NRPA to Focus on Positioning Parks and Recreation for Success at Annual Congress

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Education and Research Sessions to Focus on Navigating Today’s Economic Uncertainties and Communicating the Importance of Parks and Recreation for American Life

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We hope our 2010 Congress education and research sessions will open attendees’ minds to new innovations and new ways of doing things, so they can secure valuable public support and make their communities thriving places to live.

Throughout the United States, park and recreation agencies are experiencing overwhelming obstacles as local and state budgets are cut, and decision makers reallocate scarce resources. At the 2010 Annual Congress & Exposition in Minneapolis, Minn., Oct. 25-29, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) will provide education and learning opportunities for thousands of attendees to learn how to cope with today’s economic uncertainties, and communicate to the public the essential nature of parks and recreation for local communities.

Today, there are 105,000 public park and recreation areas in the U.S., which provide vital services related to health, physical fitness, nutrition, economic development and conservation for 300 million people.

“America is experiencing some of the hardest times we’ve ever had before. From economic, to social, to environmental, our local communities have had to face many challenges. Yet, through it all, parks and recreation remain essential to our healthy existence on earth,” said NRPA CEO Barbara Tulipane. “We hope our 2010 Congress education and research sessions will open attendees’ minds to new innovations and new ways of doing things, so they can secure valuable public support and make their communities thriving places to live.”

A sampling of the 2010 NRPA Congress Educational Sessions and Highlights include:

Justifying Parks and Recreation to Elected Officials -- Part 1
Presentation of two new white papers developed to provide scientific evidence about the role of parks and trees in improving air quality, and on measuring the economic impact of special events, tournaments and parks. (Oct. 27, 2-5:15 p.m.)

Justifying Parks and Recreation to Elected Officials -- Part 2
Presentation of three new white papers developed to provide scientific evidence about the role of parks in stimulating physical activity, in alleviating stress and crime, and the contributions of recreation to youth development. (Oct. 28, 2-5:15 p.m.)

Beyond Slogans/Taglines: Ingredients to Build Awareness and Attract Media
Discover what makes awareness campaigns successful and learn low-cost tips to build greater awareness and attract favorable media attention. (Oct. 26, 3:30-4:45 p.m.)

Proximity Principle: The Impact of Parks on Property Values
Review the central role the Proximity Principle played in the formative years of urban park development and the scientific evidence which confirms this relationship. (Oct. 28, 10:15-11:30 a.m.)

Repositioning Parks and Recreation as Essential -- A National Effort
Discover how parks and recreation receives a one percent budget increase while other departments suffer a 12 percent cut, and learn strategic actions to position parks and recreation as essential. (Oct. 28, 2-5:15 p.m.)

“Cut to the Core!” Effectively Managing Budget Cuts, Reductions and Downsizing
Identify strategies to effectively manage budget cuts, service reductions and layoffs as a result of the economic recession and reduced general fund revenues. (Oct. 28, 3:45-5 p.m.)

Implementing Efficiency Measures to Achieve Financial Stability
Learn about what components of an organization need to be evaluated to create a financially-stable park and recreation system. (Oct. 29, 8:30-10:45 a.m.)

Five Key Areas for Revenue Sustainability
Learn how to better align processes with revenue sustainability through five key areas: price and program development, facility operations, business services, marketing and sponsorships. (Oct. 29, 10:15-11:30 a.m.)

Other Session Titles Include:

  • Building Blocks: Developing Strong Youth Volunteers
  • What Are Parks Worth to Communities: Beyond Fees and Programs
  • Combating Gang Violence by Combining Communities
  • Don’t Play Poker with Tax Dollars, But Leverage Your Funding
  • Building Livable Communities through Parks and Recreation
  • Playing for Keeps: The Essential Nature of Play for All!
  • Sustainable Landscapes: A New Environmental Ethic

Browse this year’s education sessions or access a preliminary program with highlights online at http://www.nrpa.org/congress .

The 2010 NRPA Congress & Exposition takes place Oct. 25-29, 2010, at the Minneapolis Convention Center, in Minneapolis, Minn. For detailed information about Congress, go to http://www.nrpa.org/congress .

*Media/Press Registration: All accredited media can register for the 2010 Congress by contacting Amy Kapp at 703.858.2151 or akapp(at)nrpa(dot)org. For press information, go to http://www.nrpa.org/2010congressmedia .

About the NRPA Annual Congress & Exposition
NRPA’s annual Congress & Exposition brings together 5,000 park and recreation professionals, citizen advocates, industry partners, suppliers and key policymakers for a five-day event, highlighted by the keynote presentation, educational sessions, a tradeshow of 400 exhibitors, the community service project Leave It Better, the annual 5K for Parks and Recreation, certification courses, workshops, special events and social/networking activities. For detailed information, go to http://www.nrpa.org/congress .

About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national, not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of 20,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy lifestyles, recreation initiatives, and conservation of natural and cultural resources. For more information, visit http://www.nrpa.org . For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit http://www.parksandrec-magazine.org .

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