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  • Pollinator Awareness and Sustainability in Your Community

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 06/22/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Learn how you can join and leverage NRPA’s Parks for Pollinator BioBlitz to engage your community in a virtual or in-person community science campaign that educates about the natural world around us.

    Learn how you can join and leverage NRPA’s Parks for Pollinator BioBlitz to engage your community in a virtual or in-person community science campaign that educates about the natural world around us. In this webinar, you will find out how you can capitalize on your community’s findings, in terms of the plants and pollinator species identified, to help you and your park’s team better understand and actively protect biodiversity and advance sustainability efforts. Hear park professionals explain how they hosted their BioBlitz campaign; educated their communities; and leveraged the experience to advance efforts to protect pollinators, native habitats and biodiversity in their communities.  

    Tamara Aquino, CPRP

    Lake Highlands North Recreation Center Supervisor

    Dallas Park & Recreation Department

    Tamara Aquino Cespedes currently serves the Dallas Park and Rec department as Supervisor III for Lake Highlands North Recreation Center. As a first-generation college student, she graduated with a Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences bachelor's degree from Texas A&M University and earned her CPRP certification back in 2019. Since starting her recreation profession back in City of College Station, her main focus in programming is creating equitable access for youth. She enjoys designing curriculum and training others to lead activities that give kids an opportunity to do things they haven't done before. Her favorite city-wide recreation programs to be involved in are Outdoor Adventures and Late Teen Night. She is grateful for her team, her family, and the Parks and Rec show.

    Betty Blockinger

    Volunteer Coordinator

    Columbus Recreation & Parks Department

    Betty Blockinger is the Volunteer Services Manager with Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. She has 10+ years of volunteer and non-profit management experience. She oversees Columbus Recreation and Parks Department’s volunteer program that include 15,000+  volunteers who annually plant trees, coach youth sports, mentor teens and much more.  She is passionate about placing volunteers in safe and exciting service projects throughout the city of Columbus.

    Rosalie Hendon

    Environmental Planner

    Columbus Recreation and Parks Department

    Rosalie Hendon is an environmental planner for the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department. She manages natural resource projects on city parkland—everything from forests to prairies. Hendon holds two master degrees from the Ohio State University in both public administration and natural resources. An advocate of data-driven approaches to conservation work, Hendon is frequently surveying species in Columbus parks to determine the effects of habitat restoration. She believes local government has a critical role to play in environmental policy.

    Michele White

    Program Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Michele White is a program manager for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), whose work is centered in how parks advance conservation, sustainability and resiliency for communities across the country.  She specifically manages the Parks for Pollinators campaign, focused on raising public awareness of the current pollinator crisis by encouraging local action and advancing pollinator health and sustainable habitat through the work of park and recreation professionals and their communities.  She has a B.A. from Mount St. Mary’s University and is a Certified Association Executive and a graduate of the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for Organization Management (IOM).  She is passionate about the connection of sustainably managed open space and their support of healthy ecosystems, especially pollinators.  

  • The Gender Unicorn? Tell Me More!

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/27/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Our communities consist of people with diverse sexual and gender identities. This webinar will provide a foundation for park and recreational professionals to learn more about people with these identities and will provide a springboard for conversation about strategies to ensure the voices and experiences of those with these identities are at the table and heard with regard to parks and recreation.

    This educational webinar is designed to teach park and recreation professionals about LGBTQIA2S+ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender/non-binary, queer/questioning, intersex, asexual, 2-spirit, etc.) identities, and is the start of many DEI offerings to come! The webinar offers park and recreation professionals with an opportunity to learn about the history of LGBTQIA2S+ people in the United States and how their experiences have helped to shape today’s work for equity and inclusion in society. Join us for this engaging webinar in which our speakers will make the connections between identities and embodied experiences, and identify structures that shape our experience of gender, sexuality, class, race, ability, ethnicity, etc. In addition, participants will learn about the evolution of terminology, pivotal events and timelines, and contemporary topics related to ensuring fair, just and equitable inclusion of LGBTQIA2S+ people in the United States.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand basic LGBTQIA2S+ history. 
    2. Explain the basic social construction of sex, gender and sexuality.
    3. Describe intersectionality from an LGBTQIA2S+ perspective.


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

    ​Autumn Saxton-Ross, PhD (she/her/hers)

    Vice President of Education and Chief Equity Officer

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Autumn Saxton-Ross, PhD, developed a love of the outdoors first through her grandmother’s yard and then exploring city parks with her family in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri.  Now a resident of Washington DC and mom of two, she is the VP for Education & Chief Equity Officer at the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). 

    She started her career as an elementary school Health and PE teacher in DC Public Schools and after receiving graduate degrees in Health Education and Sociology, has worked in various positions that placed her at the intersections of health, equity and the outdoors.  Most recently, as the Mid-Atlantic Regional Director and Equity, Inclusion and Diversity Lead for NatureBridge, and prior to that she held positions as the Program Director for Place-based Initiatives at the National Collaborative for Health Equity, Program Specialist at DC Department of Health and (Health) Recreation Specialist at both Montgomery County and DC Departments of Recreation.

    Autumn is a connector- actively seeking out ways to build bridges between seemingly disparate people, opportunities and ideas.  And if you really want to see a sparkle in her eye, start a conversation on all things Marvel, Octavia Butler or Star Trek: The Next Generation.  

    Tiff Cunin (they/them)

    Senior Program Manager, Health and Wellness Team

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Tiff Cunin (they/them) is the Senior Program Manager on the Health and Wellness Team at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), where they manage various portfolios of work including healthy aging in parks and youth mentoring. They have more than 10 years of experience in physical activity and public health and are passionate about bridging innovative interdisciplinary approaches with public health practice to optimize health and well-being for our most vulnerable populations through physical activity, recreation, and play.

    Tiff is also a PhD student in the Translational Health Sciences program at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Science. Their research is focused on knowledge translation that supports the development and implementation of evidence-based programs to improve health outcomes among transgender and gender non-binary older adults.

    Additionally, they are an active member of the American Public Health Association’s (APHA’s), LGBTQ+ Health Caucus, GLMA (Health Professionals Advancing LGBTQ Equality), and WPATH (World Professional Association for Transgender Health).

    Tiff is an outdoor enthusiast who loves to backpack, surf, snowboard, hike, camp and more. Tiff has lived all over the world, but currently calls Silver Spring, MD home, where they live with their partner and two cat children, Hobie and Sprinkles. 

  • How to Tell #OurParkAndRecStory: Storytelling Through Video

    Contains 2 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/25/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    This July’s Park and Recreation Month theme is “Our Park and Recreation Story.” Kick things off by participating in this free learning opportunity to gain the skills needed to effectively interview community members, capture their stories and share them through compelling video. Join Filmmaker Casey Stein as he shares the basics of storytelling, tips for interviewing community members on camera, and best practices for capturing compelling video to amplify your park and recreation story.

    This July’s Park and Recreation Month theme is “Our Park and Recreation Story.” To kick things off we’re offering this free learning opportunity that will give park and recreation professionals the skills needed to effectively interview community members, capture their stories and share them through compelling video. Join Casey Stein — a filmmaker who has directed projects for Nike, The New York Times, IBM, American Express, David Bowie and more — as he shares the basics of storytelling, tips for how to interview members of your community on camera, and best practices for capturing compelling video you can use to help amplify the stories that show the impact parks and recreation has in your community.

    By attending the live webinar event, you are eligible to win one of six GoPro prize packs to help film your own “Our Park and Recreation Story” video!



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

    Casey Stein

    Filmmaker

    Casey Stein is a Washington, D.C., born, New York-educated and Brooklyn-based director. His films and interactive experiences have screened around the world, including the Tribeca Film Festival, the New York Film Festival and Forum Des Images. You can check out his work here: https://www.caseystein.com/

    Cort Jones (Moderator)

    Communications Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Cort Jones is the communications manager for the National Recreation and Park Association and co-host of Open Space Radio. He manages NRPA’s Park and Recreation Month campaign, a month-long celebration of the essential work of park and recreation professionals. He enjoys connecting with NRPA members and helping them share their stories in order to elevate their good work. 

  • Conversations with Olmsted: His Vision for Reform

    Contains 3 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 05/18/2021 at 3:00 PM (EDT)

    Join the American Society of Landscape Architects and the National Recreation and Park Association for a conversation that recenters the way we tell the story of Olmsted’s work and origins of landscape architecture.

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                                                 Social justice, equity, and reform are not new topics for landscape architecture—rather, they are at its origin. Frederick Law Olmsted’s prominent role in shaping public opinion on social reform in the period leading up to and during the Civil War still impacts practice today. Join us for a conversation that recenters the way we tell the story of Olmsted’s work and origins of landscape architecture. 


    Learning Objectives:

    1. Explore conditions of 19th-century cities including intense rural-to-urban migration, industrialization, and immigration, and how these conditions impacted the discipline of landscape architecture.
    2. Discover how, through his writing, Olmsted confronted the institution of slavery and the cotton economy.
    3. Explore how Olmsted’s values of and advocacy for social reform translate to today’s urban and cultural challenges.
    4. Identify how, from its inception, landscape architecture aimed to address societal and environmental conditions through design, and how racial equity and environmental justice issues continue to shape what we do as designers today. 



    Panelists:

    • Sara Zewde, Founding Principal, Studio Zewde
    • John Stauffer, Professor of English and of African and African American Studies, Harvard University
    • Charles Waldheim, Hon. ASLA, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Office for Urbanization, Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    This event is co-hosted by the American Society of Landscape Architects and the National Recreation and Park Association. ASLA and NRPA are two of the founding partners of Olmsted 200, the bicentennial celebration of the birth of Frederick Law Olmsted. 

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

    Sara Zewde

    Founding Principal

    Studio Zewde

    Sara Zewde is the Founding Principal of Studio Zewde. Sara brings years of experience leading complex design processes across the Americas, with a design approach that works explicitly to illuminate the distinct cultural and ecological qualities of a place. Sara is Assistant Professor of Practice at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design and is the recipient of a number of awards, including the Hebbert Award for Contribution to the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT and the Silberburg Memorial Award for Urban Design. Sara was named the 2014 National Olmsted Scholar by the Landscape Architecture Foundation, a 2016 Artist-in-Residence at the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, and in 2018, was named to the National Trust for Historic Preservation's inaugural "40 Under 40" list. Most recently, she was named a 2020 United States Artists Fellow. Sara is a registered landscape architect and holds a master’s of landscape architecture from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design, a master’s of city planning from MIT, and a BA in sociology and statistics from Boston University. 

    John Stauffer

    Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies

    Harvard University

    JOHN STAUFFER is the Sumner R. and Marshall S. Kates Professor of English and of African and African American Studies at Harvard University. He is the author or editor of 20 books and over 100 articles, which mostly focus on antislavery, social protest, or photography. GIANTS: The Parallel Lives of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln was a national bestseller. The Black Hearts of Men was the co-winner of the Frederick Douglass Book Prize and the Lincoln Prize 2nd Place winner. Picturing Frederick Douglass was a Lincoln Prize finalist. His essays and reviews have appeared in Time, Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, and in scholarly journals and books. He has been on national radio and TV, including The Diane Rehm Show, Fresh Air, and Book TV. He has served as a consultant for several films and exhibitions, including Django Unchained, The Free State of Jones, The Abolitionists, and WAR/PHOTOGRAPHY. And he has been a speaker and scholar for the U.S. State Department’s International Information Program. He lives in Cambridge with his wife, Deborah Cunningham, and their two sons, Erik and Nicholas.

    Charles Waldheim

    Hon. ASLA, John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Office for Urbanization

    Harvard University Graduate School of Design

    Charles Waldheim is the John E. Irving Professor of Landscape Architecture and Director of the Office for Urbanization at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. He is an American-Canadian architect and urbanist. Waldheim’s research examines the relations between landscape, ecology, and contemporary urbanism. He is author, editor, or co-editor of numerous books on these subjects, and his writing has been published and translated internationally. Waldheim is recipient of the Rome Prize Fellowship from the American Academy in Rome; the Visiting Scholar Research Fellowship at the Study Centre of the Canadian Centre for Architecture; the Cullinan Chair at Rice University; and the Sanders Fellowship at the University of Michigan.

  • 2021 Premier Webinar Subscription

    Contains 5 Product(s)

    Subscribe to the 2021 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2021 with continued access to the archived recordings and materials.

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    Subscribe to the 2021 Premier Webinar Series and be instantly registered for any premier discounted webinar that we offer for all of 2021 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 2:00 p.m. EST/EDT.


    2021 Schedule

    Environmental Maintenance: Global Impact and Your Agency*
    January 14, 2021
    Building the Movement                                        
    July 8, 2021
    Building a Well-Defined Organizational Culture
    February 11, 2021
    Urban & Rural Cities Hot Topic    
    August 12, 2021 
    Intentionality in Aquatics — Dodge, Dip, Duck and Dodge*
    March 11, 2021
    Health & Wellness
    September 9, 2021
    How to Advocate for Your Agency and Federal Relief Funding
    April 8, 2021 
    Equity & Inclusion*
    October 14, 2021
    Sports Facilities Into Eco-Friendly Community Spaces*
    May 13, 2021
    Research
    November 18, 2021
    Emergency Response
    June 10, 2021
    Aquatics*
    December 9, 2021

    These sessions contain 0.1 CEU


  • Sports Facilities Into Eco-Friendly Community Spaces

    Contains 4 Component(s), Includes Credits Includes a Live Web Event on 05/13/2021 at 2:00 PM (EDT)

    Join this webinar to gain an understanding of the ways climate-resilience and youth sports intersect — and how to balance these two seemingly competing priorities. Learn how to harness the power of athletic facilities and open play spaces to boost community sustainability efforts and connect residents to nature.

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    While athletic fields don’t always seem like they would offer much potential for increased sustainability, this session will provide attendees with an enhanced understanding of ways to transform sports facilities into eco-friendly community spaces. Spotlighting methods like organic land management and integrated pest management, this webinar will focus on ways park and recreation professionals can take action to make play areas — including youth sports fields and facilities — more conservation-friendly.


    Learning Objectives 
    Following this session, learners will be able to: 

    1. Understand the ways climate resilience and youth sports intersect and how to balance these two seemingly competing priorities.
    2. Harness the power of athletic facilities and open play spaces to boost community sustainability efforts and connect residents to nature.


    This session is eligible for 0.1 CEU.



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

    Patti Bakker

    Green Seattle Partnership, Wildlife, and IPM Program Manager

    Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation

    Patti is Seattle Parks and Recreation’s Manager for the Green Seattle Partnership, Wildlife and IPM programs. She has been with the City for almost five years and has been working toward protection and restoration of habitats and species for 28 years, including work with local, state and federal agencies as well as large and small non-profit organizations.

    Jay Rood

    Senior Capital Projects Coordinator

    Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation

    Jay Rood has been with the City of Seattle’s Park and Recreation Department for 6 years working as a project manager – stewarding projects from programming/funding, design development, community engagement, permitting, bidding, construction thru to close-out and opening celebration. Some of the CIP projects Jay has managed have been all season multi-sports uses artificial/synthetic turf playfields with lights – both new installations (2) as well as replacements (9). Jay has been in both private practice and public service since 1975 – working as a licensed landscape architect (Oregon, Washington & Alaska), urban designer/planner, and construction manager. 

    Adam Anulewicz, MCA

    Park Environmental Specialist

    Springfield Department of Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management

    Adam Anulewicz, MCA, has been employed with the City Of Springfield since 2017, where he runs the Organic Lawn Care program for 12 of the city's parks and works on various environmental projects throughout the city. Adam went to college in New York, where he studied Forestry and Park Management and graduated with Bachelors of Science Degree in 2010. He is an avid fisherman, forager and hunter. 

    Teresa Morrissey (Moderator)

    Park Access Program Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Teresa Morrissey joined NRPA's Park Access Team as a Program Manager in October 2020 to support the creation and execution of NRPA's youth sports strategy. She oversees a portfolio of grants that are designed to empower park and recreation professionals to improve equitable access to youth sports in their communities, including managing distribution of funds and project coordination, providing training and technical assistance, and creation and dissemination of resources. Bringing 5 years’ experience in community partnerships to the team, Teresa is skilled at forging relationships at the community level that advance equity. 

  • Integrating Trails into Park Planning

    Contains 1 Component(s) Includes a Live Web Event on 05/13/2021 at 1:00 PM (EDT)

    Attendees can expect to come away from this webinar with a toolbox of best practices and resources that get into the nitty-gritty of how to understand trails as park elements, plan for their sustainable integration into existing and future parks, and build trails and trail networks as powerful tools for connecting your parks to the public. Sponsored by SC Parks, Recreation, and Tourism and hosted in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.


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    Trails are one of the most critical elements of any park system, yet many park planners may not understand the key components to consider in integrating them into your park planning efforts. This webinar brings together park planning experts from across the nation to explore the critical elements that should be considered when integrating high-quality, sustainable trails into parks. Join these experts in identifying how trails impact conservation, safety, and ongoing maintenance of parks. Examine how trail networks and trails as linear parks can be implemented regionally to build park cohesion and capacity. And, explore how trails can offer amazing opportunities to meet community needs and build equitable park access in a variety of community sizes and demographics.

    Attendees can expect to come away from this webinar with a toolbox of best practices and resources that get into the nitty-gritty of how to understand trails as park elements, plan for their sustainable integration into existing and future parks, and build trails and trail networks as powerful tools for connecting your parks to the public.

    This webinar will be in a forum setting where presenters will discuss each topic and allow time for a couple of attendees' questions following each topic. Presenters will also answer attendee questions at the end of the presentation.


    Topics for discussion:

    Nature/Habitat/Conservation
    Trails as Linear Parks
    Safe Routes to Parks
    Regional Trail Network Planning
    Ongoing Trail Management After Completion
    Community Needs Assessment & Equity



    Learning Objectives

    1. Learn how trail corridors and conservation can work together to enhance both the natural environment and the trails themselves and what impact trails have on the natural environment.
    2. Learn how comprehensive trail planning can ensure a cohesive completed network by understanding routes, partnerships, and funding.
    3. Learn why and how long-range planning should incorporate trail management to ensure high-quality trails well into the future for users.
    4. Discover various methods for utilizing data to demonstrate the need for trails and how inclusive outreach efforts can ensure equitable park and trail access.



    Presented by:

    • Sarah Olson, MPA, Deputy Director, Lynnwood Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department
    • Carlos F. Perez, PLA, Principal, Perez Planning + Design, LLC
    • Eric Sauer, RLA, Five Rivers MetroParks
    • Rachel Banner, Director of Park Access, National Recreation and Park Association


    When: May 13, 2021 @ 10:00 AM to 11:30 AM (Pacific Time)

    Cost: Free to all


    This content will be accessed through American Trails.  Registering through this site will allow you to receive notifications leading up to the event through NRPA. You will be asked to register with American Trails also or you can register directly here: Advancing Trails Webinar

  • Staying Connected: Intergenerational Programs and COVID-19

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    During this webinar, Generations United will share information on how intergenerational programs have created new opportunities and adapted activities to connect older and younger people throughout the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and beyond.

    Interest in intergenerational programming has been increasing in recent years. This appeal is fueled by a recognition that communities across the country have a growing resource in people who are living longer and healthier than ever before. Meanwhile, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has cast a spotlight on the devastation of social isolation for older adults and younger people alike. In this webinar, Generations United will share information on how intergenerational programs have created new opportunities and adapted activities in response to our current remote reality, as well as the valuable lessons learned during this process. Hear from innovative programs across the country — from community gardens to virtual visits — that have been creatively adapting to connect generations throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and will continue to do so into the future.

    Learning Objectives:

    1. Understand the benefits of intergenerational programs and their role in addressing individual and community needs.
    2. Recognize effective strategies to create high-quality, remote and physically distant intergenerational programs; understand common challenges of remote intergenerational programs; and gain knowledge of successful ways to overcome them.
    3. Understand the tools and resources available to support the development and implementation of intergenerational programs.


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

    Pam Plimpton

    Intergenerational Coordinator

    San Diego County Department of Aging & Independence Services (San Diego, CA)

    Pam Plimpton has a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University and has worked in older adult services for over 25 years, including with the Alzheimer’s Association and as a home health social worker.  Since 2007, she has worked for the County of San Diego’s Health and Human Services Agency, specifically in the department of Aging & Independence Services (AIS), the County's Area Agency on Aging.  Since 2014, she has served as the Intergenerational Coordinator at AIS.  In this role, she facilitates efforts to bring people of all ages together with the aim of enhancing the lives of those involved and addressing critical community challenges through intergenerational collaboration.

    Lynn Haglin

    Vice President & KIDS PLUS Director

    The Northland Foundation (Duluth, MN)

    Lynn Haglin’s experience includes over 30 years in administration, community development, and education, with an extensive background in early care and education, youth development, and intergenerational programs.  In her current position, Lynn provides leadership for the Foundation’s KIDS PLUS Programs, including AGE to age: bringing generations together. She has designed and implemented model programs focused on increasing access to quality early care and education settings, strengthening early childhood and early elementary connections (PreK-Grade 3), creating youth leadership, philanthropic and service learning opportunities; and developing intergenerational community efforts. 

    Katherine Yungmee Kim

    Senior Communications Editor

    Koreatown Youth and Community Center (Los Angeles, CA)

    Katherine Yungmee Kim is the Senior Editor at the Koreatown Youth and Community Center, the nation’s oldest and largest Korean American non-profit organization. She runs the Koreatown Storytelling Program (www.genbygen.org), a multiethnic, multilingual intergenerational oral history and ethnography program that documents and archives underrepresented narratives from the community. She is a writer and journalist with a BA in English Literature from Vassar College and an MFA in Fiction from Columbia University.

    Sheri Steinig, MSW

    Special Projects Director

    Generations United (Washington, DC)

    Sheri Steinig is the Special Projects Director at Generations United, where she serves on the leadership team and supports the ongoing efforts to expand the development of intergenerational practices. During her 20 years with Generations United, she has developed resources and provided training and technical assistance to practitioners around the country; launched numerous initiatives including the National Center on Shared Sites, the Programs of Distinction designation, the Best Intergenerational Communities Awards; and a variety of capacity-building projects. Sheri previously worked at Intergenerational Innovations in Seattle, Washington where she developed, implemented, and evaluated a variety of different school- and community-based intergenerational programs. Sheri received her Masters of Social Work degree from Boston College with concentrations in macro-practice and gerontology. She currently lives in Denver, Colorado. 

  • How to Advocate for Your Agency and Federal Relief Funding

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    This webinar will introduce professionals to NRPA’s public policy and advocacy team, provide an outline of advocacy priorities, and identify how park and recreation professionals can take advantage of federal relief funding through the American Rescue Plan.

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    The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic made obvious what professionals have known for a long time: parks and recreation services are not just public amenities, but essential services that communities need. As the new Congress and the Biden administration start to address the critical issues facing our country, park and recreation professionals need effective advocacy practices to ensure that community services and needs are a part of the nation’s recovery. This webinar will introduce professionals to NRPA’s public policy and advocacy team, provide an outline of advocacy priorities, and identify how park and recreation professionals can take advantage of federal relief funding through the American Rescue Plan.


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

    Elvis Cordova

    Vice President of Public Policy and Advocacy, National Recreation and Park Association

    Elvis Cordova is the Vice President of Policy and Advocacy for the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), which is the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation.  Mr. Cordova leads NRPA’s federal policymaking initiatives by providing strategic planning for enhancing community-based and capacity building programs, and stakeholder engagement to advance parks, recreation, and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. Mr. Cordova is a seasoned executive with over a decade of experience developing and implementing solutions for some of the most significant and high-profile challenges facing the U.S. public sector.  He has a unique combination of political, legal, economic, and international expertise.  He is a proven strategist and manager, adept at building coalitions and communicating effectively to diverse stakeholders.  He has built an intimate knowledge of the workings of the U.S. government and has developed strong relationships with a range of policymakers in key markets around the world. 

    In 2012, Mr. Cordova was appointed by President Barack Obama to serve as a Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).  From 2012 to 2017, Mr. Cordova served in various leadership roles at USDA, including Deputy Under Secretary and Acting Under Secretary.  He oversaw food labeling programs (including organic and biotechnology), international trade regulations, research & educational grant programs, nutrition programs, commodity procurement, plant & animal health regulations, process verification programs, conservation programs, and the expansion of local and regional food systems.  He served on the White Task Force for Puerto Rico, focusing on building public-private partnerships to aid in the economic recovery efforts for the island.  Mr. Cordova entered the federal government a Presidential Management Fellow at the Farm Credit Administration and at the U.S. Department of Energy where his work encompassed alternative energy, economic development, financial services, and congressional affairs. Outside of the federal government, he served as a consultant for the United Nations where he focused on trade development strategies for emerging markets in Southeast Asia.  He also served as Vice President of Public Relations at Tzolkin Media Inc., and Director for Latin American programs at the Self Reliance Foundation.  Mr. Cordova began his career as a financial analyst at the Harvard Management Company.

    He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Northeastern University.  He is a recipient of the Woodrow Wilson Graduate Fellowship and holds various professional certificates from Georgetown University, Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, Universidad de Sevilla (Spain), Universidad de Buenos Aires (Argentina), École Nationale des Travaux Publics de l'État (France), and Pontificia Universidade Catolica (Brazil). 
     
    In his personal time, Mr. Cordova works with various national leadership organizations to create and expand opportunities for diverse communities in the Washington, D.C. area.  He has previously served on the Executive Board of the Washington D.C. Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs (now known as Prospanica).  He has served as a senior advisor for the Aspen Institute’s International Career Advancement Program.  He is a graduate of Leadership Alexandria, which is an executive-level training program in the national capital area, as well as a graduate of the Political Leaders Program from the Sorensen Institute at the University of Virginia.  He is an alumnus of Project Interchange, which is an international leadership program of the American Jewish Committee and an alumnus of the Hispanic Leaders Program, a professional development program organized by the Foreign Ministry of Spain. Mr. Cordova presently lives with his family in Alexandria, VA and has previously lived in Latin America and Europe.  His language capabilities include Spanish, Portuguese, and French. 

    Kyle Simpson

    Senior Government Affairs Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

    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.

    Dan McCarthy

    Advocacy Manager

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Dan McCarthy joined NRPA in February 2021 to lead grassroots advocacy campaigns and support members in their advocacy. Dan comes most recently from the anti-hunger community in Boston, where he organized coalitions to alleviate childhood hunger. He is a firm believer that our communities are stronger — and our government more effective — when people are interested, informed, and involved in the democratic process. 

  • Calling All NRPA Members: Let’s Discuss Summer Camps!

    Contains 2 Component(s)

    Join this summer camp planning webinar that will provide NRPA members with a unique, online format that pairs education with an opportunity to network. The networking webinar — an NRPA member-only benefit — features short presentations followed by group discussions to support summer camp development.

    Join this member-only webinar that will provide NRPA members with a unique, online format that pairs education with a networking opportunity. The NRPA networking webinar will feature presentations and group discussions to support summer camp development. Opening the discussions are two speakers, Aaron Thelen, CPRP, recreation supervisor with the City of New Hope, Minnesota, and Cassandra Paddock, recreation programs supervisor from New Braunfels, Texas.

    Both speakers will kick off the networking webinar by highlighting lessons learned from this past camp season and sharing plans for a successful 2021 summer camp season. Following the presentations, professionals will separate into two 15-minute breakout rooms to discuss their challenges, successes, and ideas with colleagues. To wrap up, each group will share highlights of their conversations in the chat box, setting the stage for the discussion to continue on NRPA Connect. Please come prepared to network and learn!



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

    Cassandra Paddock

    Recreation Programs Supervisor

    City of New Braunfels, TX

    Cassie Paddock is the Recreation Programs Supervisor for the City of New Braunfels, Texas, where she oversees their 12 week Summer Day Camp, Camp Minnehaha. Cassie started working in a municipality day camp setting in 2013 and has continued to specialize in that field over the past 8 years. She helps coordinate and host the annual Texas Recreation and Parks Society (TRAPS) Day Camp Summit and serves as a committee member for the NRPA Leadership Development Network and Young Professional Network. Cassie also serves as the Chair of the New Braunfels Impact Committee, a committee dedicated to promoting employee engagement and appreciation for City employees.

    Aaron Thelen, CPRP

    Recreation Supervisor

    City of New Hope, MN

    Aaron Thelen is the Recreation Supervisor with New Hope Parks & Recreation in New Hope, Minnesota.  He coordinates the city’s youth programs, special events, senior programs, and oversees the use of the New Hope Performance Center.  Aaron has been in New Hope since 2017 and prior to that he was the Recreation Programmer with Arden Hills Parks and Recreation in Arden Hills, Minnesota.  He graduated from the University of Northwestern – St. Paul in Physical Education and Health education. 

    Hayley Herzing (Moderator)

    Senior Manager of Membership

    National Recreation and Park Association

    Hayley Herzing is currently the Senior Manager of Membership for the National Recreation and Park Association. She has worked for NRPA for six years and previously worked at the National Community Pharmacists Association. Hayley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications/Journalism from Shippensburg University. She enjoys spending time with her husband, son and dog.