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  • 2019 Premier Webinar Subscription

    Contains 10 Product(s)

    Subscribe to the 2019 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2019 with continued access to the archived recordings and materials.

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    Subscribe to the 2019 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2019 with continued access to the archived recordings and materials. NRPA's free Premier webinar series addresses timely and relevant topics within the park and recreation field. The webinars are free to our premier members. The Premier Webinar series occurs on the second Thursday of each month at 2 p.m. ET.


    2019 Schedule

    The ADA is 27 Years Old in 2019... Are you Celebrating Yet?
    January 10, 2019 2:00pm ET 
    Best Practices for Customer Experience Surveys
    July 11, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Congressional Preview: What to Expect from this Congress for Parks and Recreation
    February 14, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Recycling is NOT Dead - How Your Agency Can Recycle Smarter Today
    August 8, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Innovation Lab: The Day After Tomorrow: Marking Parks Climate Resilient *
    March 14, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Aquatics - Preparing for 2020 Summer Staff * 
    September 12, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Park Champions: Bring Capitol Hill to a Park Near You
    April 11, 2019 2:00pm ET 
    Imagine Your Park Without Water - Protecting and Conserving Water Resources
    October 10, 2019 2:00pm ET 
    Marketing and Public Relations Trends
    May 9, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Annual Review of Research Findings
    November 14, 2019 2:00pm ET
    LGBTQ/Parks for Inclusion *
    June 13, 2019 2:00pm ET
    Playgrounds - From Planning to Opening Day and Beyond *
    December 12, 2019 2:00pm ET

    These sessions contain 0.1 CEU


  • Recycling is NOT Dead - How Your Agency Can Recycle Smarter Today

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 08/08/2019

    Join Richard J. Dolesh, NRPA's Vice-President for Strategic Initiatives, and a panel of experts from diverse fields to discuss what your agency can do to recycle in a way that is environmentally and cost effective. Learn how to overcome common challenges and find innovative ways to make recycling a sustainable practice in your community!

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    Recycling is NOT dead! However, it is facing serious challenges. This NRPA Premier Series webinar will tackle the tough challenges you will need to overcome to recycle in a way that is responsible, environmentally sound, and which saves money in the process. Learn how you can make your entire recycling program smarter by re-instituting multiple-stream recycling and re-use, setting net-zero goals, writing better contracts, creating an organics recycling program, and more.

    This webinar will provide examples on how your agency can recycle effectively, how you can reinforce public messaging to recycle in an environmentally responsible manner, and how you can do new things in your recycling efforts such as organics recycling and net-zero approaches.  Expert presenters will give you the techniques, methods, and successful examples to make your recycling work responsibly and economically.  Recycling is facing serious challenges in park and rec agencies and in your communities, but there are ways to overcome these problems. If recycling is important to your environmental ethics and sustainability goals, you will definitely want to participate in this webinar.

    Rich Dolesh

    Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, National Recreation and Park Association

    Richard J. Dolesh joined NRPA in 2002 and serves as the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives. He is responsible for development and implementation of national policy and initiatives related to conservation, stewardship and parks.

    Rich worked 30 years in parks, outdoor recreation, and natural resource management at the local and state level in Maryland before coming to NRPA. His recent work includes leading NRPA's Parks Build Community initiative, coordinating the Parks for Mitigation demonstration projects, and working with the National Wildlife Federation to connect 10 million kids to nature and the outdoors over the next three years. Rich represents NRPA on a number of coalitions and advisory groups including the Sustainable Urban Forestry Coalition, the steering committee for Natural Play and Learning Area guidelines, and the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES).

    Rich is a frequent contributor to NRPA's Parks and Recreation Magazine, and has written numerous articles on parks and natural resources in publications including The Washington Post and National Geographic Magazine.

    Brendan Daley

    Director of Strategy & Sustainability at Chicago Park District

    Brendan Daley has over 20 years’ experience working on sustainability and strategic policy initiatives in local government. Brendan currently manages the strategic direction of the Chicago Park District. He also manages sustainability initiatives across all 600 parks in the city. Before working at the Park District, Brendan worked at the Chicago Department of Environment, most recently at the Deputy Commissioner overseeing energy and air quality projects.

    Brendan holds a BA in Political Science from Roosevelt University, an LLB in Law from Queen’s University Belfast, Northern Ireland, and a Certificate in Civic Leadership from the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. He is a LEED accredited professional with the US Green Building Council and a Certified Park and Recreation Professional through the National Recreation and Parks Association. Brendan wants to live in a world where teachers are paid more than CEOs, honey bees are abundant, and kids play outside as often as possible.

    As a sustainability and strategy implementer, Brendan has been a guest lecturer at Chicago universities, park conferences, writer for various publications, and an accomplished speaker on the environment. When Brendan is not reducing, reusing, composting, or recycling, you can find him making pie, gardening, golfing, or telling really bad dad jokes to his kids. 

    Neil Seldman

    President, Institute for Local Self-Reliance

    Neil Seldman provides technical assistance to cities, community groups and businesses in the field of sustainable resource management. He has pioneered developments in processing, building deconstruction and small-scale manufacturing from recycled materials. Dr. Seldman has also chronicled the US recycling movement in the last 50 years in “History of the US Recycling Movement, Encyclopedia of Technology Energy and Environment” and “Wasting in the US 2000.” He has also documented worldwide recycling developments for the World Bank in “Recycling from municipal refuse: a state-of-the-art review and annotated bibliography.”

    He is a founding member of the National Recycling Coalition at the First National Recycling Congress and the Grass Roots Recycling Network. According to Robin Cannon, Concerned Citizens of South Los Angeles, Dr. Seldman is known as grassroots organizer who, “shows communities how to fight against and how to fight for the sustainable solution to solid waste and economic problems.” In recent years he has worked in Atlanta, Cleveland, Alachua County (Gainesville), FL, Reading, PA, Washington, DC, Bridgeport, CT, Austin, TX and Los Angeles. Dr. Seldman writes regularly for trade journals providing insight and criticism of poorly designed technologies and programs.

    Dr. Seldman was a manufacturer in New York City and a university lecturer in political science before co-founding the Institute for Local Self-Reliance in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.

    Mike Ewall

    Founder and Director, Energy Justice Network

    Mike Ewall is the founder and director of Energy Justice Network, a national support network for grassroots community groups fighting dirty energy and waste industry facilities such as coal power plants, ethanol plants, natural gas facilities, landfills and incinerators of every sort. He has been actively involved in student and community environmental justice organizing since high school in 1990. He's taught hundreds of workshops at college campuses and activist conferences throughout the U.S. His grassroots support work has helped many communities achieve victories against power plants, landfills, incinerators, medical waste facilities and other polluting industries.

  • Addressing Substance Misuse and Associated Stigmas in Parks

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Julien Scott, Bronx Operations Manager at NYC Parks, gives an overview of injection drug use in New York City and how the Bronx Park System has worked to address resulting issues. He also discusses the stigma of drug use as a barrier to utilizing services provided.

    New York City has been dramatically impacted by injection drug use – anywhere from 100 to 10,000 discarded syringes are found in parks daily. Julien Scott, Bronx Operations Manager, discusses how his park system has worked to address the various issues associated with discarded syringes. Along with the NYC Department of Health, NYC Parks convened a task force that meets monthly with over 75 individuals from 16 agencies, organizations and civic groups. This group focuses on assessing the drug-using population in parks, improving syringe disposal efforts, park-specific social service outreach, community engagement, internal staff development, and increased security. Part of the staff safety and development training includes framing drug use in parks as a public health crisis and discussing challenges like stigma and socio-economic implications of public drug use and criminalization, existing racial disparities among opioid overdose fatality rates, and how this exacerbates the opioid epidemic in the south Bronx.

    Session Length: 15 minutes 

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration.  The webinar content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Lauren Kiefert

    Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Lauren Kiefert is a Program Specialist for the National Recreation and Park Association. Lauren joined NRPA in January 2019 and works on various substance abuse prevention and education-related grants and projects. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to NRPA, having both educational and professional experience in the public health field. Prior to joining the association, she completed her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, with a focus on health promotion and prevention efforts. Her thesis examined the current opioid epidemic and potential approaches to address the nation-wide issue. She also worked for a substance abuse prevention coalition that served a diverse youth population.  

    Julien Scott

    Bronx Operations Manager, NYC Parks

    Julien Scott currently serves as the Bronx Operations Manager at NYC Parks, where he started as an analyst in 2013. He oversees data collection and analysis at the borough level, and helps the agency to develop and implement solutions to operational challenges. It’s in this role that he witnessed firsthand the dramatic increase in the level of public drug use and discarded syringes in South Bronx parks over the last few years. He is now working closely with senior agency leadership, maintenance staff, and a broad coalition of outside partners to implement a comprehensive plan to address these issues.

    Prior to joining NYC Parks, with an undergraduate degree in graphic communications, Julien worked in magazine publishing in New York and Los Angeles, and as a journalist in Mexico City. Deciding to pursue a second career in public service, he completed graduate degrees in sustainable development and public policy. This focus afforded him the opportunity to join NYC government at an agency that is vital to creating a more resilient and livable city for all New Yorkers.

  • Best Practices for Customer Feedback Surveys

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 07/11/2019

    Join NRPA’s Kevin Roth and Kevin Brady, Senior Evaluation Manager as they introduce a new member resource that helps park and recreation professionals conduct effective customer satisfaction surveys. The speakers will lead an online conversation with webinar attendees about their surveying success and challenges, and what they found is most effective to get the highest quality feedback from the community.

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    Thanks to online survey tools, it is has never been easier or more cost effective to conduct customer feedback surveys. But successful surveys are more than just entering a bunch of questions into an online survey template. What questions you ask—and how you reach out to survey respondents—have a great impact on how effective your feedback surveys will be.

    Join NRPA’s Kevin Roth and Kevin Brady, Senior Evaluation Manager as they introduce a new member resource that helps park and recreation professionals conduct effective customer satisfaction surveys. The speakers will lead an online conversation with webinar attendees about their surveying success and challenges, and what they found is most effective to get the highest quality feedback from the community. 

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration.  The learning content is available for registration for three years from the date of origination.

    Kevin Roth, PhD

    Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kevin A. Roth is NRPA's Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology. Kevin leads the research team in its mission to create valuable data and metrics that enhance park and recreation agency performance and make the case for increased and more stable agency funding. Kevin also guides the development of innovative in-person and online educational offerings for professionals that advance parks and recreation in their communities. He also oversees the team delivering IT and web services to the association.

    Kevin has served in research and leadership functions in the nonprofit association space for more than two decades, including overseeing both research and IT at the Association for Financial Professionals for 13 years and conducting survey research at the National Association of Realtors for four years. Kevin has a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

    Kevin Brady

    Senior Evaluation Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kevin is in charge of measuring the quality and impact of NRPA’s programs aiming to strengthen conservation, community health, and social equity nationwide.

    With 10 years of experience evaluating nonprofit programs in the D.C. area, Kevin is a member of the American Evaluation Association, holds a Masters of Public Administration from Virginia Tech, and a B.A. in Public Policy from Syracuse University.  Prior to working at NRPA, Kevin led evaluation for the Partnership for Public Service. He also served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mongolia and worked on the Hurricane Katrina recovery effort in and around New Orleans. 

  • Drownings in Lifeguarded Pools - Why Submerged Victims Go Unnoticed

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join us for the inaugural webinar event for our new Quarterly Aquatics Webinar Series to hear the scientifically-based drowning prevention strategies that can be easily adopted by any facility that employs lifeguards.

    NRPA Aquatics Logo

    Join us for the inaugural webinar event for our new Quarterly Aquatics Webinar Series.

    Lifeguards are expected to respond to patrons in distress before injury occurs.  However, per a 2011 report from the CDC, lifeguards failed to do so several hundred times from 2000 to 2008. When drownings occur with lifeguards on duty, lifeguards are often blamed for the tragedy. But, based on scientific studies, lifeguards may unknowingly be positioned where drowning victims cannot be identified.  Failing to properly position lifeguards provides a false sense of security to the public and sets lifeguards up to fail. This session will provide scientifically-based drowning prevention strategies that can be easily adopted by any facility that employs lifeguards.

    Learning Objectives

    1. Discuss limitations of current lifeguard positioning strategies and the impact on families and lifeguards when a fatal drowning occurs with lifeguards on duty.
    2. Apply scientific data to improve safety at aquatic facilities.
    3. Analyze options to optimize positioning and training of lifeguards.

    Maria Bella

    President - Professional Pool Solutions, LLC

    Maria Bella has been actively involved in the aquatics industry for more than 40 years. She has operated numerous aquatic facilities and served as a subject matter expert for ANSI standards; the CDC’s Model Aquatic Health Code; IAPMO's Uniform Swimming Pool, Spa and Hot Tub Code; and the ICC's International Swimming Pool and Spa Code. Bella provides consulting services to directors of college/university, municipal, school district, hotel, and waterpark facilities in standard of care for plant operations as well as positioning and supervision of lifeguards. 

    Bill O’Melia

    Board Member & Founder, Drennen’s Dreams Foundation

    Bill O'Melia is a General Building Contractor in Colorado.  Bill is married to his wife Melissa and is the proud father of three boys. On June 6, 2010 Bill and Melissa lost their oldest son, Drennen, age 12, to a fatal drowning in their lifeguarded community pool. Drennen had just started his seventh summer of competitive swimming the day before and had qualified for All-Stars in all three of his individual events. Since May of 2014, Bill has shared Drennen's story with hundreds of thousands of lifeguards and aquatics professionals nationally and is featured in the American Red Cross video "Not on Your Watch".

    The Drennen's Dreams Foundation actively supports lifeguarding by raising money for training, equipment and educational materials for lifeguards, aquatic managers and facility owner/operators. 

  • 9 Easy Steps to Managing Lightning at Your Facility

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/25/2019

    The threat of lightning should be taken seriously by every recreational facility and park. Join Steve Prinzivalli, Program Manager, Meteorological Operations, with Earth Networks for a free, hour-long webinar on lightning management and learn 9 easy steps to lightning safety.

    9 Easy Steps to Managing Lightning at Your Facility     

       June 25, 2019 | 2:00pm EDT

                                 
                         
    Generously Sponsored By:

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    It only takes a split second for tragedy to strike from the sky, literally! Severe weather like lightning and dangerous thunderstorms continues to threaten park staff and visitors especially during the warm summer months. Just recently, on May 18th, 2019, a woman was struck and injured by lightning while fishing at Smithville Lake in Missouri. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reports that about two-thirds of all lightning deaths in the U.S. are associated with outdoor recreation activities.  Does your facility have a lightning safety policy in place?

    The threat of lightning should be taken seriously by every recreational facility and park. Lightning is an early indicator of other severe weather phenomena like severe thunderstorms, hails, tornadoes, and even high winds! However, there is good news. Lightning can be planned for, monitored, and alerted upon effectively at your facility. Let us show you how.

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    Steve Prinzivalli

    Program Manager, Meteorological Operations, Earth Networks

    Steve Prinzivalli is a Program Manager who supports Enterprise clients such as NOAA, NIST, National Grid, Value Added Resellers (VARs), and researchers with their data needs. He has also worked with our suite of Earth Networks TV partners to help promote and grow the network while troubleshooting issues.

    Steve originally joined the Earth Networks team in February 2008 as a broadcast meteorologist, producing weathercasts for both online and mobile platforms while providing forecast support for the clients such as the NFL and MLB. He also leveraged his meteorology skills as a product manager with a heavy focus on enhancing the Earth Networks Total Lightning Network (ENTLN) and its derivative products.

    Before joining Earth Networks, Steve worked as a TV meteorologist for KSNW in Wichita, Kan., WVIT/WBGH in Binghamton, N.Y., WSYR in Syracuse, N.Y., and WHIO in Dayton, Ohio. He enjoys sharing his knowledge of weather and has taught meteorology at Penn State, West Chester University, and Broome Community College.  In between stints at Earth Networks, Prinzivalli got his feet wet in non-profit work and fundraising as general manager at WMET 1160 AM, the Catholic Radio station serving the greater Washington, D.C. metro area.

    Steve earned a bachelor’s of science degree in meteorology from Penn State University. He continues to leverage his forecasting skills as a broadcast meteorologist for WTOP radio, 103.5 FM, in D.C. When not behind the mic, he enjoys running, whipping up pepperoni bread in the kitchen, and spending time with his lovely wife and great kids.

    Matt Gibbons, CPRP

    Superintendent of Sports Tourism and Athletics, City of North Myrtle Beach

    Matt joined the City of North Myrtle Beach Parks and Recreation Department in 2003. He serves as the Superintendent of Recreation & Sports Tourism. After graduating from Clemson University with B.S. degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Matt was fortunate to begin his Parks and Recreation career back in his hometown of Aiken, South Carolina. He has earned a Master's degree in Recreation Management from the University of Illinois and is Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP).

    One of Matt's current responsibilities is overseeing the operation of the 22 million dollar North Myrtle Beach Park and Sports Complex. The Park and Sports Complex plays host to over 60 sports tourism events annually while providing recreation amenities and athletic opportunities to the citizens of North Myrtle Beach. Matt has traveled the country recruiting events and promoting North Myrtle Beach, a place he considers a premier sports tourism destination.

  • Trauma Informed Care in Action

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/24/2019

    Professionals in the field define trauma informed care and how this approach can be applied to various Out-of-School Time (OST) settings and programs.

    According to the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, Trauma Informed Care (TIC) is an approach in which all parties involved recognize and respond to the impact of traumatic stress on those who have contact with the system - including children, caregivers, and service providers. Programs and agencies within such a system infuse and sustain trauma awareness, knowledge, and skills into their organizational cultures, practices, and policies. They act in collaboration with all those who are involved with the child, using the best available science, to maximize physical and psychological safety, facilitate the recovery of the child and family, and support their ability to thrive. TIC follows these guiding principles: safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, empowerment and equity. Early identification of trauma resulting from Adverse Childhood Experiences is critically important. School‐age afterschool programs, equipped with the knowledge of how to be trauma informed and trauma responsive can play a vital role in not only identifying a need for trauma related intervention, but provide engaging experiences that build positive skills and social and emotional learning for youth.

    Session Length: 10 minutes 

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration.  The webinar content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Lauren Kiefert

    Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Lauren Kiefert is a Program Specialist for the National Recreation and Park Association. Lauren joined NRPA in January 2019 and works on various substance abuse prevention and education-related grants and projects. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to NRPA, having both educational and professional experience in the public health field. Prior to joining the association, she completed her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, with a focus on health promotion and prevention efforts. Her thesis examined the current opioid epidemic and potential approaches to address the nation-wide issue. She also worked for a substance abuse prevention coalition that served a diverse youth population.  

    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Elizabeth Cook

    Senior National Advisor, Social-Emotional Health, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    Elizabeth Cook is the Senior National Advisor for Social Emotional Health at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. A school psychologist by training, Elizabeth spent over a decade in the field before moving in to the roles of School Mental Health and then School Psychology consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In that capacity, Elizabeth led several projects related to school mental health including, Wisconsin's Trauma Sensitive Schools Initiative, an evidence-informed multi-year approach to supporting schools in implementing and sustaining trauma-informed practices.

    Jennifer Smith

    Afterschool Program Manager, Center for Community Health Advancement, Marshfield Clinic Health System

    Jennifer Smith earned a Master’s of Education with a focus in Special Education from University of Minnesota -Twin Cities and has been working with youth and adolescents for over twenty years.  During her career, Jennifer has worked in public school settings, community based agencies and now Marshfield Clinic Health System.  In her current role she works with the Youth Net afterschool program, serving youth ages 8-18 in the Marshfield area; MCHS AmeriCorps Afterschool, supporting members placed throughout the clinic service area in school and community based afterschool programs; and the Wisconsin Afterschool Network, providing training and technical assistance to youth serving agencies statewide. In recent years, Jennifer has expanded her knowledge around Adverse Childhood Experiences, the impacts of trauma and the interventions youth serving organizations and community agencies can implement to help youth build a positive future.  

  • Practical Insights into Childhood Adversity: How ACEs Impact the Youth We Serve

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/24/2019

    Professionals in the field define Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on youth and the community. Examples of how Out-of-School Time (OST) programs provide protective factors against ACEs are also discussed.

    Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) are defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as the term used to describe all types of abuse, neglect, and other potentially traumatic experiences that occur to people under the age of 18. Data from the original ACEs study conducted in 1995 by CDC and Kaiser Permanente reveal that ACEs are quite common even among a middle-class population. In fact, more than two-thirds of the population report experiencing one ACE, and nearly a quarter have experienced three or more ACEs. The study also found a powerful, persistent correlation between the number of ACEs experienced and the the chance of poor outcomes later in life, including dramatically increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, depression, substance misuse, smoking, poor academic achievement, time out of work, and early death. While ACEs are common, youth-serving professionals and programs can have a positive influence on children experiencing adversity. This includes increasing predictability and decreasing uncertainty, increasing trust while decreasing fear, and raising self-worth while lowering self-doubt. 

    Session Length: 10 minutes 

    NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration.  The webinar content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Elizabeth Cook

    Senior National Advisor, Social-Emotional Health, Alliance for a Healthier Generation

    Elizabeth Cook is the Senior National Advisor for Social Emotional Health at the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. A school psychologist by training, Elizabeth spent over a decade in the field before moving in to the roles of School Mental Health and then School Psychology consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. In that capacity, Elizabeth led several projects related to school mental health including, Wisconsin's Trauma Sensitive Schools Initiative, an evidence-informed multi-year approach to supporting schools in implementing and sustaining trauma-informed practices.

    Lauren Kiefert

    Program Specialist, National Recreation and Park Association

    Lauren Kiefert is a Program Specialist for the National Recreation and Park Association. Lauren joined NRPA in January 2019 and works on various substance abuse prevention and education-related grants and projects. Lauren brings a wealth of knowledge to NRPA, having both educational and professional experience in the public health field. Prior to joining the association, she completed her Master of Public Health degree from George Washington University, with a focus on health promotion and prevention efforts. Her thesis examined the current opioid epidemic and potential approaches to address the nation-wide issue. She also worked for a substance abuse prevention coalition that served a diverse youth population.  

    Christopher Renjilian, MD, MBE

    Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics, Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia

    Christopher Renjilian, M.D., M.B.E. is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine and Sports Medicine at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).  The theme that ties together his clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy efforts is that of building the strength of young people by fostering their internal resilience, with a particular focus on promoting youth development through healthy involvement in sports, play and recreation. Dr. Renjilian’s clinical practice ranges from inpatient hospital medicine to office-based consultation for youth with sports-related injuries or for teens with complex medical or behavioral concerns. He also specializes in the care of homeless and marginalized youth, serving as a staff physician at Covenant House Pennsylvania, an agency that serves as a crisis center and shelter for Philadelphia’s homeless youth. 

    In the academic setting, Dr. Renjilian has been appointed as an Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. In this capacity, he participates in the education and mentorship of medical students and medical school graduates pursuing further training in pediatrics, adolescent medicine and sports medicine. Dr. Renjilian’s particular area of interest lies in the intersection of sports medicine and adolescent health, with a focus on promoting positive youth development through sports, recreation, and play. His research includes the study of after-school programs that combine mentorship and running, with the goal of understanding how these programs can help youth to build social connections and individual strengths, while learning to protect themselves from the effects of adversity and toxic stress.  He is a founding physician leader of NaturePHL, a partnership initiative that engages pediatricians to serve as ambassadors for outdoor play, and to prescribe outdoor recreation for Philadelphia’s children and families with the support of innovative counseling, programming and information resources. 

    Dr. Renjilian is a graduate the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed his residency in pediatrics and his subspecialty training at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. 

  • The Benefits of Farmers Markets and Parks

    Contains 2 Component(s) Recorded On: 06/19/2019

    Join us for the results and discussion of NRPA's recent survey of the field to gain a better understanding of the role local agencies play in regards to farmers markets and promoting access to healthy and local produce.

    Over the past decade, there has been steady growth across the farmers market industry nationwide with new market locations popping up in communities of all shapes and sizes. Local park and recreation agencies are one of the venues that have seen this growth firsthand. To gain a better understanding of the role local agencies play in regards to farmers markets and promoting access to healthy and local produce, NRPA recently conducted a survey of the field. Join NRPA’s Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology as he shares key findings from the survey, including where challenges continue to exist for local agencies. Allison Colman, Director of Health, and Maureen Acquino, Program Manager, will also share national trends within local agriculture, including consumer demands, and the benefits of farmers markets being hosted in parks. Examples of successful models that have been documented across the field will also be shared. 

    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Maureen Acquino

    Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Maureen Acquino is a Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. As a part of the Health and Wellness team, she focuses on healthy out-of-school time programming and inclusive practices in parks and recreation. 

    Melissa May

    Senior Research Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Melissa came to the NRPA research team in 2015 with a background in environmental planning, GIS, and flood plain analysis. At NRPA, Melissa helps with producing surveys and reports, as well as, creating interactive graphics that accompany all studies and poll results, including the annual Field Report, NRPA Park Pulse, and the Americans' Engagement with Parks Survey.


  • Promoting LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Parks and Recreation

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join Becky Herz, Senior Recreation Manager at Sunrise Recreation & Park District, to explore common challenges and strategies that agencies can implement to promote inclusion across the gender spectrum. NRPA staff will also present on steps that NRPA is taking to be more inclusive to all.

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    True to the very philosophy of public parks and recreation is the idea that all people—no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation—have access to quality programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ have historically lacked access to physical and social activity opportunities, contributing to health disparities including higher rates of chronic disease, mental health challenges and substance misuse. Park and recreation agencies are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ community members, addressing many of these disparities, by ensuring spaces, places and programs are inclusive and welcoming to all. 


    Allison Colman

    Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

    Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

    Becky Herz

    Senior Recreation Services Manager, Sunrise Recreation & Park District, Citrus Heights, California

    Becky Herz has been involved in recreation management for over 20 years.  She is also the mother 2, including a gender-unique 10-year-old.  Her article “Gender Spectrum Inclusion for Recreation Professionals” was featured in Park and Recreation Magazine in October 2018.  Becky has also been published in Aquatics International and on National Public Radio.  She has presented on inclusion at the California Park and Recreation Society Conference and was the keynote speaker at the 2019 CPRS Recreation Therapy Institute.  She currently works as Senior Recreation Service Manager for Sunrise Recreation and Park District.

    Maureen Acquino

    Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Maureen Acquino is a Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. As a part of the Health and Wellness team, she focuses on healthy out-of-school time programming and inclusive practices in parks and recreation.