Do you need a great idea to jump start participation in your parks and recreation programs?
“Great Ideas Start Here” is the theme of the 2014 National Recreation and Parks Association conference, happening Oct. 14–16 in Charlotte, N.C. Whether you’d like to pick the brain of a fellow parks and recreation professional, hear about new programs that are sparking public interest or learn how to navigate a potential public-private partnership, this annual gathering will have the answer.
This year a trio of presenters will address the general conference in a keynote panel discussion about initiatives that have positively impacted communities:
- Attorney Robert Garcia, founding director and counsel of The City Project. Garcia works to engage, educate and empower communities to achieve public access to resources
- Actor Wendell Pierce, native New Orleander. Pierce created Ponchartrain Park Development Corp. to build 500 affordable and environmentally friendly homes.
- Dr. Maya Rockeymoore, president and CEO of the Center for Global Policy Solutions. Rockeymoore’s expertise includes health, social insurance, income security, education, women’s issues and youth civic participation.
Pre-congress workshops and off-site institutes, scheduled Saturday through Tuesday, will offer the opportunity to take certification exams; attend a grant-writing workshop; learn about the partnerships, challenges and opportunities presented by the Latta Plantation Nature Preserve in Huntersville; and tour the Daniel Stow Botanical Garden to hear how its staff used flowers for revenue and recreation. Among the success stories that will be celebrated is the latest Parks Build Community project in Lincoln Heights — the Lincoln Heights Neighborhood Park of Charlotte — Thursday, Oct. 16.
The dozens of planned education sessions are divided into 10 relevant tracks: citizen/advocacy; employee/volunteer management; environmental stewardship; healthy lifestyles; leadership and management; planning, design and maintenance; professional development; public relations/marketing; recreation programming; revenue/customer service; and sports. Twenty “speed sessions” will also take place from 11:30 a.m.-noon, and another 20 from 12:30 p.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday on diverse subjects, including musical playgrounds, volunteer outreach and energizing a parks organization and building lifelong “customers.”
Opportunities to discuss the material and how to apply it will be afforded during social events, including a golf tournament; exhibit hall tailgate; opening party; Best of the Best ceremony; 5K fun run/walk; and a closing reception.
For registration forms and all other conference information, visit www.nrpa.org/congress2014.
Not able to travel to Charlotte? Join your colleagues and listen to presenters live via Virtual Congress Live. Registration is required: www.prolibraries.com/nrpa/events/congress2014/event