A celebration worthy of a 50-year anniversary took place in Las Vegas, Nev., Sept. 15–17.
National Parks and Recreation Association professionals converged on the Entertainment Capital of the World to take their skills up a notch and explore new ideas in everything from creativity-stimulating playground structures to meeting the changing programming needs and expectations of the public.
Attendees heard from Richard Singer of the National Golf Foundation, for example, that one of the keys to reversing a slight downward trend in municipal golf course revenues is to focus on increasing participation in the sport by minorities, whose population and buying power are both still rising. Another of the dozens of implementable education sessions discussed how an audit or formal review or assessment of aquatic staff motivates, educates and prepares them to manage a potential catastrophic event.
Keynote speaker Gil Penalosa, founder and chairman of the 8 80 Cities movement, spoke about how parks promote vibrant and healthy cities: proving that the NRPA founding ideal of “A place where everybody could play” is no less relevant now than it was 50 years ago at the organization’s inception.
Health and wellness, conservation and social equity, the three pillars of the NRPA’s mission, were affirmed during the conference’s celebration of its 50th anniversary. It was a fitting celebration in an appropriate location.
Photos by Chris Smith and NRPA