Weekly News From PA Recreation & Park Society

Source: Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society

Park & Recreation Month Begins on Friday, July 1 and Park & Recreation Professionals (PRP) Day is July 15

Our favorite month is almost here! It’s time to highlight the hard work each of you do in your communities. Join us on July 15 as we celebrate our fourth annual Park & Recreation Professionals Day. Be sure to check out the toolkit for everything you need to celebrate and promote this day in your community. Get involved by downloading the toolkit today! 

Local Officials’ Perceived Importance of Parks and Recreation during COVID-19

In our last post, we highlighted Pennsylvanians’ perceptions of parks and recreation as an essential community service through early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We also discussed why people agreed or disagreed that parks and recreation were essential. 

In this post, we share the perspectives of local elected and appointed officials regarding the importance of parks and recreation during the COVID-19 era. Local officials make important community budget and policy decisions. They have to weigh alternatives for allocating scarce dollars to direct toward important community priorities. Are parks and recreations essential and are they a budgetary priority for local officials? 

A recently completed PRPS-Penn State study of local officials in Pennsylvania found that a majority (78%) felt parks and recreation were important to their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.  Several factors were significantly associated with the importance officials placed upon parks and recreation. For example, parks and recreation were regarded as most important to officials when…
-they felt parks and recreation address priority issues facing their particular community
-they or their families personally used park and recreation facilities/services
-their communities were very vocal in their support of parks and recreation
-they had a good working relationship with their park and recreation director/leader

How important were park and recreation services to your local officials throughout the COVID-19 pandemic? What factors do you think relate to local officials’ prioritizing parks and recreation?  In our next and final post of this series, we share findings related effective park and recreation advocacy strategies. Stay tuned…

Congratulations to French Creek being named PA’s River of the Year

The creek received the award back in February following public voting, but an event formally recognizing the river occurred on June 11.

“The River of the Year highlights Pennsylvania’s amazing waterways annually and we are excited to recognize French Creek as the 2022 winner,” Dunn said.

French Creek is one of the most biologically diverse waterways of its size in the United States. It meanders 117 miles from its headwaters in southern New York through four Pennsylvania counties to the Allegheny River. As part of the award, the French Creek Valley Conservancy (FCVC) received a $10,000 Leadership Grant to help fund a slate of year-long 2022 River of the Year activities.

NRPA/Penn State Survey Opportunity

This survey is a follow-up to the PRPS study from last year focusing more on the finances and innovation.

Parks and recreation is a vital part of a successful and thriving community. This was never more evident during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic era. However, many park and recreation organizations have faced challenges in serving their communities through this time period. NRPA is collaborating with Penn State’s Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management to conduct a survey to better understand your organization’s experiences and activities during the pandemic. 

This survey addresses the following topics through the COVID-19 era: Agency Funding Levels, Visitation and Participation Trends, Organizational Innovation, Partnerships and Organizational Responsibilities, Advocacy Efforts  

Learning about your experiences and activities throughout this time frame will help guide the profession forward. Please complete this important survey by Friday, July 15, 2022. Results will be published in a future issue of Parks & Recreation magazine and a brief report that will be available online early this fall.   

Last Chance to Submit a Session Proposal for the TRI Deadline: June 30

The Therapeutic Recreation Institute (TRI) will be held in-person on October 5-7 in State College, PA. Back in Action is our theme for this year’s TRI and we welcome proposals that help our professionals learn, innovate and thrive.

Complete this interest form and return it to either Conference co-chairs Brittney Sarnese bsarnese@srcare.org or Dan Hendey danh@prps.org.

Training Opportunities

Fall Swimming Pool Workshops Registration Opens July 1

  • Pool Recertification – Mechanicsburg (Sept 6) & Pool 101 & Exam (Sept 21)
  • Pool Recertification – Plymouth Mtg. (Sept 20) & Pool 101 & Exam (Sept 21)
  • Online Recertification (Sept 28)

PMI Shop Talk: Sustainable Operations (.1 CEU)
July 14, 2022

Sustainability plans look great in theory, but what do they look like in practice? We invited Stephanie Lucas, Deputy Director of Horticulture and Operations from the Madison Square Park Conservancy in New York, NY, and Chris Lindgren, Superintendent of Parks & Planning from the Park District of Oak Park in Oak Park, IL to share experience and insights. Conversation during this session of Shop Talk will focus on sustainable operations in action, highlight success stories, and discuss some of the teachable moments that arise in during plan implementation.

PRPS Events & Roundtables

Leadership Academy Applications Open (July 1)

PMI Shop Talk: Sustainable Operations (July 14)

Park & Recreation Professionals Day (July 15)

Directors & Supervisors Roundtable (DSR) (August 24)

Fall Swimming Pool Recertification – Mechanicsburg (Sept 6) & Swimming Pool 101 & Exam (Sept 21)

Fall Swimming Pool Recertification – Plymouth Mtg. (Sept 20) & Pool 101 & Exam (Sept 21)

Fall Online Recertification (Sept 28)

Healthy Lands Week (Sept 24-Oct 2)

D3 Golf Tournament (Sept 30)

NAYS Frontline Staff Training (Oct 19)

CPSI – Delaware Valley Trusts (Nov 30 – Dec 2)Visit our Calendar! Feel free to share!

Other Events

Park & Recreation Month (July)

The Economic Impacts of Outdoor Recreation, A Conversation with Nathan Reigner (July 19)

International Rangers Day (Jul 31)

Park Foundation School (August 21-25)Leave No Trace Trainer Course (Sept 15-16)