NRPA to Focus On Connecting Communities At 2010 Congress & Exposition

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Thousands to Gather in Minneapolis, Minn., in Late October, for New and Innovative Research, Cutting-Edge Education Sessions, and the Nation’s Largest Park and Recreation Trade Show

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) will “connect communities” at the 2010 Congress & Exposition in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 25-29, 2010. The NRPA Congress is one of the nation’s premiere gatherings for parks and recreation, providing a one-stop training and development venue combined with cutting-edge education and research sessions, distinguished keynotes, the largest trade show in the field and valuable networking opportunities.

Today, there are more than 100,000 public park and recreation areas in the United States, which provide vital services for millions of people related to health, physical fitness, nutrition, economic development and conservation. At Congress, thousands of attendees will have the opportunity to form lasting bonds, and share new ideas and innovations to position parks and recreation as essential to American life.

Kicking off Congress on Wednesday (Oct. 27, 9:30 a.m. to noon, Minneapolis Convention Center, Main Auditorium) is Opening General Session keynote speaker Dr. Roch Parayre, a scenario-planning expert who will discuss “Blue Ocean Strategy,” offering advice to park and recreation professionals on how to distinguish their services—and find blue waters of new market space.

During a special press conference on Thursday (Oct. 28, noon to 1 p.m., Minneapolis Convention Center, Room E101), Distinguished Professor Dr. John Crompton of Texas A&M University will present five new white papers—developed by Crompton and a team of experts in the field—which will provide new evidence on the impact of parks and recreation to local communities related to economics and tourism, physical activity, youth delinquency and development, environmental quality and healthy human habitats.

Throughout the week, attendees will have access to hundreds of education sessions, unique social events, and a trade show featuring more than 350 exhibitors (Oct. 26, noon to 6 p.m., and Oct. 27-28, noon to 5 p.m., Exhibit Halls B, C). Other highlights include NRPA’s annual “Leave It Better” community service project (Oct. 26, 8 a.m. to noon, North Loop Neighborhood), where volunteers will construct an urban riverfront park; and, the 2010 5K for Parks and Recreation (Oct. 27, 7:30 a.m., Lake Harriet Bandstand) kicked off by father/daughter team Sunshine and O'Neal from The Biggest Loser® Season 9.

*Media/Press Registration: Most events take place in the Minneapolis Convention Center (1301 Second Ave. South, Minneapolis, MN, 55403). All accredited media can register for the 2010 Congress by contacting Amy Kapp at 703.858.2151 or akapp@nrpa.org. Media may also register on site at the Congress Press Room, B202, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Upon arrival at the Convention Center, NRPA asks that all media representatives check in to receive press badges and kits. During Congress Week, inquiries (including requests to speak with NRPA leadership and program directors) should be directed to Amy Kapp at 484.343.1652. For detailed information about Congress, go to http://www.nrpa.org/2010congressmedia.

2010 NRPA CONGRESS & EXPOSITION HIGHLIGHTS (http://www.nrpa.org/congress)

Press Conference to Present Five New Park and Recreation Research Studies
During a special press conference on Thursday (Oct. 28, noon to 1 p.m., Minneapolis Convention Center, Room E101), Distinguished Professor Dr. John Crompton of Texas A&M University and mayor pro tem, City of College Station, will present five new white papers—developed by Crompton and a team of experts in the field—which will provide new evidence on the impact of parks and recreation to local communities related to economics and tourism, physical activity, youth delinquency and development, environmental quality and healthy human habitat.

“Leave It Better” Community Service Project
On the morning of Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, from 8 a.m. to Noon, individuals from around the U.S. will join residents of Minneapolis, Minn., in the North Loop Neighborhood to create an urban riverfront park and saw-mill themed playground on the Mississippi River as part of NRPA’s annual “Leave It Better” community service project.

5K for Parks and Recreation
On Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, at 7:30 a.m., Congress attendees from around the U.S. will join Minneapolis residents for NRPA’s 5K Fun Run/Walk for Parks and Recreation. Father-daughter team Sunshine and O’Neal from The Biggest Loser® Season 9 will kick off the event. Online Registration is open until Thursday, Oct. 22, 2010, 11:59 p.m. CT. Fee is $30. For more information, e-mail friends(at)nrpa(dot)org. Participants can register at: http://www.active.com/running/minneapolis-mn/5k-for-parks-and-recreation-2010.

Opening General Session: Blue Ocean Strategy
Kicking off Congress on Wednesday, Oct. 27, 2010, from 9:30 a.m. to noon, in the Minneapolis Convention Center Main Auditorium, is Opening General Session keynote speaker Dr. Roch Parayre, a scenario-planning expert who will discuss “Blue Ocean Strategy.” Parayre will offer advice to park and recreation professionals on how to distinguish their services and find blue waters of new market space.

General Session: Repositioning – The Key to an Agency’s Viable Future
On Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, from 8:30 to 9:45 a.m., in the Minneapolis Convention Center Main Auditorium, Dr. John Crompton, distinguished professor, Texas A&M University and mayor pro tem, City of College Station, will present information from a number of researchers describing the scientific evidence that advocates can use to justify the benefits the field delivers, relating to the influence of parks on property values, youth development, physical activity, environmental quality and economic development.

Park and Recreation Trade Show
This year’s trade show will feature products and services of more than 350 exhibitors. The Exhibit Halls (B and C) will be open Tuesday, Oct. 26, noon to 6 p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 27, noon to 5 p.m.; and Thursday, Oct. 28, noon to 5 p.m. For detailed information and floor plans, go to http://www.nrpa.org/congress.

Education and Research
Congress provides hundreds of education and learning opportunities through interest areas specifically tailored to parks and recreation. Browse this year’s education sessions or access a preliminary program with highlights online at http://www.nrpa.org/congress.

Welcome Party
The Welcome Party takes place on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2010, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Minneapolis’ nationally-recognized Guthrie Theater. Overlooking the Mississippi River, the Guthrie offers breath-taking views of St. Anthony Falls, the Stone Arch Bridge, the new 35W Bridge and Mills Ruins Park.

Closing Party
Attendees will celebrate their Congress experiences at the closing party at Target Field on Thursday, Oct. 28, 2010, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The closing party is designed to be a high-energy, fun-filled recreational experience.

Media Contact:
Amy Kapp
National Recreation and Park Association
703.858.2151 (office)/484.343.1652 (mobile)
akapp(at)nrpa(dot)org

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