Call for Conference Proposals

The NRPA Annual Conference brings together thousands of people across several different fields including parks and recreation, conservation, health, landscape architecture and city planning. A We aim to fulfill the needs of our diverse audience by providing a range of topical and engaging education sessions presented by top leaders in their professions. We are looking for speakers who can resonate with our attendees’ passion for parks and recreation and inspire even greater impact in communities nationwide.  

The 2023 NRPA Annual Conference will be held in Dallas, Texas, October 10-12, 2023. 
The deadline to submit proposals for the 2023 conference is December 4, 2022 at midnight, ET. 

Session Formats

Education Sessions: 60-minute Education Sessions deliver a selection of relevant and timely topics across a variety of fields related to parks and recreation. 

Research Sessions: NRPA Research Sessions will be folded into the 60-minute education sessions this year. They will undergo their own cycle of double-blind peer review by research scholars. Speakers invited to present research sessions may also have the option to display research posters. 

Speed Sessions: 20-minute Speed Sessions are designed to engage and inspire with a quick review or introduction to timely topics from the field. 

Who Should Consider Submitting Proposals?  
  • Park and recreation professionals, educators, and students 
  • Park and recreation vendors, contractors, and related groups 
  • Speakers and educators aligned with NRPA's Three Pillars of Health and Wellness, Equity and Conservation 
  • Planners, landscape architects, public health administrators, city and county managers, naturalists 

Important Dates

Call for Education, Speed Session, and Research Session Proposals:  

  • Submission Site Opens: Week of October 3, 2022 
  • Submission Site Closes: December 4, 2022, Midnight ET 
  • Session Acceptance/Decline Notifications: April 2023 
  • Speaker Roster Finalizations: May 2023 

2023 NRPA Annual Conference:  
October 10-12, 2023 

Resources for Successful Submissions

Call for Submissions on Specific Trends & Topics

Explore the specific trends and topics we’ve identified as priorities for Conference 2023 HERE.  

NRPA Conference Session Evaluation Rubric

View the rubric for reviewing submissions HERE.

Tips for Writing Successful Submissions

Download our tips for writing successful submissions HERE.  

Proposal Review Process

All education and speed session proposals are reviewed by the Conference Program Committee. NRPA Research Sessions will undergo their own process of double-blind peer-review by research scholars.  

Reviewers assess submissions using the following criteria:  

  • Originality: Sessions that demonstrate new, inspiring, and impactful ways of thinking and doing.  
  • Relevance: Sessions that are immediately useful, applicable, and resonant with  attendees 
  • Overall Quality: Sessions created and delivered by presenters that strive for clear communication, accurate content, and engaging learning. 
  • Diversity: NRPA defines diversity as “differences in racial and ethnic, socioeconomic, geographic, and academic/professional backgrounds; people with different opinions, backgrounds (degrees and social experience), religious beliefs, political beliefs, sexual orientations, heritage, mental or physical ability, learning style gender identity and life experience" (definition adapted from Racial Equity Tools). NRPA is composed of members that represent different races, ethnicities, gender identities, abilities, ages and backgrounds. Conference sessions must reflect this diversity in the pool of presenters delivering sessions.  
  • Inclusion: NRPA defines inclusion as “authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals and/or groups into the processes, activities, and decisions/policy making in a way that shares power, recognizes and celebrates differences, ensure that people feel welcome and everyone has the equitable access to opportunities" (definition adapted from Racial Equity Tools). Sessions should address or be inclusive of multiple perspectives and how different needs can and should be addressed.   
Equity and Inclusion 

We commit to putting equity at the center of our work to support park and recreation professionals in their efforts to create fair and just park and recreation systems. In the proposal process, please identify where on this journey your target audience is in regard to diversity, equity and inclusion: beginner, intermediate, experienced. 

If you would like to submit a proposal for a session run in Spanish, please email education@nrpa.org. 

Commercial / Promotional Presentations 

Your presentation may NOT sell, raffle, or otherwise promote a product, service, or organization in which you have a financial interest. 

How to Submit a Conference Session Proposal

Check out the video for more information on how to complete the session proposal submission form.