone may sign up for this planning course, you must be currently AFO or CPO certified to enroll for the Operations and Maintenance and Repair courses within this certificate program.

  • NRPA Splash Pad Certificate: Operations

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.4 credits offered

    As part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate, the Operations course will help you identify liabilities, create a risk management plan, implement management and safety practices and identify potential programming and rental opportunities for splash pad features.

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    Operations

    As a part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate,the Operations course will help you identify liabilities, create a risk management plan, implement management and safety practices and identify potential programming and rental opportunities for splash pad features.

    You must be currently AFO or CPO certified to enroll in this course. 

    The certificate includes four online courses, each focused on key areas of the implementation and operation of splash pad facilities. To receive your Splash Pad Certificate, you must complete each of the four courses. 

  • NRPA Splash Pad Certificate: Maintenance

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.2 credits offered

    As part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate, the Maintenance course will help you to form knowledge of maintenance techniques and identify and implement appropriate repairs for splash pad features.

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    Maintenance

    As a part of NRPA's Splash Pad Certificate,the Maintenance course will help you to form knowledge of maintenance techniques and identify and implement appropriate repairs for splash pad features.

    You must be currently AFO or CPO certified to enroll in this course. 

    The certificate includes four online courses, each focused on key areas of the implementation and operation of splash pad facilities. To receive your Splash Pad Certificate, you must complete each of the four courses. 

  • NRPA Splash Pad Certificate

    Contains 4 Product(s)

    NRPA’s Splash Pad Certificate Program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to create and implement a water play recreation area for your agency and community. By completing this online certificate program, you will gain the expertise necessary to plan, design, operate and maintain a splash pad facility.

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    NRPA’s Splash Pad Certificate Program is designed to provide you with the knowledge and skills needed to create and implement a water play recreation area for your agency and community. By completing this online certificate program, you will gain the expertise necessary to plan, design, operate and maintain a splash pad facility.

    The program includes four online courses, each focused on key areas of the implementation and operation of splash pad facilities. To receive your Splash Pad Certificate and 1.2 CEUs, you must complete each of the four courses. Each course will be available individually, but you must be currently AFO or CPO certified to enroll for the Operations and Maintenance and Repair courses. 

    Eligibility

    To complete all courses in this certificate program you must hold a current AFO  or CPO Certification. You can take the Planning and Design course without these certifications but will not be able to take the Operations and Maintenance courses without providing proof of your certification.

    Who Should Enroll?

    Pool Operators, Maintenance Staff, Pool Managers, Park and Recreation Directors, Health Code Inspectors, Building Inspectors or anyone responsible for maintaining water play recreation areas.

    Courses

    Planning

    Define your community needs and expected benefits, assess proposed sites to ensure proper placement, outline a site plan and create a budget plan for design and ongoing maintenance costs. Learn More

    Design

    Demonstrate knowledge of current safety standards, select appropriate elements based on site plan and identify site considerations. Learn More

    Operations

    Identify liabilities, create a Risk Management plan, implement management and safety practices and identify potential programming and rental opportunities. (Prerequisite: AFO or CPO certification) Learn More

    Maintenance

    Demonstrate knowledge of maintenance techniques and identify and implement appropriate repairs. (Prerequisite: AFO or CPO certification) Learn More


  • Marketing and Communications: Implementation

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.4 credits offered

    Through this course you will form an understanding of the various development and distribution channels and an overview of creative strategy that are available to meet your marketing and agency needs.

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    Part of NRPA's Marketing and Communications Certificate, this implementation course takes a deeper dive into a part of the strategic marketing plan describing tactical directions for marketing. Through this course you will form an understanding of the various development and distribution channels and an overview of creative strategy that are available to meet your marketing and agency needs. You will be able to take away from this course a strategy and a toolkit for tactically delivering your message. 

  • Marketing and Communications: Evaluation

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.2 credits offered

    Through this course you will form an understanding of methods for evaluating, reporting, and improving marketing and communication at your agency.

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     An extremely important step to the marketing and communications cycle is closing the loop by reporting on results based on planned objectives. By defining key performance indicators that appropriately measure marketing reach, you will be able to provide the necessary data to inform future marketing and agency practices. Part of NRPA's Marketing and Communications Certificate, this course will look at defining key performance indicators mapped to the 4Ps of marketing that align with defined predefined expectations. The course also describes and provides thought exercises on how to close the marketing cycle with proper evaluation and reporting. 

  • Marketing and Communications: Strategic Planning

    Contains 3 Component(s), 0.3 credits offered

    The goal of this course will to work through the development of a communications plan that aligns strategically through measurable outcomes aligned with assessed need and the mission, vision, and values of the agency and industry.

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    Part of NRPA's Marketing and Communications Certificate, This course will discuss the nature of strategic planning when marketing in parks and recreation. The goal of this course will to work through the development of a communications plan that aligns strategically through measurable outcomes aligned with assessed need and the mission, vision, and values of the agency and industry. Case studies will be discussed throughout to demonstrate how these concepts have been applied successfully. 

  • "What's Past is Prologue": The Déjà Vu Health Case for Urban Parks in the US and the UK

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered

    Parks are an integral part of city infrastructure. This session explains six strategies that are relevant to positioning parks for improving health and wellness while securing influential champions.

    imageOne of the forces which led to parks becoming an integral part of cities' infrastructure in the mid and late nineteenth century in the USA was a wide-spread perception that they attributed to alleviating disease contagion and epidemics. Six strategies will be explained that were effective in this successful movement that appear to have relevance to today's context. Four of them relate to positioning parks so parks are recognized as a component to be included in the multifaceted effort to address the obesity epidemic: conceptual alignment, cost effectiveness, associative positioning, and psychological positioning. The other two pertain to the tactical use of science to support advocacy and the need to secure influential champions.

    John Crompton

    Distinguished Professor & Mayor Pro Tem, City of College Station

    Biographical Profile

  • Shaping Space for Civic Life: The pivotal role of parks

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered

    This session will introduce the Assembly initiative and its evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with an emphasis on parks and open space. Panelists will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and share a range of project examples that seek to enhance civic life through design interventions.

    imageCommunities across the United States face concerning trends related to civic life, including distrust, low voter turnout, and growing social and economic divides. Public space professionals, civic leaders, and community residents alike are interested in re-building trust, revitalizing neighborhoods, and supporting interaction among diverse groups. Promising initiatives are emerging across the country to transform lagging public spaces into dynamic, welcoming, and celebrated ones. In light of these trends, the Center for Active Design has launched “Assembly: Shaping Space for Civic Life,” a pioneering initiative to leverage place-based design as a tool to enhance civic engagement. The Assembly initiative has surfaced groundbreaking information, including quantifiable civic life metrics, as well as causal findings demonstrating that design elements do indeed impact civic perceptions. This session will introduce the Assembly initiative and its evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with an emphasis on parks and open space. Panelists will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and share a range of project examples that seek to enhance civic life through design interventions. Conversations will leave participants with a better understanding of practical strategies for shaping parks through design, programming, and maintenance practices that can enhance civic life in their own communities.

    Jennifer Mahar

    Senior Director of Civic Initiatives at Fairmount Park Conservancy

    Jennifer joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy, non-profit champion of Philadelphia's 10,000 park system, in 2012.   As Senior Director of Civic Initiatives, Jennifer helps oversee 'Reimagining the Civic Commons' - an innovative, collaborative network of public space organizations in Philadelphia. Together, the collective demonstrates ways that civic assets can be connected as an integrated system and how they can be developed to foster talent, opportunity and engagement.   In addition, we partner with leading researchers to experiment with programmatic and design interventions that will help us inform how citizens access civic assets.  Jennifer oversees the Neighborhood Parks Stewardship Program, a unique partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and our network of 100 volunteer park friend groups.  Together we organize, resource and celebrate our wonderful city parks and the volunteers who advocate for them.

    Maria Nardi

    Director, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation, and Open Spaces

    Maria Nardi was appointed Director for Miami Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department (PROS) effective August 1, 2017. Ms. Nardi is responsible for one the most diverse and largest park systems in the country.  She oversees Planning and Development, Park Stewardship Operations and Administration of a system that includes over 270 park properties, over 13,000 acres of park land comprised of active and passive parks, as well as protected, environmentally sensitive properties, serving 2.7 million residents and approximately 1.4 million residents for the unincorporated area.  They include the Deering Estate at Cutler, Zoo Miami, managing over 26,000 acres of Natural Areas Conservation and Management (NAM), Golf Enterprise, 14 miles of Beaches, Agriculture Extension, Causeways, 260 miles of roadways, Disabilities Services, Marina Enterprise, and multiple Operating Regions.  

     Ms. Nardi is committed to public service and the enhancement of the community’s health, happiness and prosperity through the implementation of the Parks, Recreation and Open Space Department’s Planning and Design Excellence, Health and Fitness and Conservation Pillars. She has worked in the public sector 20 years where her vision for a sustainable and resilient community focuses on the premise that every great community has a great park system.

     Ms. Nardi oversees the implementation of the Parks and Public Space Masterplan to transform Miami Dade into a more economically, socially, and environmentally vibrant community through a system of parks, public spaces, natural and historic areas connected by greenways/blueways and complete streets designed as linear parks.  Her vision includes the role of parks and public spaces in shaping cities; the emerging evidence-based science of health and the built environment; and the creation of equitable, resilient communities through parks and public space.  

    Ms. Nardi is a sought-out speaker on issues related to the role of parks and public space in the development of cities. The Parks Masterplan and Recreation Program has been recognized by the White House and the National Park and Recreation Association as a national model for transforming communities. Among other accolades, she holds invited membership on the highly selective International Women’s Forum and is an appointed member of the Board of Directors of City Parks Alliance, the only independent, nationwide membership organization solely dedicated to urban parks. She has been recognized for her work with the International Progressive Architecture Urban Design Award, the University of Miami Award for Outstanding Contribution to the Architecture Profession, the Harvard Honor Award for Excellence in the Study of Landscape Architecture, The Mayor’s Woman Pioneer Award, and the Miami AIA Leadership in Government Award.


    Suzanne Nienaber

    Partnerships Director, Center for Active Design

    I'm an urban planner and facilitator striving to shape healthier, more engaged communities. As the partnerships director at the Center for Active Design (CfAD) I help people collaborate across sectors to elevate physical, mental, social, and civic well-being in their projects, and inspire transformative community change. Our work draws upon scholarly research and bridges a wide range of disciplines — embracing everything from urban planning and architecture to public health, political science, real estate development, facilities management, and more.

    I lead a range of initiatives at CfAD, including Assembly, our pioneering effort to understand how place-based design informs civic engagement objectives such as trust, participation in public life, and stewardship. Through this initiative we’re convening expert advisors, undertaking original research, and synthesizing findings on the relationship between place-based design and civic life.

  • Conducting a Successful Grant Search to Fund Your Project

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered

    This overview will help take the mystery out of grant searches, highlighting several online tools, searches, and techniques you can use to help locate grants, plus share a few tips from funders on key metrics that can either elevate or kill your chances!

    imageSometimes finding the right grant can be more challenging than writing the application. How do I align with a funder? How do I find funders that are interested in my type of recreation project? What are the tricks to getting my application to the top of the pile? How do I know whether to write a full application? This overview will help take the mystery out of grant searches, highlighting several online tools, searches, and techniques you can use to help locate grants, plus share a few tips from funders on key metrics that can either elevate or kill your chances!

    Anne-Marie Spencer

    Corporate Vice President of Marketing & Communications, PlayCore

    Anne-Marie leads the marketing and communications effort for PlayCore, including serving as a company spokesperson and overseeing advertising, media, and communications across play and recreation brands. She has notably published over 50 positioning articles in major national magazines and publications on research-based best practices in play and recreation. She has presented at seminars across the world on a variety of topics related to advocating for quality play and recreation spaces and programs.

  • Grantmaking Success: A Conversation with Funders

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered

    This panel of various funders will discuss application processes, evaluation criteria, the importance of measurable outcomes, and strategies to ensure project success throughout the project period. This session will help identify the keys to your fundraising success!

    imageWhether it is capital funding for a new senior center, a mini-grant for a garden, or a simple request for donations of craft supplies, the challenges around fundraising are often the same. How to find the right funder? How to write a winning funding request with few resources? How to successfully measure outcomes? But the funders perspective isn’t that easy either. During this session, hear directly from funders on their funding preferences and strategies to select winning projects. This panel of various funders will discuss application processes, evaluation criteria, the importance of measurable outcomes, and strategies to ensure project success throughout the project period. This session will help identify the keys to your fundraising success!

    Rebecca Wickline (Moderator)

    Vice President of Partnerships & Business Development, National Recreation and Park Association

    Rebecca joined NRPA in 2009 and serves as the vice president of partnerships and business development. In her role, Rebecca establishes and guides the strategic philanthropic fund raising goals of the organization.

    Prior to her NRPA role, Rebecca served as Managing Director at Hayes & Associates for five years, a fund raising consulting firm that raises $10 million annually for non-profit organizations. Rebecca has almost 15 years of fundraising experience and has raised more than $25 million for organizations such as the American Red Cross, March of Dimes, USO, Fisher House, National Immigration Forum, Mile High Youth Corps, and many more. Rebecca received her Bachelor's degree and Masters of Business Administration from Ohio University.

    Elizabeth Krause

    St. David's Foundation

    Elizabeth Krause leads the St. David’s Foundation’s community investments in five areas.  In opportunities to be active, she works to increase park equity and community engagement.  In women’s health, she works to ensure that healthy women are the cornerstone of healthy families, communities, and economies.  In dental health, she works to overcome cost barriers to dental care while promoting prevention.  In access to healthy food, she works to improve the goodness and kid appeal of school food, while increasing the availability of affordable, fresh food in communities.  In health insurance enrollment and use, she supports maximizing the enrollment of low income people in the public and private coverage programs for which they are eligible, while helping them to use their benefits.  Elizabeth represents St. David’s Foundation on several local, state, and national multi-stakeholder initiatives and affinity groups.  

    Elizabeth previously spent 11 years with the Connecticut Health Foundation (CT Health) where she started as a program officer and completed her tenure as Vice President of Policy and Communications.  Elizabeth built CT Health’s disparities and equity portfolio, laying the groundwork for the adoption of health equity as the CT Health’s central focus in 2013.  Elizabeth led community-based coverage and health reform efforts, contributing to a significant drop in Connecticut’s uninsured rate.  She seeded an independent health equity policy advocacy organization and paved the way for the inclusion of community health workers in the state’s movement toward value based care.  She additionally oversaw a body of children’s oral health policy work.  Elizabeth started her career with the Public Health Prevention Service of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).  While with the CDC, she completed a rotation with the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, helping states fulfill traumatic brain injury registry functions.  She got her first taste of philanthropy on rotation with the CDC Foundation where she facilitated public-private partnerships in mobile mammography and emergency preparedness.  On field assignment at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, she was instrumental in starting up the state’s Office of Health Equity.  She also served temporary assignments with the CDC Global AIDS Program in Rwanda.

    Elizabeth holds a bachelors degree from Smith and a masters degree from the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health

    Lisa Herber

    Grants Coordinator, Indiana DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation

    Lisa has worked in the natural resources and environmental consulting fields for 20 years.  She has a Bachelor of Science in Forestry, Majoring in Wildlife Management, from Purdue University.  She has worked in state government for 9 years and for the past 3 years has been working for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Division of Outdoor Recreation, as a Grants Coordinator.

    Lisa is currently responsible for administering multiple grant projects for parks and outdoor recreation from 4 state and federal programs; providing technical assistance to grant seekers, grant recipients and the general public; representing the division on committees; and coordinating with other government agencies, not-for-profit organizations and advisory boards.

    Lisa enjoys hiking, backpacking, kayaking, gardening and photography in her spare time. She is very active in her local community and is the KIB Adopt-A-Block Captain for her neighborhood block. She is a member of the Indiana Park and Recreation Association, on the Board of Directors for the Purdue Ag Alumni Association, and a Red Cross Volunteer. 

    Jennifer Mahar

    Senior Director of Civic Initiatives at Fairmount Park Conservancy

    Jennifer joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy, non-profit champion of Philadelphia's 10,000 park system, in 2012.   As Senior Director of Civic Initiatives, Jennifer helps oversee 'Reimagining the Civic Commons' - an innovative, collaborative network of public space organizations in Philadelphia. Together, the collective demonstrates ways that civic assets can be connected as an integrated system and how they can be developed to foster talent, opportunity and engagement.   In addition, we partner with leading researchers to experiment with programmatic and design interventions that will help us inform how citizens access civic assets.  Jennifer oversees the Neighborhood Parks Stewardship Program, a unique partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and our network of 100 volunteer park friend groups.  Together we organize, resource and celebrate our wonderful city parks and the volunteers who advocate for them.

  • Keepin' it REAL in Parks and Recreation

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered

    In this session we will explore how to leverage the power of parks and recreation to advance racial equity. We will use the racial equity framework and tools to demonstrate how parks and recreation agencies can leverage and expand opportunities to achieve racial equity in the communities they serve.

    imageIn this session we will explore how to leverage the power of parks and recreation to advance racial equity. We will use the racial equity framework and tools to demonstrate how parks and recreation agencies can leverage and expand opportunities to achieve racial equity in the communities they serve. How to Operationalize REAL in Parks and Recreation – use of racial equity tool and data to drive results. 

    • Review key terms: implicit bias, individual, institutional and structural racism;
    • How do these terms show up in the planning and programming functions of parks and recreation;
    • Practical ways to operationalize racial equity tools; and
    • Share lessons learned and successes of existing parks and recreation agencies involved in racial equity.

    Aliza Wasserman

    Senior Associate, Race, Equity, and Leadership, National League of Cities

    As Senior Associate for Race, Equity and Leadership (REAL) at NLC since 2017, Aliza R. Wasserman leads a national learning community of elected leaders supporting their cities to advance racial equity and foster racial healing. Aliza has spent the past decade working at the intersections of public health, racial justice and federal, state and local policy, most recently, as the Policy & Advocacy Manager for Wholesome Wave. After receiving her MPH and MS in Food Policy from Tufts University in 2009, Aliza led policy efforts with the City of Boston’s health department, where she advocated for state legislation and budget priorities to address racial health inequities amongst residents of Boston, co-led racial justice and health equity trainings, implemented city-wide policy and systems changes to foster healthy environments and supported multi-year organizational change and community engagement processes to reduce inequities rooted in racism.

    Edith Michel

    Acting Chief, Special Projects, Department of Parks and Recreation, Prince Georges County

    Marie-Edith Michel is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional with 20+ years of practical local government experience culled from a broad scope of roles in the parks and recreation environment with the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) a bi-county organization in the Washington Metropolitan Area.  M-NCPPC has a diverse client base of nearly 2 million people.  She has served the parks, planning and recreational arms of both Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. Her skill set includes experiences in research and evaluation, budget development and monitoring of tax supported and special funds ($96 million), park planning, organizational development and diversity management as well as strategic planning, and parks and recreation program planning. She is also a diversity and inclusion trainer and a certified community engagement facilitator.  She views her role as an internal consultant to her department helping staff to transform themselves by focusing on organizational effectiveness, improvement, and development.  She wears different hats serving as a trainer, facilitator, researcher, and advisor.  She is also a volunteer docent for the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art and has traveled to several continents as a representative for several non-profit organizations that promote international understanding, tolerance, and peace .  

    Leon Andrews, Jr.

    Director, Race, Equity, and Leadership (REAL), National League of Cities

    Leon T. Andrews, Jr. was appointed as the inaugural director for Race, Equity And Leadership (REAL) at the National League of Cities and prior served as the senior fellow and program director at the National League of Cities’ Institute for Youth, Education, and Families, where he led all of the Institute’s youth development work with mayors and other municipal leaders around the country including in areas related to childhood obesity, disconnected youth, youth engagement and leadership, and youth master planning since 2006. Before joining the National League of Cities, Leon completed a research fellowship at The Forum for Youth Investment. Leon has an extensive background working in government, the community, the private sector, and academia for the last 25 years including the United States Department of Justice, United States Senator Barbara A. Mikulski, the United States Public Interest Research Group, the Allegheny County Department of Human Services, YouthBuild Pittsburgh, the Development Corporation of Columbia Heights, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and as an adjunct professor in the Department of Political Science at Eastern Michigan University. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Howard University, a Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and is a PhD candidate in the Urban and Regional Planning program at The University of Michigan. Leon is married to an amazing woman, Dr. Kristine M. Andrews, for the last 14 years and they have three beautiful daughters – Jessica Austin, Julia Iris, and Joanna Jonas.

  • Lessons from the Legends:Shattering Stereotypes and Glass Ceilings Alike

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.1 credits offered

    This “Lessons from the Legends” session illustrates the contributions of many women in parks and recreation fields, through a discussion with Legends and a video montage of many contributions.

    imageIn parks and recreation, our interactive session displays a history of expanding professional responsibility carried out by women in the care and nurture of a profession. From a Nobel Prize-winning social worker, to Legends advanced parks and recreation through extensive periods of growth and development, women have played a significant role in advancing the cause of parks and recreation. Of all the AAPRA Legends, approximately 1 in 5 are women. Considered together, their stories shatter stereotypes of women’s work and glass ceilings alike. This “Lessons from the Legends” session illustrates the contributions of many women in parks and recreation fields, through a discussion with Legends and a video montage of many contributions.

    Kelly Bricker, PhD

    Professor and Director, Parks Recreation and Tourism, University of Utah

    Dr. Bricker is a Professor and Director of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism at the University of Utah, located in the College of Health. She completed her Ph.D. research with the Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and protected area management. She has research and teaching interests in ecotourism, sense of place, community development, natural resource management, value of nature-based experiences, and the impacts of tourism.  She has authored and edited books on sustainability, which highlight case studies in tourism meeting environmental and societal issues in Sustainable Tourism & the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Positive Change; educational texts focused on adventure education in Adventure Programing and Travel for the 21st Century and graduate education in De-Mystifying Theories in Tourism Research; and most recently, relevant to current projects, co-edited This Land Is Your Land: Toward a Better Understanding of Nature’s Resiliency-Building and Restorative Power for Armed Forces Personnel, Veterans, and Their Families (Sagamore Publishing, LLC). Dr. Bricker serves the boards of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council, the Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee of the United Nations World Tourism Organization 10YFP for sustainable development, and the Tourism and Protected Area Specialist Group of the IUCN. With partners in OARS and her husband, she developed an ecotourism operation called Rivers Fiji.

    Keri Schwab, PhD

    Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

    Dr. Schwab has considerable experience presenting at local, regional, state, and national conferences, including several NRPA congress presentations. She has been an inextricable part of the Lessons from the Legnds work.

    Karla Henderson, PhD

    Professor Emeritus, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, North Carolina State University

    Karla A. Henderson, PhD, is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University. Karla has given numerous presentations throughout North America, South American, Europe, Asia, African, and Australia and published regularly in a variety of journals in the field. She has written or co-edited several books and is a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators, and the World Leisure Academy. Karla enjoys volunteering at Rocky Mountain National Park, hiking, being amused by her two cats, playing in a community band, and travelling.

    Jane Adams

    Retired Executive Director, California Park & Recreation Society

    Jane H. Adams is a highly motivated and organized professional with thirty years of association management experience with state and national park and recreation non-profit organizations. Jane possesses strong communication and leadership skills along with the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously. 

     

    Jane retired as the Executive Director of the California Park & Recreation Society (CPRS) in Sacramento, California in May 2014. As one of the largest park and recreation professional organizations in the country, CPRS provides the leadership to advance the positive impact and value of the profession on society. 

    Fran Mainella

    President, Fran P. Mainella Consulting, Inc.

    Fran P. Mainella was the first woman Director of the United States National Park Service and served from 2001-2006. She was a Presidential Appointment by George W. Bush, which required confirmation of the Senate. She is a Visiting Scholar at Clemson University in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management and Co-Chair of the US Play Coalition. Prior to her time as Director and at Clemson, she served as Florida State Park Director from 1989-2001, serving three governors. She also currently serves as Treasurer for the Children and Nature Network Board of Directors. She is also a board member for the National Park Trust and an international speaker on the Value of Play and Reconnecting with the Outdoors.