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  • 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. 

  • Public Relations Trends and Tactics

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Join us as we take a close look at current media trends and discover ways to make parks and recreation relevant in a cluttered media landscape.

    Public Relations Trends and Tactics 

    Join us as we take a close look at current media trends and discover ways to make parks and recreation relevant in a cluttered media landscape. We’ll also cover traditional media and social media tactics agencies can use to promote the benefits of parks and recreation in communities across the country.  

    Premier Webinar Series

    Roxanne Sutton

    Director of Communications, National Recreation and Park Association

    Roxanne Sutton is the Director of Communications at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Her responsibilities include overseeing social media strategy and content development and promoting the award-winning work of our partnerships and business development team. She is also the host of NRPA’s podcast, Open Space Radio. In her role, Roxanne is fortunate to communicate and work directly with many NRPA members to promote new opportunities and showcase the great work local parks and recreation are doing in their communities. Prior to her role at NRPA, she worked at a PR firm in D.C. on a multitude of accounts ranging from energy clients to non-profits. She graduated with honors and recognition from George Mason University with her bachelors in Communication specializing in Public Relations. She was a member of Lambda Pi Eta and recipient of the Excellence in Communication Award.

    Heather Williams

    Senior Manager of Public Relations, National Recreation and Park Association

    Heather Williams, NRPA's Senior Manager of Public Relations. Heather is responsible for the development and implementation of NRPA's PR strategies. This includes the promotion of NRPA's grant programs, research initiatives and more. With over eight years' experience in the field, Heather handles all aspects of media relations, as well.

    Suzanne Nathan

    Public Relations Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Suzanne Nathan joined NRPA in February 2018. Nathan brings 14 years of marketing and communications experience working in the tech, environmental and engineering industries. She holds a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University and lives with her husband, three children and dog in Ashburn, Virginia.

  • The Role of Local Agencies in Responding to Substance Misuse

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Join the Community of Practice: Substance Misuse in the development of professional training resources for risk reduction, strengthening protective factors and youth misuse prevention.

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    Together with the Afterschool Alliance and the Alliance for a Healthier Generation, NRPA is developing a suite of professional development training resources to equip out-of-school time (OST) providers with the skills and knowledge to reduce risk factors, boost protective factors, and prevent substance misuse among youth. A content matter expert will give an overview of the current substance misuse and opioid epidemic. Two park and recreation professionals will also be sharing their challenges and approaches for addressing substance misuse on park grounds. Both prevention and operation strategies will be discussed; an opportunity to continue the discussion by joining a Community of Practice will be available.

    Michael Baker

    Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs, Office of the Secretary, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

    Michael Baker is a policy advisor in the Office of Intergovernmental and External Affairs (IEA) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. Currently, he works on a portfolio centered on the Secretary’s priorities for opioids, prescription drug pricing, and welfare reform. Michael also coordinates public health work and supports preparedness policy for IEA. Prior to joining IEA, Michael worked at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology (ONC) in the Office of Policy, where he focused on regulatory affairs and public health initiatives.

    Originally hailing from southeastern Michigan, Michael has a Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Toledo (OH). He holds a Master of Science in Biohazardous Threat Agents and Emerging Infectious Diseases from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in Economics from American University.

    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.   

    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.

    Shelly Strasser

    Director, West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department

    Shelly Strasser is the Director for the West Allis-West Milwaukee Recreation and Community Services Department located in the Milwaukee area in Wisconsin.  Their community has been affected by the Heroin and Opioid Crisis and has taken an active role in the community and with department staff, to implement strategies of support.  

  • Park Champions Initiative

    Contains 15 Component(s) Recorded On: 04/11/2019

    Park Champions across the country are inviting their members of Congress and their staff to see their parks and programs first-hand at park dedications, program kick-offs, special events, and more! The Park Champion show-and-tell advocacy model allows our members to create meaningful experiences for members of Congress that demonstrate the importance of investing in parks and recreation.

    imageThe Park Champions show-and-tell advocacy model allows our members to create meaningful experiences for members of Congress that demonstrate the importance of investing in parks and recreation. This online learning product brings together any past and future Park Champions learning opportunities through a single subscription. Within this free subscription, you will gain access and be notified of past and future webinars, micro-learning products, videos, and other resources produced under this initiative. 

    Upcoming Webinars

    Please check back, new webinars coming soon!

    Advocacy is a critical skill for being an effective park and recreation professional, no matter where you’re at in your career. Whether you’re fighting for this year’s budget, arguing for your program’s existence or just working to get through the day, being proficient in advocacy techniques can be a vital lifeline in your career. Step up for the future of parks and recreation by becoming a Park Champion! This award-winning advocacy program will teach you the advocacy skills you need to know, beginning with developing relationships with key decision-makers. Park Champions across the country are building strong, lasting relationships with their elected officials by inviting them to park dedications, program kick-offs, special events, and more. The Park Champion show-and-tell advocacy model allows our members to create meaningful experiences for members of Congress that demonstrate the importance of investing in parks and recreation. Join the NRPA Public Policy team as we explore how you can make a difference for yourself, your agency and the field by stepping up as a Park Champion. 


    Jayni Rassmussen (Moderator)

    Former Advocacy & Outreach Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Jayni Rasmussen was the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association until July 2019. She managed the Public Policy's team's advocacy initiatives, including the Park Champion campaign. Prior to NRPA, Jayni worked at Ocean Conservancy, where she coordinated advocacy and outreach efforts both on Capitol Hill and on the ground to garner support for ocean health policy. Jayni is a graduate of Kent State University, where she received her B.A. in Political Science.

    Kate Clabaugh

    Director of Government Affairs, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kate Clabaugh joined NRPA in May 2017 and manages our advocacy work related to health and wellness policy priorities, including nutrition, healthcare, and education. Kate previously worked for the national anti-hunger organization, the Food Research and Action Center, working with Congress to protect and expand access to the federal nutrition programs. 

    Kyle Simpson

    Senior Government Affairs Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kyle Simpson joined NRPA in December 2017 and is heading up our public policy work on conservation, including infrastructure, Land and Water Conservation Fund, and resiliency. Kyle comes to NRPA after nearly 10 years on Capitol Hill, most recently having worked for Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri.

    Kevin O'Hara

    Former Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs, National Recreation and Park Association

    Kevin oversaw NRPA's Federal Advocacy efforts and leads NRPA's engagement with urban directors and agencies. Previously, O'Hara was Manager of Government Affairs for the American Society of Landscape Architects where he oversaw advocacy efforts on urban parks, green infrastructure, children's access to nature and more. O'Hara also worked for a non-profit in the higher education finance sector where he led advocacy and college access initiatives. O'Hara earned a B.A. Political Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Masters in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Minnesota's Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs. 

    Roxanne Sutton

    Director of Communications, National Recreation and Park Association

    Roxanne Sutton is the Director of Communications at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Her responsibilities include overseeing social media strategy and content development and promoting the award-winning work of our partnerships and business development team. She is also the host of NRPA’s podcast, Open Space Radio. In her role, Roxanne is fortunate to communicate and work directly with many NRPA members to promote new opportunities and showcase the great work local parks and recreation are doing in their communities. Prior to her role at NRPA, she worked at a PR firm in D.C. on a multitude of accounts ranging from energy clients to non-profits. She graduated with honors and recognition from George Mason University with her bachelors in Communication specializing in Public Relations. She was a member of Lambda Pi Eta and recipient of the Excellence in Communication Award.

    Catrina Belt

    Marketing Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

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    Julie Dixon

    Director of Research, National Journal

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    Le'alani Boykin

    Community Visioning & Planning Manager at Partnerships for Parks

    The contribution I am most compelled in making to the world is improving the processes that people work in; to streamline information exchange and harmonize relationships. I intend to understand both individual and group needs, and their portals to learning, to develop tools for their success.

    Luci Correa

    Senior Staff Analyst, Houston Parks and Recreation

    Luci Correa manages grants, legislation and development for the Houston Parks and Recreation Department. She has served the agency for 17 years in various functions including event and program sponsorships and grant writing. Luci holds a BBA in marketing from the University of Houston and an MBA from Texas Woman's University.

    Tyler Ray

    Director of Policy and Advocacy, American Hiking Society

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    Wesley Trimble

    Program Outreach and Communications Manager, American Hiking Society

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    Jamie Polley, CPRP

    Director of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry, Wausau & Marathon County, Wisconsin

    Jamie Polley has recently become the Director of Parks, Recreation and Forestry for the City of Wausau and Marathon County WI. She was the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Shakopee for 10 1/ 2 years. Prior to moving to MN She was the Director for the City of New London WI for four year. In 2011-2012 she attended the NRPA Director's School where she became familiar with the Did You Know Program. Having worked in a small WI City and coming to MN during the economic down turn it became apparent that she needed to do something to make Parks and Recreation important in her community. She brought the DYK program back to Shakopee and to the Minnesota Recreation and Parks Association where it was very well received and supported. The more she described the program the more other directors became interested. MRPA chose to support the program in 2014 and now has 29 agencies registered. Jamie plans to continue the advocacy effort that is so important to our profession as she returns to WI.

    Jan Neitzert, CPRP, CAE

    Executive Director, Missouri Park and Recreation Association

    Jan Neitzert has been Executive Director for the Missouri Park and Recreation Association since 2008. A graduate of the University of Missouri, Jan was a practitioner for over 25 years, including therapeutic, aquatic, municipal and educational settings. For 12 years, she served as General Manager for Homeowners' Associations in a series of start-up communities for Pulte Homes/Del Webb in Las Vegas, Nevada. Other positions include leadership of the Council of State Executive Directors and the Missouri Society of Association Executives. She is both CPRP and a Certified Association Executive.

    Ivan Levin

    Director of Strategic Partnerships, National Park Trust

    Ivan is a lifetime outdoor and park enthusiast, strongly believing in the importance of connecting current and future generations to outdoor places and experiences. Growing up in southeast Virginia, Ivan spent his childhood playing in the Chesapeake Bay and exploring local parks and swamps. Now as a dad of two, Ivan and his family make a point to spend as much time outside as possible and to visit national parks throughout the year – the family’s favorite being Rocky Mountain National Park.

    As NPT’s Director of Strategic Partnerships, Ivan looks for new partnership opportunities, deepens relationships with current partners, and identifies ways to innovate programming and expand reach.

    Before joining NPT, Ivan was the Deputy Director of the Outdoor Foundation, overseeing all of the Foundation’s grant making, engagement and activation programs, research and many strategic partnerships. He is a frequent speaker on how to engage young adults in outdoor activities and connect them to green spaces and public lands. Ivan is also an adjunct faculty member at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA with the School of Recreation, Health, and Tourism and is an alumnus of the Salzburg Global Seminar’s session on Parks for the Planet. Ivan holds a BS in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism with a concentration in outdoor recreation from the Radford University and a Masters in Recreation Resource Management from Frostburg State University.

    Samantha Jones

    Communications and Program Manager, National Park Trust

    Samantha has a deep passion for national parks and being outdoors. From a young age she worked at a local Girl Scout Camp every summer where her love for camping and hiking was born. She and her husband are working towards visiting all of the national parks, and although they have found beauty in each park, Grand Teton National Park will always remain a favorite, after getting married in front of its towering peaks.

    As NPT’s communications and program manager, Samantha oversees the many facets of NPT’s communications strategy. She also manages our national Kids to Parks Day initiative and our partnerships to support military families.

    Prior to joining NPT, Samantha was director of strategic initiatives at CulturalDC where she oversaw public programming and managed the community outreach for large-scale public events across Washington, D.C. She also served as the interim executive director and program director for Washington Project for the Arts, a non-profit art organization dedicated to exhibiting and promoting the work of Washington, D.C.-based artists. Samantha holds a master of fine arts degree in fine art history from American University and a bachelor of arts degree in international studies and art history from Wilson College.

  • 2019 Family Health & Fitness Day: What You Need to Know

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    ​Looking for a fun and interactive way to showcase your agency’s health and wellness offerings? Grab your exercise mat and join us as we present the many ways your agency can participate in Family Health & Fitness Day!

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    Looking for a fun and interactive way to showcase your agency’s health and wellness offerings? Grab your exercise mat and join us as we present the many ways your agency can participate in Family Health & Fitness Day, Saturday, June 8. In addition to the toolkit, we’ll discuss the 2019 theme, “Get Fit” With Parks and Recreation, and the nationwide challenge. *Exercise mats are optional.                    

    Heather Williams

    Senior Manager of Public Relations, National Recreation and Park Association

    Heather Williams, NRPA's Senior Manager of Public Relations. Heather is responsible for the development and implementation of NRPA's PR strategies. This includes the promotion of NRPA's grant programs, research initiatives and more. With over eight years' experience in the field, Heather handles all aspects of media relations, as well.

    Suzanne Nathan

    Public Relations Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

    Suzanne Nathan joined NRPA in February 2018. Nathan brings 14 years of marketing and communications experience working in the tech, environmental and engineering industries. She holds a B.A. in Communications from George Mason University and lives with her husband, three children and dog in Ashburn, Virginia.

  • The Day After Tomorrow: Making Parks Climate Resilient

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits

    Join NRPA’s conservation leaders and nationally-recognized experts who are working tirelessly to help communities adapt to acute and chronic stresses to parks and public lands.

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    As predominant land owners within communities across the nation, park and recreation agencies are on the front lines of facing climate change. From rising sea levels to strong, more frequently-occurring weather events, agencies can and should be key players in developing resiliency strategies. 

    Join NRPA’s conservation leaders and nationally-recognized experts who are working tirelessly to help communities adapt to acute and chronic stresses to parks and public lands. Building on the recent Innovation Lab held in Miami last month, presenters will provide experiential knowledge and examples of how you can make your parks and facilities more resilient to meet the challenges that face us all.  


    Rich Dolesh (Moderator)

    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.

    Jack Kardys (Moderator)

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

    Jack Kardys has recently retired as the Director of the nationally accredited and Gold Medal Award winning Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (MDPROS), one of the largest and most diverse park systems in the country with 270 parks on 13,000 acres of land. Built on a foundation of organizational excellence and the pillars of Health, Placemaking and Conservation, MDPROS serves 2.7 million residents and 25 million visitors annually. Jack has served the profession for more than 38 years and earned dozens of awards that recognize his extraordinary leadership and achievements. Jack is currently the Chairman of the Board for N and the Past-President of the FRPA. With Jack’s guidance, the Miami-Dade County Parks and Open Space System Master Plan established the blueprint for improving the quality of life in Miami through a system of great parks, public spaces, natural and cultural areas connected by great greenways, blueways, trails and complete streets. Through collaboration with dozens of community partners, this Master Plan is a national model for enhancing Miami-Dade’s health, happiness and economic prosperity. Jack is currently an associate with PROS Consulting and the President of J Kardys Strategies, LLC, working with progressive park agencies developing and implementing innovative park and public realm strategies for building healthy and sustainable communities.

    Tom O'Hara

    Editor, The Invading Seas

    Tom O’Hara is the editor of a journalism collaboration called The Invading Sea. Three newspapers and WLRN Public Media are working together to educate South Floridians about the threat of rising seas. In recent years, he taught journalism at Florida Atlantic University. From 2010 to 2012, he was an editor with The National newspaper in Abu Dhabi. Between 2008 and 2010, he taught journalism at Ohio State University. From 2000 to 2007, he was the managing editor of The Plain Dealer in Cleveland. Before that, he was the managing editor of The Palm Beach Post.  He also was a reporter for the Gainesville Sun, Orlando Sentinel, Daytona Beach News Journal and the Miami Herald. He graduated with honors from Rutgers University-Camden. He has a master’s degree in Communications from the University of Florida.

    Jason Hellendrung

    Vice President, Planning and Design, Tetra Tech

    Jason directs landscape architecture, planning, and urban design work on a wide range of urban infrastructure projects. Much of Jason’s work involves reshaping cities through public infrastructure improvements and how these investments can catalyze development — in particular, the redevelopment of urban waterfronts and the integration of transit into cities. His project responsibilities include management and coordination of multi-client stakeholder teams for planning, design, and implementation. 

    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.


  • NRPA Splash Pad Certificate: Planning

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits

    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), Includes Credits

    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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    Design

    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), Includes Credits

    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.