Telling the Park and Recreation Story

imageAdvocating for parks and recreation should be integrated into everything that the park and recreation professional does. This bundle includes sessions curated from the NRPA 2018 Annual Conference that express how parks and recreation professionals can extend the narrative and advocate for the industry. Included in this package are the following sessions:

  • Shaping Space for Civic Life: The pivotal role of parks

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    This session will introduce the Assembly initiative and its evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with an emphasis on parks and open space. Panelists will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and share a range of project examples that seek to enhance civic life through design interventions.

    imageCommunities across the United States face concerning trends related to civic life, including distrust, low voter turnout, and growing social and economic divides. Public space professionals, civic leaders, and community residents alike are interested in re-building trust, revitalizing neighborhoods, and supporting interaction among diverse groups. Promising initiatives are emerging across the country to transform lagging public spaces into dynamic, welcoming, and celebrated ones. In light of these trends, the Center for Active Design has launched “Assembly: Shaping Space for Civic Life,” a pioneering initiative to leverage place-based design as a tool to enhance civic engagement. The Assembly initiative has surfaced groundbreaking information, including quantifiable civic life metrics, as well as causal findings demonstrating that design elements do indeed impact civic perceptions. This session will introduce the Assembly initiative and its evidence-based approach to shaping community design, with an emphasis on parks and open space. Panelists will reflect on historic and emerging research that points to the connection between the built environment and civic participation, and share a range of project examples that seek to enhance civic life through design interventions. Conversations will leave participants with a better understanding of practical strategies for shaping parks through design, programming, and maintenance practices that can enhance civic life in their own communities.

    Jennifer Mahar

    Senior Director of Civic Initiatives at Fairmount Park Conservancy

    Jennifer joined the Fairmount Park Conservancy, non-profit champion of Philadelphia's 10,000 park system, in 2012.   As Senior Director of Civic Initiatives, Jennifer helps oversee 'Reimagining the Civic Commons' - an innovative, collaborative network of public space organizations in Philadelphia. Together, the collective demonstrates ways that civic assets can be connected as an integrated system and how they can be developed to foster talent, opportunity and engagement.   In addition, we partner with leading researchers to experiment with programmatic and design interventions that will help us inform how citizens access civic assets.  Jennifer oversees the Neighborhood Parks Stewardship Program, a unique partnership with Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and our network of 100 volunteer park friend groups.  Together we organize, resource and celebrate our wonderful city parks and the volunteers who advocate for them.

    Maria Nardi

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

    Maria is deputy director of the Miami-Dade County Dept of Parks, Recreation, and Open Space Dept, which is on the front lines of dealing with the effects of climate change, sea-level rise, and extreme weather events. Maria directs staff in managing parks and rec facilities and adapting to climate change and mitigating the effects of climate change. She has direct knowledge and experience that is invaluable in understanding how parks must face the future. Maria is an accomplished presenter and speaker with experience presenting at the national, regional, and state level.

    Maria I. Nardi has over 18 years experience in the private and public sector in the fields of urban design, landscape architecture, architecture, planning and preservation. In the private sector, she received the University of Miami Alumna of the Year Award for her holistic, comprehensive planning work as Chief of Planning and Research for Miami-Dade County, where she directed the vision for the Miami-Dade County Park and Open Space Master Plan; a vision for a more equitable, greener and healthier Miami-Dade County, and for her work as Chief of Urban Design for the City of Miami where she initiated Miami 21; a rewrite of the City's land development regulations from land use segregation to mixed use regulations to promote a walkable, pedestrian friendly community. Ms. Nardi's community based planning initiatives and collaborative work also received the International Progressive Architecture Award for Urban Design, for the “Redland: A Preservation and Tourism Plan”, a vision to preserve and rebuild the agricultural heritage of South Dade through Agri-tourism. Ms. Nardi received her undergraduate degree in Architecture from the University of Miami and her Masters in Landscape Architecture from Harvard University Graduate School of Design where she received the Harvard American Society of Landscape Architects Honor Award for excellence in the study of Landscape Architecture.

    Suzanne Nienaber

    Partnerships Director, Center for Active Design

    I'm an urban planner and facilitator striving to shape healthier, more engaged communities. As the partnerships director at the Center for Active Design (CfAD) I help people collaborate across sectors to elevate physical, mental, social, and civic well-being in their projects, and inspire transformative community change. Our work draws upon scholarly research and bridges a wide range of disciplines — embracing everything from urban planning and architecture to public health, political science, real estate development, facilities management, and more.

    I lead a range of initiatives at CfAD, including Assembly, our pioneering effort to understand how place-based design informs civic engagement objectives such as trust, participation in public life, and stewardship. Through this initiative we’re convening expert advisors, undertaking original research, and synthesizing findings on the relationship between place-based design and civic life.

  • "What's Past is Prologue": The Déjà Vu Health Case for Urban Parks in the US and the UK

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    Parks are an integral part of city infrastructure. This session explains six strategies that are relevant to positioning parks for improving health and wellness while securing influential champions.

    imageOne of the forces which led to parks becoming an integral part of cities' infrastructure in the mid and late nineteenth century in the USA was a wide-spread perception that they attributed to alleviating disease contagion and epidemics. Six strategies will be explained that were effective in this successful movement that appear to have relevance to today's context. Four of them relate to positioning parks so parks are recognized as a component to be included in the multifaceted effort to address the obesity epidemic: conceptual alignment, cost effectiveness, associative positioning, and psychological positioning. The other two pertain to the tactical use of science to support advocacy and the need to secure influential champions.

    John Crompton

    Distinguished Professor & Mayor Pro Tem, City of College Station

    Biographical Profile

  • Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Health(iness): All parks are NOT created equal

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    Parks are such good medicine that doctors are now prescribing visits to them as treatment for a variety of ailments. But not all parks are the same, so how do we know how good the medicine is for a particular park? This session will show how the “medicinal value” of one park can be measured and compared to another.

    imageParks are such good medicine that doctors are now prescribing visits to them as treatment for a variety of ailments. But not all parks are the same, so how do we know how good the medicine is for a particular park? This session will show how the “medicinal value” of one park can be measured and compared to another. While the process is rooted in scientific evidence, this presentation will focus on its practical use in planning, designing, and promoting parks as public health amenities, including how the measure of each park’s potential to generate healthy physical activity can be combined with demographic data to evaluate the overall performance of a park system for providing equitable access to healthy activity for all residents.

    Rod Tarullo, CPRE

    Director of Parks and Recreation City of Golden

    Rod Tarullo, is the Director of Park, Recreation and Golf at the City of Golden, Colorado. As Director of Golden's park system, Rod Tarullo was responsible for guiding Golden's new parks and recreation master plan and assuring that it met the city council's stated goal of making public health a focus of the plan.  Using new metrics to measure the public health potential provided by their parks, the master plan is a unique document, guiding Golden's decisions on park amenities and future designs.

    Roby Layton, PhD, FASLA, CPRP

    Principal / Executive Director/ Assitant Teaching Professor; Design Concepts / GP RED / NCSU

    After years of designing award-winning parks, Robby earned his PhD researching what really makes people appreciate and use them. For his dissertation he looked specifically at what it is about parks that encourages people to visit them more often and feel that their needs are being met. He has now translated this research into useful information for park professionals looking to improve the lives of their citizens by getting them engaged in healthy activity outdoors. Since completing his PhD in 2016, he has applied what he learned to the development of new metrics and standards and applied these on park master plans, strategic plans, and public health projects. His innovative techniques and practices are in use by agencies nationwide.

  • The Art of Gaining Consensus & Getting Things Done

    Contains 4 Component(s), 0.10 credits offered

    Learn how to proactively weave the fundamental steps for consensus-building into your projects in order to avoid many of these challenges in the first place, as well as how to respond to resistance and conflict when it inevitably happens.​

    imageAs our country and communities become more divided, getting people on board and working together is becoming an increasingly tough challenge. No matter whether it is concerning a new project, policy, park, or program you’re working on, helping groups come together and getting support for your initiatives is a skill that every professional must learn in order to get things done. Learn how to proactively weave the fundamental steps for consensus-building into your projects in order to avoid many of these challenges in the first place, as well as how to respond to resistance and conflict when it inevitably happens.

    Bobbi Nance

    Recreation Results

    Bobbi is the President of Recreation Results. Recognized as a national leader in performance measurement and innovation, she partners with parks & recreation agencies across North America to help them find value in their data, streamline processes, and focus on the 'why' instead of the 'what.' Bobbi has 15 years of experience working in the field of parks and recreation and has been featured in national magazines, blogs, and podcasts, and presents workshops across North America where she is known for breaking down complex and buzzwordy concepts into approachable and practical advice that participants can put to use right away.