Searching for the Fourth Pillar

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Last year, NRPA launched a new strategic plan that urged us to 'Build a Movement.' While it felt, at times, like everything stopped in 2020, we also found ourselves in the middle of a movement — the unprecedented transformation of the American lifestyle, with more time spent outdoors. Public spaces became flash points and hot spots for intense community advocacy for equity and change. People gained a new vigor and passion for parks and outdoor recreation. Many agencies stepped up and into community turmoil to support resilience in ways we never imagined. Park professionals adapted and thrived at the heart of this movement, supporting community vitality and essential services that go beyond health and wellness, equity, and conservation. What is this movement? What does it mean for our agencies and our entire profession? Join this conversation as we define the critical X-factor that could be the Fourth Pillar of our profession. 

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify new service areas where parks, programs and professional practices are evolving rapidly. 
  2. Articulate the outcomes that park and recreation professionals will strive to achieve in the next three to five years. 
  3. Discuss how a Fourth Pillar could galvanize our efforts and catalyze success.

Cindy Mendoza (she/her)

Director of Parks + Recreation

MIG, Inc.

Cindy Mendoza's leadership and award-winning expertise in park and recreation planning is a catalyst for community livability across the nation. As MIGs Director of Parks and Recreation Planning, she had guided cities, districts, counties and non-profits in creating inclusive, action-oriented master plans and strategic plans for parks, recreation facilities, trails and open space. Cindy brings nearly 25 years of experience and expertise in community engagement, facilitation, needs assessments, and policy and standards development. She holds an M.A. in Geography from the University of Oregon, where she completed her thesis on homelessness in parks. An authority on park and recreation trends and innovations, Cindy is an invited speaker at national/international conferences, a former SCORP University instructor, and published author of a textbook chapter and several articles on public involvement, parks and trails planning, diversity, inclusion, and park access.


Searching for the Fourth Pillar
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0.100 CEU credits  |  No certificate available
0.100 CEU credits  |  No certificate available