New England Parks Association Helps Recreation Professionals Calculate Value of Community Parks

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This parks and recreation-focused learning experience is supported by the Landscape Structures scholarship program.

Landscape Structures Inc., a Delano, Minn.-based commercial playground equipment manufacturer, along with its Massachusetts playground consultant, M.E. O’Brien & Sons, Inc., will exhibit at the New England Parks Association (NEPA) Fall Conference, Sept. 11-13, in West Dennis. The conference will feature Peter Harnik, director of the Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence, as the keynote speaker. This learning experience was made possible through the 2012-2013 State Association Speaker Scholarship program from Landscape Structures.

Harnik’s keynote address will discuss how to calculate the value that a parks system brings to cities and its residents. While many community members love parks because of the recreational opportunities that they provide, many people—including some mayors and city council members—rank the value of parks based on dollars in versus dollars out. That’s why the Trust for Public Land collaborated with prominent economists to devise a sophisticated system to measure the economic value that a park system brings to a city, including property value, health value, environmental value and more. This session will share how it’s done and what it shows.

This 60-minute session will be presented at 1:15 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 11. Following Harnik’s session, delegates can learn about playground maintenance and safety in a session at 2:30 p.m. hosted by John McConkey, market insights manager at Landscape Structures. Additionally, attendees will have another opportunity to hear from Harnik on Thursday, Sept. 12, at 9 a.m.

About Landscape Structures Inc.
Since 1971, Landscape Structures Inc. has been the leading manufacturer of commercial playground equipment in the world. The employee-owned company is committed to creating a better world by encouraging outdoor activities that develop healthy kids, families and communities. Landscape Structures designs better playgrounds that welcome all ages and abilities, become signature gathering spaces for communities and offer the most innovative play experiences. The company’s mission from day one has been to enhance children’s lives by fostering and creating inspiring play experiences while honoring the environment.

About M.E. O’Brien & Sons, Inc.
Family operated, M.E. O’Brien & Sons, Inc. is the leading supplier of outdoor recreation equipment in New England. Founded in 1929, the company continues to provide customers with high-quality equipment at competitive prices and with the top-notch service they deserve. A third generation of the O’Brien family is now providing the same quality as prior leadership, and they’re constantly striving to ensure the name will be associated only with the finest manufacturers, and caring, courteous service to clients backed by undeviating integrity. O’Brien & Sons understands that the endurance of a company depends on how well it regards its customers. They require value, quality, responsiveness, courtesy and fairness, and its products and service reflect that fact.

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Katie Kava
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