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Today SUMMER 2011



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A Welcome Losing Streak A Healthy Order for Concession Stands Discovering Kansas Parks

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In communities all across the state, local park and recreation agencies and state parks are providing resources that make a significant impact on improving the lifestyles of Kansans.

KRPA Today - • 1


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Our Mission

President’s Message.................................................... 5

To advance park and recreation opportunities that enhance the quality of life through education, communication and advocacy.

Around KANSAS........................................................ 6

Kansas Recreation & Park Association

What’s Inside............................................................... 4

Working Together for a Healthy Community........ 9

Our Vision The Kansas Recreation and Park Association is THE SOURCE for information which advances parks and recreation in the State of Kansas and beyond. An affiliate of the National Recreation and Park Association Kansas Recreation and Park Association 700 SW Jackson St. Suite 805, Topeka, Kansas 66603 785-235-6533

KRPA Board of Directors President - Mike Buchanan (Manhattan) President-Elect - Ernie Shaw (Lawrence) Past President - Jill Geller (Johnson County) Secretary/Treasurer - Connie Smith (Emporia) Aquatics Branch - Ted Nelson (Hutchinson) Park Law Enforcement Branch - Josh DeHoux (KDWP) Therapeutic Recreation - Annette Deghand (Lawrence) Park and Natural Resources - Logan Wagler (Lenexa) Recreation Branch - Nathan Nogelmeier (Fairway)

Members At Large West - John Washington (Garden City) Central - Brian Bascue (Newton) East - Brandy Shoemaker (Ottawa)

Committees/Ex Officio Awards - Connie Smith (Emporia) Citizens - Bob Johnson, Jr. (Blue Valley) Colleges and Universities - Clint Longacre (Emporia) Conference Planning - Ernie Shaw (Lawrence) Professional Development - Steve Herrig (Blue Valley) Public Policy - John Knight (Shawnee County) Youth Sports - Brent Peintner (Cheney) KDWP - Linda Lanterman (Pratt) Parliamentarian - Steve Friend (Baldwin)

Editorial Staff Managing Editor - Doug Vance Contributing Staff - Bonnie Simon, Cathy Ziegler

Rocking the Half....................................................... 12 KRPA Partnership with the Arthritis Foundation................................................ 13 A Welcome Losing Streak........................................ 14 The First Step is Always the Hardest..................... 17 Kansas Aviation Youth Camp................................. 21 Creative Exercise Program for Women Suffering with Cancer, Chronic Disease .............. 18 A Healthy Order for Concession Stands.......... 18-19 KRPA Recommendations on Healthy Food and Beverage Sales at Concession Stands........ 19-20 Discovering Kansas Parks....................................... 22

Advertisers Bell Structural Solutions.......................................... 17 Emporia Chamber & Visitors Bureau...................... 7 Future Pro Inc............................................ Back Cover G. Farney & Associates.............................................. 3 Pernsteiner Creative Group, Inc............................. 24 Sterling West................................................................ 2 Please support our advertisers, they make this publication possible. For information on advertising, contact Todd Pernsteiner at (877) 694-1999 or

Editorial Committee Chair - Chris Claxton (Leawood) Randy Knight (Johnson County) Roger Steinbrock (Lawrence) John Washington (Garden City) Brian Bascue (Newton) Brandy Shoemaker (Ottawa) This magazine is the official quarterly publication of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association and is provided complimentary as part of membership in KRPA. The editorial committee encourages the submission of articles and photos for publication. Articles of approximately 1000 words or less may be submitted, but may be edited for length and clarity.

Deadlines for articles, photos and advertising: Fall - September 15, 2011 Spring - April 15, 2011

Winter - December 15, 2011 Summer - June 15, 2011

KRPA reserves the right to approve all advertising in Kansas Recreation and Park Association. All requests for advertising should be made to Todd Pernsteiner, Account Manager, at 952-841-1111 or Cover photo: GameTime, A PlayCore Company

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KRPA Today - • 3

What’s Inside By Doug Vance, KRPA Executive Director

We Want Everyone in Kansas to Go Play! Sometimes a partnership between two organizations offers minimal results and other times it evolves into something highly productive. The collaborative agreement between KRPA and GoPlayKansas qualifies as one of those working relationships that’s on the cusp of evolving into something meaningful for anyone in Kansas who has an interest in promoting or participating in active lifestyles in our state. The leadership of KRPA and GoPlayKansas have teamed together to help enhance a unique and informative website. Collectively, the two organizations will be better positioned to seek the needed funding support that allows us to offer the resources that make this site complete and significant to encouraging outdoor activities around the state. Launched in 2009 as a go-to-guide for everything outdoors, visitors can go to and find interactive maps and more information about how to locate bike paths, trails, parks with playgrounds and a list of park amenities. In addition, visitors can read blogs written by local recreation enthusiasts, post comments and sign up to receive more information. Designed to promote healthy lifestyles among Kansans, GoPlay Kansas makes finding parks and recreation options throughout the state easy, so families, friends, groups and individuals can get outside and “go play.” The site also offers a list of activities that can be used to get kids outside and active.

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We take great pride in being a partner in the GoPlayKansas website and what it offers. At this point, there is no online site in any other state that provides the GIS (geographic information systems) data that you find at GoPlayKansas. Residents in Kansas or visitors to our state now have an effective tool that gives them direction to find the nearest trail – with information that breaks down the type of trail – plus recreation or leisure facilities in all parts of the state. We want people to be outside and be active. According to a 2010 Kaiser Family Foundation study, our children today are spending an average of 7.5 hours a day in front of electronic equipment. This website gives focus to that issue and points parents into the direction of outdoor facilities that are important in the battle to get children and adults outside and active. This site – which you can find via a link on both the KRPA website and the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks website - is possible because of generous funding support from organizations like the Sunflower Foundation. It’s also because of the ongoing commitment and dedication of Kansas State University professor Sid Stevenson who invested many hours to map the state’s trails and compiled the original RecFinder dataset with help from KRPA member agencies, on which GoPlayKansas is based. In addition, this site was born because of the vision of people like Nicole Howerton (Howerton & White) and her partners from Visioneering Wichita who wanted to see an online resource for finding outdoor recreation.

NRPA is now developing a national online data base of local park resources through a program called PRORAGIS, that will be designed for public park and recreation agencies to provide interactive mapping and analysis tools. The statistics being gathered through PRORAGIS will offer broad yardsticks for an agency to measure their operations against others or compare themselves to the industry norm. Several of our agencies have already started or completed the delivery of data for PRORAGIS. We recommend your participation in the NRPA call for agencies across the nation to enter data into the PRORAGIS system. If you wish to enroll your agency in the PRORAGIS program, please remember that KRPA has already compiled your GIS data for you. Early in July, KRPA will email you the latest RecFinder dataset. It will already be in the NRPA format, so it will be a cinch for you to upload. There are some differences between the Kansas model and the NRPA model so look for instructions coming with the data. It is a time consuming process, but a worthy investment. In the meantime, take pride in the fact that Kansas is the only state that already has an online GIS resource tool in place. There are some wonderful opportunities in local and state parks across our state. GoPlay is not just the name of a website, but a concept we want everyone to embrace and promote in your local community. We encourage you and others to find a facility of interest and turn off your computer, put down your magazine… and “Go Play!”

Perspective By Mike Buchanan, KRPA President, Manhattan Parks and Recreation

“...those few minutes spent at my window opened my eyes a bit. Even though I don’t need to see it to believe it, I learned to appreciate all the good things that happen at MPRD.” A View from My Window A major theme of this issue of KRPA Today is the influence that parks and recreation has on healthy lifestyles. In another feature in this edition, you can read a number of quotes from various customers around the state, all supporting that theme. Having these sentiments presented in written form is a great way to spread the message, and a very powerful means of support. Nevertheless, for many folks seeing is believing. I think I have a solution for them. Recently, I happened to be looking out of my office window and the view ignited a thought process. Our department is housed in a converted parks maintenance facility that – at the time of its renovation 29 years ago – was temporary. We’re still here, and while our facility may not be the Taj Mahal (I’d say more like the Garage Mahal), we are located smack-dab in the middle of our City Park. From my vantage point at that window, I can see a fairly wide area of the park, which is often filled with summer activities. On this day, after several minutes of observation, it hit me – if you need to see it to believe it, there’s no better place! From my window, I can see two young men – probably high schoolers – working to prepare a ball diamond for evening games. It’s morning - warm and muggy - and the field is full of puddles. It takes discipline, teamwork, dedication, and old fashioned hard work to prepare the field so that kids can play their games tonight. I’d say those are fairly decent traits for leading a healthy lifestyle…not to mention while earning a paycheck. They are just two of over 400 seasonal workers hired during the summer, all contributing to provide positive activities to our citizen.

From my window, I see the City Park jogging trail. Within minutes, I see several joggers, two bicyclists, three dog-walkers, some skater dudes, and a couple of moms with their strollers. Obviously, all of them – two legged, four legged, two wheeled, and four wheeled - are taking advantage of the parks amenity to stay active and fit. From my window, I see a group of youngsters in the Little Apple Day Camp. They are sitting with their counselor in a circle in the grass, eating Granny Smith apples and telling stories. Laughter is abundant. They probably don’t even realize how beneficial good food and laughter are for total overall health. From my window, across the way, I see the City Park aquatic complex. The parking lot is full – it’s a good crowd, as expected for a warm summer day. Obviously, spending time at the pool is a great way to beat the summer heat. That’s obvious. What’s not so apparent are the other attributes gained by swimming, slipping, sliding, splashing, spraying, socializing, sunning, surfing (yep, we have one of those), snorkeling, somersaulting, and sinking (hey, it happens). It’s super! From my window, I see another group of summer Day Camp youngsters engaged in a human-chain activity. They are trying to figure out how to untangle themselves without letting go of each other’s hands. I remember doing this during a session at last year’s conference – it wasn’t easy! It takes teamwork, communication, and more than a little effort. These are all more aspects of a healthy lifestyle. From my window, I notice the stage crew busily attending to details associated with setting up the outdoor stage for tonight’s Municipal Band concert. We’ll have a good

crowd for that, too – we always do. With so many of our programs centered on active participation – ballgames, camps, pools, etc. – the relevance of passive recreational activities often becomes an after-thought. I can’t think of a better symbol of summer than relaxing in your bag-chair, under the shade of cottonwood trees, listening to your favorite music. Stress reducing? Absolutely. And not just for the audience – the band members feel it, too! From my window, I see a gathering of employees from our forestry crew. They are surveying one of those cottonwoods trees, devising a plan for trimming and pruning several limbs damaged in a recent storm. I wonder to myself – how many people out there even realize that they’re a part of our Parks & Recreation Department? Most folks probably understand the importance of trees in maintaining a healthy atmosphere. Are those same folks even aware of the significant role that Parks & Recreation plays in taking care of all those trees? Forestry crew = healthy trees = clean air = healthy lifestyle. I believe those few minutes spent at my window opened my eyes a bit. Even though I don’t need to see it to believe it, I learned to appreciate all the good things that happen at MPRD. I’m sure it’s the same way with park and recreation professionals all over the state. If our own perceptions are enhanced, then imagine how revealing it could be to those we serve! We’re good, and we know it…it’s time to get others to our windows so they can see it.

KRPA Today - • 5

Around KANSAS “Around KANSAS” highlights KRPA member events, news, people and more. To contribute to this section, please send a 125 word or less article and photos to Doug Vance at KRPA.

Richard Louv Headlines Built Environment and the Outdoor Summit

In addition, Barry Weiss, retired director of parks and recreation for the City of San Carlos, Calif., will also serve as a keynote speaker along with Paul Zykofsky, a member of the Complete Streets Coalition. The event features two days of education with topics ranging from the built environment, trails, nutrition and how to influence active lifestyles. Registration information will be made available in the near future.

Two Additional Webinars Planned

KRPA will also host a webinar – “Leading A Culture of Service Excellence” – featuring Dennis Snow on Sept. 8 (10 am – 11:30 am) at a cost of $25.

6 • KRPA Today -

distinguished Flying Cross for this heroic feat. Sweeney is also a former athlete at Washburn University. “That’s How We Roll” has been selected as the theme of the 2012 conference with social events planned including a roller skate social event, poker tournament and a post-trade show Rock and Roll dance event. The opening day of the conference has been designated as “Legends Day at KRPA” as KRPA Hall of Famers and retired professionals will be invited back and honored. The annual awards lunch has been moved from the last day (Friday) to Thursday. The last day of the conference will serve as “Advocacy Day” with special educational event and tour of the state capitol scheduled as the final event of the conference. Look for a list of breakout sessions and more details in the fall edition of KRPA Today.

2012 BlueCHIP Award Categories Expanded



The fund development webinar is scheduled for Oct. 10 (10 am – 11:15 am) at a cost of $10 and the youth sports webinar is set for Aug. 24 (1:30 – 2:45 pm) also at a cost of $10. To register for any of the KRPA webinars or learn other details, visit

The keynote speaker will be Lt. Colonel Kevin Sweeney, a decorated combat pilot, business executive, author, keynote speaker and former collegiate Lt. Colonel athlete. Lt. Colonel Kevin Sweeney Sweeney is the only person to have landed a KC-135 (military version of the Boeing 707), after the two engines on his left wing were ripped off in flight during a night combat mission during Desert Storm. He and his team were awarded the United States Air Force


The KRPA lineup of educational webinars will include two fall events pertaining to a “Alternative Fund Development Program” featuring Barry Weiss and “Effectively Managing and Overseeing Youth Sports Coaches” featuring John Engh of the National Alliance for Youth Sports.

The 2012 KRPA Conference and Trade Show Planning Committee has been busy finalizing many details for next year’s conference, scheduled for Jan. 24-27 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel in Topeka.



Highly acclaimed journalist and author of eight books, Richard Louv, will be the featured speaker at the annual Built Environment and the Outdoor Summit, scheduled for Oct. 5-6 at the Holiday Inn in Lawrence. Louv, a graduate of the University of Kansas, will speak at 7:pm. on Oct. 5 at the Lawrence Arts Center. He is the author of the national best-seller, Last Child in the Woods, which helped spur national dialogue of the issue of connecting children with nature.

“That’s How We Roll” – 2012 KRPA Conference and Trade Show




Four Kansas communities will each win $2,500 in early 2012 to further promote health and wellness programs in their communities as Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas (BCBSKS) and Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) have agreed to renew and expand the BlueCHIP® community health improvement program.


BlueCHIP awards recognize and reward Kansas communities who encourage and support healthy lifestyles through programs, initiatives, policies and/or community-wide events. The inaugural winners of BlueCHIP awards were announced this past February at the KRPA annual conference in Wichita. The winning communities were Grinnell (Gove County, in the small community category); Hutchinson (Reno County, medium community) and, Lawrence (Douglas County, large community). For the 2011 awards program, there are two categories – Small Community (30,000 or few residents) and Large Community (30,001 or more residents) with two winners picked from each category for a total of four awardees. Each winning community will receive $2,500 from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. Applications for the 2011 awards program are available at The deadline to submit applications is November 1. The four winners of the BlueCHIP awards will be presented at the 2012 KRPA annual conference in Topeka.

Governor Proclaims July as Parks and Recreation Month in Kansas Kansas Governor Sam Brownback has joined with the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) in declaring July as Parks and Recreation Month in Kansas and wants all citizens to join in the celebration. July has been designated as National Park and Recreation Month by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) since 1985 as recreation facilities and parks across the country kick-off summer programs, promote outdoor physical activities, and pull together community volunteers to make outdoor space a better place for all. Spending a day at the park is not only a great and affordable activity for everyone, but it’s also a health benefit. Frequently going to a park and being active can reduce stress, improve cardiovascular health, help ward off obesity and decrease feelings of depression. Playing in parks also helps children build and maintain healthy bones, muscles, and joints, improve self-esteem, and avoid atrisk behavior such as drug use and gang involvement. Park and Recreation Month in Kansas also recognizes the contributions of employees and volunteers throughout the state who assist in creating and maintaining public parks and recreation facilities. These dedicated supports ensure that public parks and recreation facilities are safe and accessible places for all citizens to enjoy.

Had enough of big city life? Surrounded by the blue skies and open prairie of the Kansas Flint Hills, Emporia is the place to get away from it all. Catch live music or a movie at our historic Granada Theatre, visit our award winning chocolate shop, or enjoy a peaceful round of golf. For a real adventure, head out and explore the Flint Hills. On Kansas Governor Sam Brownback (seated) is joined by (from the left) KRPA Executive Director Doug Vance, John Knight (Shawnee County), Ernie Shaw (Lawrence), Annette Deghand (Lawrence), Mike Buchanan (Manhattan), Jill Geller (Johnson County) and Terry Bertels (Topeka) in signing the proclamation declaring July as Parks and Recreation Month in Kansas.

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g n i t a e Cr

y h t l a e H s e l y t s e Lif

In communitie s all across th e state, local and recreatio park n agencies an d state parks a providing res re ources that m ake a signific impact on im ant proving the li festyles of Ka nsans

“Since exercising I have lost 30 pounds and have had more strength and much more energy. You are never too old to start living a healthier life.” Philip Ragan - Age: 60 Retired School Teacher, Winfield

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Working Together for a Healthy Community

Healthy s Lifestyle

How the Derby Recreation Commission leads the charge for community wellness By Lisa Nelson, Director of Marketing, Derby Recreation Commission

Every community wants to experience community wide health and wellness. But where does a community wide wellness initiative begin? At school? Should government be involved? Does the business community have a responsibility to offer healthy choices? Should the religious community be involved in the physical well being of their congregation? Ultimately who has the time, resources and passion for the health of an entire community? This was a question posed to a group of interested individuals who had come together to figure out how Derby could become a community known for healthy choices and physical wellness. But like all other communities who have stood at the same threshold, the group knew someone needed to take the lead. So when the group was discussing who would be willing to take the lead for this new initiative, Kathleen Avitt, the DRC’s Director of Programs, agreed that she would serve as the lead contact for the collaborative and the Derby Recreation Commission would support her and the collaborative with administrative support. By assigning the DRC as the collaborative’s lead, the group felt that the DRC would act as a hub for connections and also give the organization sustainability that volunteer

leadership can sometimes lack. They also recognized the natural relationship that a recreation commission has with community health and wellness. The DRC is known for promoting active lifestyles through fitness, lifetime recreation and healthy leisure activities. The DRC staff brings expertise in personal physical fitness, and also has strong program and special events administration and a long history of collaboration with many community organizations. So with the endorsement of the newly formed group of community wellness leaders, the DRC accepted the lead with the Derby Health Collaborative. With this partnership and support of public and private organizations, the Derby Health Collaborative became a reality in November 2010 as the group of individuals and organizations committed to working together for the wellness of the Derby community. In addition to the DRC, partners of the collaborative include USD 260, the City of Derby, the Derby Chamber of Commerce, Wichita State University, Sedgwick County Health Department, local doctors, churches and smaller organizations who have a healthy choices focus. After becoming an organized group, the first order of business of the Derby Health Collaborative was to establish the mission and goals of the organization so all work and initiatives could be aligned to achieve the same universal goal of improved health for the community of Derby. The DHC established its mission was to improve the health and wellness of the USD 260

community. To further refine what areas of health and wellness would be priority, the collaborative identified areas of focus; increasing physical fitness, improving general health, improving nutrition, and supporting activities that relate to overall wellness. The Derby Health Collaborative then established that this scope of work would be accomplished by providing education, creating opportunities, providing motivation, and reinforcing healthy choices and activities in each of the identified areas. Once the ground work of the collaborative was established, the Derby Recreation Commission applied for a grant on behalf of the collaborative to fund improved health and wellness for preschool age children, including prenatal health. The grant application presented how several community organizations planned to come together to work cooperatively to offer activities and opportunities to preschoolers throughout USD 260. The United Methodist Health Ministry Fund approved the application and awarded the DHC a $35,000 Fit for Kansas Kids grant to support the plan.

– continued on page 10 KRPA Today - • 9


Healthy s Lifestyle In addition to promoting activities that benefit preschool age children, the Derby Health Collaborative recognized and addressed the health and wellness of all ages of residents. Through regular monthly meetings the DHC has identified current community health assets, potential opportunities that existing organizations could provide and established a draft plan for a coordinated, sustainable health initiative for the entire community. The plan encompasses all ages and abilities, from children to seniors. The DHC recognized that many of the assets already available within the community are not widely advertised and the strength of the collaborative will be crossmarketing all of the activities and programs available to the community.

• Working with USD 260 Parents as Teachers, the DHC offered a children’s nutrition class called Kids in the Kitchen with Kristie. This program gives tots the opportunity to prepare and taste new kid friendly foods. Parents then take nutritious recipes home to try later. Every session of this class has been full with a waiting list. • The Derby Recreation Commission continues to actively promote fitness and sports program classes that focus on this fitness for families and tots. These programs include; Strong Moms, ZumbAtomic, Fit Family and Start Smart. A new addition to the family fitness offerings is a monthly Preschool Game Day. During this game time preschoolers are taught activities that allow them to participate in movement and music, fitness and group games. This free game time is available to any preschool age child and is marketed by many of the collaborative partners.

In addition to promoting activities that benefit preschool age children, the Derby Health Collaborative recognized and addressed the health and wellness of all ages of residents.

Thanks to the United Methodist Health Ministry Fund’s (UMHMF) grant versatility, the Derby Health Collaborative was able to purchase billboard space, ads in local papers, create printed materials for distribution, develop a website and purchase incentive items. The value of these marketing materials far exceed the cost incurred, as promotion of existing assets was identified as one of the weaknesses of the health collaborative partners. Many of the organizations represented at the DHC were already offering valuable health and wellness opportunities, but the challenge was community awareness of this availability. The grant allowed for marketing monies that all of the partner organizations needed so badly.

In the short existence of the Derby Health Collaborative, the group has been busy planning new programs, synchronizing existing programs between organizations, and getting the word out to the community about the importance of a healthy lifestyle. Some of the initial activities accomplished have included: • The roll out of the collaborative website,, which includes links to partners, a calendar of events, link information for Derby Walks and more pages are being created to link information for nutrition, health, wellness and fitness. The website is designed to be a resource to the community for activities and information related to all areas of health and wellness, especially those which are readily available within the community. • In March, the DHC partnered with USD 260 Parents as Teachers and provided health collaborative information at their Preschool Carnival. The event had over 200 children and parents who enjoyed carnival type games and booths where parents could receive information about healthy choice opportunities available to families.

• The Derby Recreation Commission worked with the City of Derby to develop a City of Derby Parks Passport to stimulate healthy play and activity by visiting city parks. Participants who visit six parks during the summer and complete and submit their passport, receive a family activity prize. In addition to park visits, events are also listed within the passport telling the community of activities that would be of interest to entire families. These include disc gold clinics, kite flying and even a celebration of Ice Cream Month.

“I feel so fortunate to have a wonderful and affordable recreation center nearby. My family has participated in programs for four years and the quality of instructors and variety of activities offered has enriched our lives tremendously. It has set us up for a lifetime of good health. I am very thankful for that.” Sheri James - Age: 33 Mother/wife, Overland Park

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“The Slim 2 Win Program was exactly what I needed to jump start my new, healthier way of life. The way it was structured really keyed in on my competitive nature by knowing I had to weigh in on a regular basis while keeping in mind that the results would be published. This, combined with the latest exercise equipment and close proximity to my house really helped me out; As I result, I am 40 pounds lighter and much healthier.”

Healthy s Lifestyle

Tommy Mount - Age: 44 Operations Manager, Rose Hill

• The Derby Health Collaborative worked with the Community Marketing Committee to create and roll out a community-wide walking initiative aptly called Derby Walks. The goal of Derby Walks is to create a culture of activity where residents of all ages walk every day. The program is aimed at individual achievement with community support. The Derby Walks program has an online tracking system where individuals track their daily activity and minutes are compiled toward incentive levels. For each level of achievement, the individual receives an incentive gift, paid for by the grant. Additionally, individuals can create and join groups which compete with each other to earn monthly recognition for group achievement. The Community Marketing Committee chooses and recognizes the groups each month. A travelling team spirit award is given to the recipient group with recognition in the local paper. Participants of Derby Walks sign a Fitness Pledge and then register online to begin tracking. For those registered in the Derby Walks program, the Derby Recreation Center has offered to allow walkers to utilize the indoor walking track at no charge on days there is inclement weather. • To encourage young swimmers, Tot Time Exploration was created for Rock River Rapids, Derby’s publicly owned water park, to allow children ages 5 and younger swim time with parents prior to the water park opening to the public. Popularity is growing with these Saturday morning scheduled times, with attendance around 50 or more participants each time.

As with most grant funded programs, outcome reporting is an important part of the effectiveness tracking. Participant surveys, attendance records and reports from the online tracking system will be used to determine lifestyle changes as the result of these initiatives. With the synergy of community organizations, city leadership, and active and engaged residents working together, the Derby Health Collaborative looks forward to the addition of more programs and exponential participation from community members. u

For more information about the collaborative or the grant project, contact Kathleen Avitt at (316) 788-3781 or KRPA Today - • 11


Healthy s Lifestyle

Rocking the Half By Amy Conkling

Editor’s Note: Amy Conkling is the marketing and special events director for Hutchinson Recreation Commission and is one of the race coordinators for the inaugural Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon. Her love for running, health and fitness – along with Boys and Girls Clubs resource development director Amanda Buoy’s same love for running – was the driving force behind the creation of the first-ever half marathon in Hutchinson. Hutchinson residents will be a part of history in the making this fall as a fi rst-ever halfmarathon comes to town. Salt City Run for the Rocks Half Marathon, a collaborative effort between Hutchinson Recreation Commission and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hutchinson, will take place Sept. 25 and features the town’s scenic highlights along a 13.1-mile certified course. The event’s fall date – a popular time for running and walking races - along with a unique theme tied to the city’s rock salt industry, will hopefully bring an enthusiasm to Hutch that the town hasn’t had with any other event, says Betty Zeka, assistant director at Hutch Rec and a member of the event’s planning committee. “With more and more interest in running and exercise in general, I hope this brings a curiosity to recreational runners and that it’s contagious for those considering a longer distance to run,” Zeka says. “I hope we get several citizens outside of Hutch to participate so they can see the great things that Hutch Rec and our city are providing the public.” Officials from the Boys and Girls Clubs approached Hutch Rec in Fall 2010 after they were in search of a fundraising special event.

Due to the popularity of Hutch Rec’s Salty Dog Triathlon, among other health and wellness special events, it made sense to the Boys and Girls Clubs to partner with the recreation commission. “After a lot of thought about how to go about fundraising that is not just meaningful, but truly beneficial to both the participants and benefitting organizations, a half-marathon felt like a worthwhile fundraiser that would certainly fit the bill,” says Amanda Buoy, resource development director from the Boys and Girls Clubs and one of the race’s co-directors. “It just makes sense for two organizations that are passionate about health and fitness to come together for an event to support that passion.” Buoy says both Hutch Rec and Boys and Girls Clubs came to the table with specialized knowledge when it came to planning and putting on special events. It makes the process both “fun and productive,” she says. Both organizations have worked together in establishing the course, developing a Website and social marketing sites, seeking sponsorships, and doing other promotions. And thanks to a supportive running and walking community - as well as a proactive planning committee - the event seems to be making a buzz. Most importantly, though, both organizations are eager about the health and wellness possibilities the half marathon will provide the Hutchinson community - and how it will fuel the many runners and walkers who are now opting for the half-marathon distance of 13.1 miles.

“The half-marathon is the new 10K,” says Ted Nelson, superintendent of wellness and aquatics for Hutch Rec and another codirector of the race. “Special events such as this one create interest and excitement not only for specific individuals, but their friends and families too. A person might mention that he is training for a half-marathon event and his friend might decide to set that same goal. Or a mom might commit to running in the event that inspires her children to choose healthy activities too. The enthusiasm of the participant is contagious.” Buoy agrees, noting that motivation and achieving a goal is the driving force behind the thousands who flock to half-marathons each year. “I love knowing that this event will inspire people who perhaps have never run before or to set a fitness goal for them to experience what it feels like to cross a finish line and reach their goals,” Buoy says. “I also hope this will inspire our community to keep setting fitness goals and challenges for themselves.” u

More Information on Salt City Run for the Rocks: Date: Sunday, Sept. 25 at 8 a.m. in Carey Park, Hutchinson Registration details, course information, and other information is available at, on Facebook and Twitter at Run for the Rocks, and on our blog,

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KRPA Partnership with the Arthritis Foundation Provides Increased Opportunities

Healthy s Lifestyle

By Valerie Fairchild, Program Director, Arthritis Foundation, Heartland Region A partnership with the Arthritis Foundation can yield impressive results. Since the Arthritis Foundation and the Kansas Department of Health & Environment collaborated with the Kansas Recreation and Park Association, 13 locations have participated in the Life Improvement Series with the potential of adding 11 more locations from trainings held this year. The Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series was developed by the national authority on arthritis, the Arthritis Foundation, and it has delivered outstanding results. There are several programs in the life improvement series: The Arthritis Foundation Exercise Program, Aquatics, Tai Chi, Walk With Ease and they empower people with arthritis. The movements in the programs were developed by physical therapists and are meant to address the pain, fatigue and decreased strength that often accompany the disease. Sadly, over half the people with arthritis believe that nothing can be done about their condition. Today doctors, nurses and physical therapists know there indeed is something that can be done. Not all arthritis pain relief comes in a bottle. Studies have shown that staying physically active and maintaining a healthy weight can help delay the start of arthritis and stop its progression. That’s why the Arthritis Foundation offers resources to help improve joint health and quality of life. The goal is to provide programs and services that both help people see the importance of early diagnosis and treatment and educate and empower them to take control of their health, and most of all to have fun! Chances are you or someone you know has arthritis and realize that it is an unacceptable disease. Often referred to as a single disease, there are more than 120 forms of arthritis. Arthritis affects 50 million Americans, including 300,000 children. In Kansas alone, over 497,000 people have doctor-diagnosed arthritis and must deal with the daily pain caused by this disease. Across the country, arthritis is the nation’s leading cause of disability with a staggering price tag of $128 billion annual impact upon the economy. Unless serious action is taken it’s only going to get worse. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention projects that the number of people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis is expected to increase to 67 million. That is a 45 percent increase from today.

Arthritis-related joint problems and damage to joint cartilage may lead to joint weakness, instability and visible deformities. Arthritis can also interfere with basic daily tasks like walking, climbing stairs, typing, cooking, brushing hair and teeth, driving or caring for loved ones. For many people more than joints are affected by this disease. Different forms of arthritis can affect the entire body including the eyes, heart, lungs, kidneys, blood vessels and skin. The Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series has been shown to have positive effects on those who attend, whether they have arthritis, diabetes, hypertension or no health problems but simply want to join an exercise class. The courses offer gentle, low impact, joint safe exercises to participants. These varieties of land and water based classes are available to people with different exercise needs and preferences for beginning or advanced level classes. One instructor says “It’s encouraging that the program is safe and designed for participant needs.” Participants have encouraging things to say about the programs offered, including that they are “life-changing”, they “lessened my pain” and “helped me feel better physically and mentally.” One in five adults have arthritis and by offering the Arthritis Foundation Life Improvement Series communities can further extend their outreach to those suffering from arthritis. Communities depend on recreation centers to offer accessible, quality programming. Offering these programs can foster positive relationships with those of all ages who have specific exercise needs. As a nationally recognized leader in arthritis resources, the Arthritis Foundation is a great source to increase participation throughout the community in arthritis exercise programs. u

For more information about exercise programs in your area or instructor trainings contact Valerie Fairchild at (316) 263-0116 or vfairchild@arthritis. org. Visit our website at keyword: Kansas

KRPA Today - • 13


Healthy s Lifestyle

Biggest Weight Loss Challenge Winner, Cindy Haskell, learned how to add new elements to her workouts, like strength training, pilates and spinning, to work different muscle groups

A Welcome Losing Streak Mission residents get active, shed pounds and gain healthier lifestyles By Dawn Grubb Vicki Wells knew it must be fate. A lifelong dieter who’d struggled with weight issues her whole life, Wells was tired of carrying extra pounds and feeling exhausted. It was time for a permanent change, and to get healthy she told herself. Then one day last April, Wells gave her son a ride to soccer practice — a task typically reserved for his father. She overheard a couple of other moms talking about a new program, the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge. It sounded exactly like what Wells needed, but the registration deadline was fast approaching. “I thought it was just meant to be and knew I had to get into the program,” recalls Wells. She called the Sylvester Powell Jr. Community Center to sign up. That move changed her life.

A good fit When City of Mission Community Center staff brainstormed the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge, they wanted to create a program with staying power — one that went beyond a one-time competition and instead helped participants make long-term lifestyle changes. “We looked at various programs from around the country and took it to the next level,” explains Scott Deschenes, recreation program supervisor. “Instead of short-term weight loss success, we focused on creating healthier lives.” The Biggest Weight Loss Challenge, which ran May 3, 2010, to Jan. 9, 2011, featured fitness, nutritional and educational components. The 156 participants divided into six teams and took advantage of discounted classes, group exercises and personal training sessions. Everyone was accountable for achieving their own goals. Every second Sunday of the month, participants met for two hours to share tips, assess their progress and learn about a health topic, and followed the advice from Bob Greene’s bestselling book The Best Life Diet. This structured mix was exactly what participants like Wells needed. “I had tried Weight Watchers off and on for years, but it lacked the accountability for exercising,” she says. Wells’ exercise of choice had always been walking, but she learned how to add weights, balance balls, resistance bands, steps and more through the Start Me Up class. And she did something she never dreamt she’d do: worked out with personal trainer Phyllis Peterson.

14 • KRPA Today -

“She set me up on a program and constantly encouraged me to try new things,” says Wells. In addition, she gave up her four-cans-a-day Diet Coke habit for water or iced tea. Before she knew it, her clothes were literally falling off. “I went down five dress sizes,” boasts Wells, “but I still have more I plan to lose.” As a reward for her success, Wells treated herself to a new treadmill — “for those days I can’t make it to the Community Center.”

Lean times You don’t have to lecture Marcus Hansen on the importance of being healthy. In recent years, he’s battled heart problems and two bouts of cancer while he struggled with weight. So when he and his wife, Nancy, learned about the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge, they didn’t hesitate to join. “I especially wanted to lose my belly because stomach fat can lead to cancer,” says Hansen. Working with personal trainer Jeremiah Salazar, he learned exercises that addressed his problem area. He also signed up for such classes as Boot Camp and Start Me Up. “At my age, being competitive isn’t so important any more,” says Hansen. “I liked that the instructors restructured activities to fit me.” For example, Hansen developed balance issues after surgery in January 2010, so he couldn’t jump rope. The solution? He jumped in place. “The big secret is changing your habits,” says Hansen, who now takes the stairs instead of the elevator at work and works out every morning at 5:30. Hansen also paid heed to his eating habits. Bread and dinner rolls were his downfall, so he cut them out and added a healthy dose of nuts and salads to his diet. As he began eating better and building muscle, his stomach shrank. Hansen lost 20.5 inches, pleasing himself and his doctor. “The last time I was in for a checkup, my blood markers were right in line,” says Hansen. “My doctor said, ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.’ That’s what I plan to do.”


Healthy s Lifestyle

Meet the Winners 1st Cindy Haskell Lost 38% (103 lbs.)

Participants found motivation through group exercises and classes to achieve personal and team goals. Many people not only gained workout buddies but lifelong friends through the program.

Best of class Every year it was business as usual for Pam Morris: She’d make her New Year’s resolution, work out religiously for three months and then fall back into a sedentary lifestyle. She decided enough was enough and joined the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge. The first couple of months, she walked two miles and focused on watching her diet. Then she took Boot Camp for a test drive. “Halfway through I nearly passed out and had to sit out,” recalls Morris. “That was my ‘A-ha!’ moment.” With help from a trainer, she developed a routine using the weight machines. Then she kicked it into high gear with Burn Factory, Body Sculpt and spin and step classes. “The first time I took the high-intensity step class, I looked around and thought, ‘I could be most of these kids’ mother,’” says Morris. “But I didn’t get discouraged — I did my best and got through it.” Within six weeks, she’d built stamina and shed 21 pounds. By the end of the Challenge, she’d lost 64 pounds total. “I’m a huge proponent of the classes because I need that commitment to exercise,” she says. “I’d been overweight for 15 years and knew I had to quit making excuses. It was up to me to change.” But Morris isn’t finished. She wants to lose another 15 pounds and then maintain. And she’s still trying to break one habit: “I go to Lane Bryant by habit and have to remind myself, ‘I don’t need to be here — I can buy clothes off the rack now!’,” she says.

First-place winner, Cindy Haskell, shed 38 percent of her body weight and credits the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge with “saving my life.”

2nd Mary DeRuyter Lost 35.93% (104.2 lbs.) 3rd Pam Morris Lost 28.6% (64 lbs.) Most Inches Overall Marcus Hansen.......... 20.5 inches Vicki Wells................. 40.75 inches

By the Numbers 103........ Total pounds lost by overall weight

loss winner

2,140..... Actual pounds participants lost 556........ Total number of inches participants lost

A welcome eye-opener

156........ Total number of participants

As an aerobics instructor, Cindy Haskell assumed she was fit.

8............ Number of months the program ran

“But I had my blinders on, and I avoided the scale,” she confesses. “I’ve lost and gained back 100 pounds many times during my life. I needed a push to make a lifestyle change.”

61.25..... Combined inches lost by Most

Inches Overall winners

– continued on page 16 KRPA Today - • 15


Healthy s Lifestyle

Everyone wins: Eight months of working out and watching what they ate paid off for these Biggest Weight Loss Challenge participants. They lost a combined 2,140 pounds and are now living happier, healthier lives.

Enter the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge. Haskell learned how to add new elements to her workouts, like strength training, pilates and spinning, to work different muscle groups. And before long, she was running laps around the track. But the real eye-opener was the group tour of Whole Foods. “It opened my eyes to food I never would have tried, like edamame and quinoa,” says Haskell. “Now I look at that cookie and think, ‘Is it really worth the exercise I’ll need to work it off?’”

By watching the cooking demos at Whole Foods and following The Best Life Diet, she learned to make simple, nutritious meals. And as extra motivation to stay on track, she hung a pair of sexy new jeans on her bedroom door. Every day, she looked at the jeans and told herself, “I will wear these.” Today, she’s more than 100 pounds lighter and has a new outlook to go with her new body. “I think many people felt comfortable in my aerobics class because I wasn’t a skinny little person. But I didn’t want to convey a message that being overweight doesn’t matter,” she says. “Now my students see my weight loss and that motivates them.”

A bittersweet success Vicki Wells won’t soon forget the impact the Biggest Weight Loss Challenge has had on her life.

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“I knew I’d lose weight, but I didn’t realize I’d make two best friends,” she says. “We spend an hour and half together each day working out and sharing intimate aspects of our lives. Friendships develop from the camaraderie.” As Wells lost weight, her body naturally became thinner. One December night as she applied moisturizer, she noticed a lump clearly protruding from her neck. Wells was diagnosed with thyroid cancer and had her thyroid removed on Jan. 18th. “But I didn’t feel negative or wonder ‘Why me?,’ because I was the healthiest I’d been in years,” says Wells. “I just looked at it as a minor setback and was determined to move on.” She now must take a hormone the rest of her life and will undergo a radioactive iodine treatment.

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16 • KRPA Today -

But that won’t dampen her spirits: She knows her Biggest Weight Loss Challenge friends will be right there, supporting and encouraging her along the way. u For more information on Biggest Weight Loss Challenge, please contact Scott Deschenes at Sylvester Powell, Jr. Community Center 913-722-8228 or


The First Step is Always the Hardest

Healthy s Lifestyle

By Dawn L. Harmon, Blue Valley Recreation Marketing Supervisor

The first step toward a healthy goal can be the most important steps of the entire journey, and often the most difficult. It is why many avoid getting healthy. The process is too painful, too uncomfortable, and too intimidating. A healthy lifestyle takes a while to become habit. Whether it is choosing to drink water rather than soda or exercising instead of channel surfing – it is easy to fall back into a well-learned rut. The thought of making drastic changes can scare even the bravest. Joann Miller, program supervisor with Blue Valley Recreation, knew that fi rsthand. “I ran my fi rst 5K last year and wanted to again,” she commented. “But, it was easy to stop training and I fell back into unhealthy habits. I needed to do something.” Miller and Blue Valley Rec’s Bee FIT! Committee launched ‘Walk-A-Ton” to help with that fi rst step. To test the program, 30 staff members used pedometers to monitor the number of steps taken each week and entered the total online. The committee held weekly drawings for various prizes for everyone who participated – no matter how many steps they recorded. Each week of participation brought an additional entry for prizes. “It was important to reward participation more than achievement,” said Miller. “The goal was to encourage activity and not overwhelm with lofty goals.” By the end of the month, staff recorded a combined 5,815,250 steps. Using an average of 2,000 steps per mile, that means staff walked from New York to Los Angeles – roughly 2,907 miles. Although each participant documented individual steps each week, the combined impact of everyone’s steps was undeniable. “After a few days of tracking my steps, I realized how much better I felt – I didn’t feel as tired or as sluggish,” she said. “I also liked having others doing the same thing. It’s easier to do something when others are supporting you and doing the same thing.” Miller ran the 38th Annual Hospital Hill Run on June 4 and shaved more than three minutes from her previous time. She attributes the accomplishment to Walk-A-Ton. “I saw the number of steps I took in the normal course of a day and it encouraged me to walk more. Eventually, the walking turned into running.” Due to the success of the staff event, Blue Valley Rec is launching a public version of Walk-A-Ton this fall in hopes of helping others with the fi rst step toward a healthier lifestyle. u

“After a few days of tracking my steps, I realized how much better I felt – I didn’t feel as tired or as sluggish,” KRPA Today - • 17


Healthy s Lifestyle Johnson County Uses Creative Exercise Program For Women Suffering With Cancer, Chronic Disease Johnson County Park and Recreation District has added a unique and creative exercise program for its 50-plus menu of classes that is designed for women in cancer recovery or women experiencing chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis Designed to “ that affects their energy level or limits their movement ability.

We currently have a class of eight enrolled, but have the ability to have as many as 12 students. The age range goes from people in their 50’s to people in their 80’s.”

The movement technique used in the class is adapted for the participants’ special needs from the Nia Technique®, which integrates movement and and The class is called forms from dance, yoga, Moving Into Wellness tai chi, the martial the mind and body.” and, according to arts and techniques of Rhonda Pollard, 50-Plus movement awareness Program Director for Johnson County to deliver a non-impact, expressive, Park and Recreation District, it meets each joyful movement experience. Breathing participant’s “energy level where they are techniques, gentle stretching and guided in the moment” and is designed to “awaken visualization and relaxation are also an senses, expand energy and rejuvenate and integral part of the class. relax the mind and body.” Led by certified Nia instructors, Moving Pollard points to the program’s diverse Into Wellness was created by Carol value in connecting with both physical Lett LaRue, Occupational Therapist, needs and also inspiring participants in Wellness Consultant and Art of Movement a positive fashion. Practitioner and has proven to show many health benefits to our participants, “The value of this program is immense, including increased energy, flexibility, as we’re able to reach a population with stamina, balance and physical strength as such unique needs,” said Pollard. “So well as renewed spirits and increased body many times we focus on the physical, but awareness and appreciation. this class also works on positive mind-sets and the social support of those who have “Working with this group of courageous suffered from similar circumstances. women as they move along their journey We are so fortunate to be able to offer in cancer recovery is a privilege for me,” this program.” said Sharon Bowman, who serves as an instructor for the class. “They are The concept for Moving Into Wellness determined to embrace their lives and was created over five years ago for a Kansas wellness beyond the cancer diagnosis. I City area non-profit organization called have watched them find joy and pleasure Cancer Action. After losing space to host again in moving their bodies in their own the program last winter, Cancer Action body’s way, the community connection approached JCPRD and Pollard for with each other and a renewed spirit.” assistance. “We believe other women with chronic “We started hosting the program in March, health issues such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, 2011,” explained Pollard. “The class is etc., can receive the same benefit from purposely designed for smaller numbers. the program.” u

awaken senses, expand energy rejuvenate relax

18 • KRPA Today -

A Healthy Order for Concession Stands By Dawn L. Harmon, Blue Valley Rec Marketing Supervisor The latest statistics on childhood obesity are disappointing – 31.1% of children ages 10-17 in Kansas are overweight or obese, up 17% from 2003. Even with all the sports and recreational activity available throughout the state, child obesity rates continue to rise. The state of Kansas is not alone - the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates childhood obesity has tripled in the past 30 years. It is a current issue with future implications. As kids across the land become more overweight and obese, they are even more at risk for serious health concerns such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and elevated cholesterol and blood pressure levels. The irony of it all is that park and recreation agencies encourage kids to be active through athletics and outdoor play while serving unhealthy foods at sporting venues. Chalk it up to the nature of the business. Concession stand sales are a source of revenue – a huge source for some. Such is the culture of sports, and bad habits are hard to break. Today’s adults grew up munching on nachos, cotton candy, and hot dogs at the ballpark. The culture is changing, though, as major league parks are offering healthier menu items, but they are able to do so in professional venues with adequate equipment and storage, and pricing capable of offsetting costs. Jill Geller, recreation superintendent for Johnson County Park and Recreation District, saw a need for change. “Everything we do, from developing parks and trails to providing recreation programs, is with the ultimate goal of enhancing our residents’ quality of life and promoting a healthier lifestyle,” said Geller. “Knowing the amount of time individuals and families spend at our sports complexes, we felt offering healthy menu options was another means to this end.” Geller was the driving force behind KRPA’s healthy concession menu recommendation.


Healthy s Lifestyle

“You can’t change people’s behaviors – so we compromised and added healthier options for those who want it.”

A KRPA Recommendation

Geller and her staff contacted vendors and asked for their healthy options. It may have taken only a couple of weeks to decide which new menu items to add, but it’s a daily process to track what is selling and what is spoiling. “The overall reaction has been positive,” said Geller. “The healthier menu items sell differently from venue to venue and we have made adjustments, but we are committed to continuing to offer them.”

On Healthy Food and Beverage Sales at Concession Stands And in Vending Machines in Local Park and Recreation Settings

It’s an issue of supply and demand rather than an exact science – you have to offer what consumers will buy. Offering healthy menu items can increase food costs by 10% or more, not including food waste and spoilage. Trial and error is the key to balancing profit margins. “The number one request we get each year is for healthier menu items,” says Darin Carter, food and beverage coordinator for Blue Valley Recreation. “So far, the track record for sales has not been strong. Our plan is to always provide healthy options and we will continue to try to find the right balance of products.” This year, Blue Valley Rec offers G2, with less sugar and fewer calories, instead of regular Gatorade. Unsweetened tea and whole grain granola bars are also on the menu. There is also a focus on making traditional foods healthier by using zero trans-fat oil in all fryers and Canola Oil for popcorn. The trend is spreading beyond sporting venues. Hutchinson Recreation Commission is offering apples and bananas at its Salt City Splash. “We felt bad not allowing outside food and drink, yet turning people away when they would bring their own fruit or other healthy choices,” said Amy Conkling, director of marketing and special events. AMC Theaters has added healthy options such as Chiquita fruit snacks with 100% fruit and trail mix with raisins, coconuts, and sunflower seeds. Food vendors are adapting to consumer demands for healthy foods, not to mention government pressure to help customers make better nutritional decisions. Improving concession stand offerings will provide healthier choices and help create healthier attitudes. It just takes time, patience, and a lot of trial and error. u

Whereas, overweight and obesity is epidemic in Kansas, affecting all segments of the population; Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 26.7% of Americans are obese; and Whereas, according to the Centers for Disease Control, 28.1% of Kansans are obese; and Whereas, according to the National Survey of Children’s Health, 31.1% of Kansas children (ages 10-17) are overweight or obese; and Whereas, overweight and obesity is associated with increased mortality as well as higher rates of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, hypertension, gall bladder disease, osteoarthritis, and some types of cancer; and

KRPA recommends that Kansas park, recreation and community service agencies consider marketing the Healthy Meal and Snack options at a lower profit margin to encourage selection by children and other community members; KRPA urges that drinking fountains and/or other clean potable water sources be maintained to provide healthy hydration to all users and visitors of park, recreation, and community service agency facilities year round;

Whereas, the immediate cause of the epidemic is an imbalance between energy intake (food consumption) and energy output (physical activity); and

KRPA recommends that Kansas park, recreation and community service agencies consider the distribution of these recommendations by each local park, recreation, and community service agency to groups, parents, associations, organizations, and others that operate concession stands or vending machines in parks and/or recreational facilities, or that provide food items to participants in any recreational program.

Whereas, park and recreation agencies in Kansas, through facilities, programs and services, promote health and wellness; and

Accepted November 2, 2010 by the Board of Directors of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.

Whereas, park and recreation agencies in Kansas are committed to encouraging communities and individuals to lead healthier lifestyles;

Healthy Meal and Snack Choices at Park and Recreation Concession Stands

Now, therefore:

Long hours spent at park and recreation facilities, and busy schedules, often force people to rely on concession stands for quick meals and snacks. With the rising rates of obesity in the U.S., parks and recreation facilities provide a wonderful opportunity to be physically active. Unfortunately, finding healthy concession foods that are low in fat and sugar can be a challenge. However, with a little thought and planning, you can help make healthier choices available to your customers.

KRPA urges park, recreation, and community service agencies to promote the consumption of a variety of nutrient-dense foods within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt and alcohol (2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans); KRPA recommends that foods of minimal nutritional value be limited in vending machines, at concession stands, or otherwise in park, recreation, and community service agencies; KRPA recommends that park, recreation and community services agencies use the attached Healthy Meal and Snack Choices information as a guide to make healthy meal and snack choices available to youth and parents while at parks and/or recreational facilities;

First of all, whether your concession stand offers healthier food choices or not, it’s important to remember that there are no “bad” or “good” foods. All foods can fit into a healthy diet, with a little planning and thought. Higher fat and sugar foods should be eaten less often than lower

– continued on page 20 KRPA Today - • 19


Healthy s Lifestyle fat and sugar foods. Do not get overly discouraged if the only foods that you provide are foods that are high in fat and sugar. Instead, encourage your visitors to balance out the rest of their day with healthier meals and snacks at home or that they might bring to the park with them. Listed below are a few simple tips for healthier meals and snacks from concession stands. Your facilities may or may not offer some of these food choices. If not, share with your concession staff the need for adding healthier food options. Assure them that you do not want them to remove foods that they already sell, but that you see a need for adding a few healthier alternatives. Also listed below are quick and healthy food ideas for your concession stand menu.

Healthy Concession Stand Meal and Snack Tips • Encourage youth and parents to bring quick and healthy foods from home to supplement concession stand foods. For example, if they buy a higher fat food such as pizza at the concession stand, add the apple that they brought from home.

Snacks: Chips, Pretzels, Crackers, etc. • Graham crackers (regular and low-fat) • Pretzels • Soft pretzels (mustard makes a great dip) • Granola and cereal bars • Animal crackers or vanilla wafers • Reduced-fat cheese crackers • Baked chips • Snack-size bags of peanuts, or bags of unshelled peanuts • Snack size bags of microwave popcorn (if a microwave is available; look for 94% fat-free or light) • Bagels (offer reduced-fat cream cheese or peanut butter as an optional spread)

Fruits and Vegetables (keep refrigerated) • Fruit in single serving cups (refrigeration optional) • Individually wrapped packages of baby carrots • Large bags of frozen mixed fruit, thawed and sectioned into small 1 cup servings.

• Provide lettuce and tomato for your sandwiches. Leave off the mayonnaise, or provide low-fat mayonnaise and/or mustard.

• Fruit and vegetable dipper snack packs (combination of fruit or vegetable with dip in one package)

• Provide smaller portion sizes of foods and beverages, especially those higher in fat and sugar, or encourage them to split with a friend.

• Individual packages of dried fruit trail mix (no refrigeration needed)

• Leave the chili-cheese sauce off hotdogs.

• Bowl of fresh fruit (washed apples, bananas, and oranges; does not need to be kept refrigerated)

• Provide nachos without cheese dip. • Provide cheese pizzas instead of pepperoni pizza.

• Frozen fruit popsicles (100% or majority fruit juice preferred)

Dairy Foods (keep refrigerated)

• Provide pretzels or baked chips instead of regular potato chips or corn chips.

• Individually wrapped string cheese

• Provide granola bars or cereal bars instead of regular candy bars.

• Pudding snacks (made with real milk)

• Provide yogurt, pudding cups, or popsicles made with juice instead of ice cream.

• Low-fat or fat-free yogurt

Sandwiches, hotdogs, and pizza

• Provide water, 100% fruit juice, or sports drinks instead of regular sodas.

• Sandwiches on whole wheat bread (wrap lettuce and sliced tomatoes in plastic wrap to add to sandwiches at time of sale)

• Provide a soft pretzel with mustard dip instead of nachos and cheese dip.

• Reduced-fat hotdogs

Quick and Healthy Food Ideas for Concession Stands Beverages: For ease and convenience, look for single serving containers of beverages such as: • Water or calorie-free flavored water • Sports drinks • Low-fat or fat-free milk (unflavored or flavored, in plastic drink containers) • 100% fruit juice (8-12 oz or less per serving)

• Turkey burgers • Pizza with vegetable toppings • Be aware that pricing of concession product often affects the patrons’ choice of what to buy. Encourage your participants to make healthy choices by pricing healthy alternative items at a desirable cost. • Knowing how to make healthy meal and snack choices available to youth and parents while at your parks and/or recreation facilities is a positive step toward helping your participants live healthier lives. Accepted November 2, 2010 by the Board of Directors of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association. u

“The community center track has been the focus of my wife and my exercise program for about 20 years. As senior citizens, we try to walk two miles or more at least five times per week. We never have to worry about the weather and the cost is very reasonable.” John and Virginia Hardaway Ages: 74, 76 U.S Army retired, Leavenworth 20 • KRPA Today -

By Rick Bryant

Watch out Kansas – the next generation of pilots, engineers, and even air traffic controllers, may have gotten their introduction to aviation through a local Recreation and Parks Program. On June 4, the Kansas Aviation Youth Camp conducted its first-ever community camp at the Lawrence Municipal Airport in partnership with Lawrence Parks and Recreation. Camp enrollment was aimed at the middle school market, ages 12-15, and enrolled 22 young men and women for the first time event.

Matt Elwell volunteered to teach the aviation weather class while volunteer local pilots taught the remaining sessions. The curriculum was created using materials developed and freely distributed by the Aircraft Owners’ and Pilots Association (AOPA).

The camp was created and organized by the Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education, a not-for-profit Governor’s Commission established in 1945. KCAE’s mission is to encourage educational and vocational opportunities within the aviation field to Kansas students and adults. The Kansas Aviation Youth Camp is a way to introduce a key student market to the opportunities, and fun, of aviation.

Brooks Barber traveled from Hays to attend the camp. Brooks, who said he wasn’t quite sure why he became interested in aviation a few years ago, already has some experience with flying. “I’ve flown a few planes a few places,” he said. Brooks said he hopes to build on his experience during his first aviation camp.

KCAE will conduct two camps in 2011 and looks to expand to other Kansas communities in 2012 and beyond. Lawrence held the first camp June 4 and McPherson Airport’s camp was on June 25.

Each camper received a camp t-shirt, binder of class lessons, a goodie bag of aviation items and a graduation pizza party. The camp received enrollment from Lawrence, Eudora, Topeka and Hays.

Ed Young, Director of Aviation for the Kansas Department of Transportation, presented each camper with a certificate of completion. As the finale for the camp, the Gardner Experimental Aircraft Association (EAA) volunteered the following Saturday to give each camper a free airplane ride over Lawrence to put their camp skills to the ultimate test through EAA’s Young Eagles program. Campers briefly took control of the aircraft to enjoy the thrill of flying an airplane.

According to Rick Bryant, KCAE Board Vice President and Camp Director, Lawrence was chosen for the first camp based on two strong attributes: 1) the Lawrence Municipal Airport is always looking for opportunities “In a non-traditional learning environment, Greg Hildenbrand, general manager for Life Star, provides a to showcase its airport and aviation our camp exposes students to concepts in briefing for campers on their air ambulance service. Life Star is opportunities; and 2) a very creative based at the Lawrence Municipal Airport, and serves Northeast science, technology, engineering and math Kansas with emergency evacuation and medical transport services. and ambitious youth programming – or STEM. This is a critical educational staff within the Lawrence Parks concept that schools across Kansas have and Recreation Department for the or will be implementing into their curriculum. We just made it fun City of Lawrence to promote the camp and handle the enrollment and relevant – a key to lifelong learning,” Bryant said. “It introduces process. The McPherson Recreation Commission is partnering with students who don’t necessarily have the opportunity to go to the the McPherson Airport to also promote and handle enrollment for the airport,” he said. “This is the right age group to start planting seeds for June 25 camp. the future.” Bryant teamed with Duane Peterson, Special Events/Recreation Supervisor for Lawrence Parks and Recreation, to promote the camp and target the middle school age group. This age group has been challenging to engage in parks and recreation programs, according to Peterson. “This is the age group that we’ve always struggled trying to find something interesting,” he said. “I think this fits right in there. I think we have something that’s very interesting.” The $25 half-day camp split the campers into four groups. They rotated through four classes conducted in Kansas University’s Aerospace Engineering hangar: flight planning and aviation weather; plane anatomy 101 and weight balance; careers in aviation; and traffic patterns and communications. Lawrence 6 News meteorologist

The partnership between KCAE and Lawrence Parks and Recreation worked so well that conversations to host another summer aviation youth camp are already beginning for 2012. For more information on creating a Kansas Aviation Youth Camp at your community airport, please contact Rick Bryant, Kansas Commission on Aerospace Education, at (785) 766-2327 or via email: Editors note: Rick Bryant serves as a volunteer on the KCAE Board of Directors as Vice President. The KCAE website is www. In his professional capacity, Bryant is Marketing and Communications Director for Airport Development Group, Inc. – a full service planning and engineering consultancy serving the airport industry since 1984.

KRPA Today - • 21


Kansas Parks

By Bill Stobart, Pittsburg State University

Europe Park in Pittsburg

pergola which is a garden feature forming a shaded walkway and sitting area of vertical pillars supporting cross-beams upon which vines are grown. The pergola is also lit with Christmas lights during the December holiday season which makes for an outstanding visual in the winter.

Bill Miller started Miller’s Photography in downtown Pittsburg in 1964. His downtown building burned in 1969, leaving a gap between existing downtown buildings. The gap remained a vacant lot for about twenty years.

The park features two bench sitting areas and four table sitting areas. It has brick flooring which complements the brick façade of the two buildings which enclose the park. Several small trees and various landscaping areas can be found in the park. The most unique feature of the park is a cascading water wall found at the back of the park. The water wall and landscaping for the park provide both aesthetic beauty for the visual sense and a pleasing sound for the auditory sense.

Eventually, the area was converted to a downtown vest pocket park (approximately 36 feet wide and 126 feet deep) by the City of Pittsburg. A citizens group, Pittsburg Beautiful, adopted the park and planted flowers and additional landscaping for the park. The park also had a small sitting area. Miller’s Photography moved to another location in Pittsburg and became Miller’s Professional Imaging. Miller’s Professional Imaging has continued to grow over the years and is now the largest professional photographic imaging lab organization in the United States. Dick Coleman is the Vice President for Miller’s Professional Imaging. Dick and his family (who are now, through marriage, part of the family who owned the original Miller’s Photography) have started the Coleman Family Foundation. The Coleman Foundation provided funding to refurbish the entire park. The park is located between Fifth and Sixth Streets on Broadway in downtown Pittsburg. The entrance to the park features a combination stone wall and wrought iron fencing. Signage indicating the park’s name is inlaid into the stone wall. Flowers adorn the wall in the summer time. The park’s

Europe Park has impacted downtown Pittsburg by providing a beautiful park in a downtown setting. Organizations have used the park for meetings, people sit and read at the various sitting areas, the park is one of the many focal points for Pittsburg’s Art Walk downtown, and many people can be found in the park simply listening to the pleasant sounds emanating from the water wall.

name was chosen to recognize the influence of Europeans who settled in Pittsburg and the surrounding area. This area is often referred to as the Little Balkans of Kansas. The Balkans is a geopolitical and cultural region of southeastern Europe. The park has several distinguishing features. Upon entering the park, a visitor will see a

Europe Park serves as an excellent example of what a city can do to a vacant lot in their downtown area. After refurbishing the park, the Coleman Family Foundation has donated the park to the Pittsburg Parks and Recreation Department which now maintains it. Europe Park was recently cited as an award winner by the Park and Natural Resources Branch of the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.

“Discovering Kansas Parks” will be a regular feature of KRPA Today highlighting unique parks and park features in Kansas cities, counties and state lands. Have a park you’d like to see highlighted? Send your suggestions to Doug Vance at

22 • KRPA Today -

KRPA Today Magazine Meeting Space Form for Fall Issue 2011 The fall 2011 issue of KRPA Today will mail to over 500 event and meeting planners, members of the Kansas Society of Association Executives. In addition to stories about planning meetings and events in Kansas, we will run a chart and listings of meeting and event spaces available at Kansas parks and sites in a special “Meeting and Event Planning” section. Please complete this form to have your facility(ies) listed in the Fall 2011 Meeting Planning issue. You can submit one for each facility you have. When completed, print and fax to (952) 841-3460 or mail to: Pernsteiner Creative, 7841 Wayzata Blvd, #100, Minneapolis, MN 55426. You may also complete online at Optional: Submit high quality photos of your spaces to: Forms/photos due by: Wednesday, August 10, 2011 for inclusion in the fall issue. Questions? Call Todd Pernsteiner at (952) 841-1111 or email

Community/Organization: On Site Catering?



Open Catering



Kitchen Rental



Number of Meeting Room(s) Available ________________________ Max Meeting Capacity - Classroom Style ___________

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Convention/Exhibit Hall Yes No Convention/Exhibit 10x10 Booth Capacity _____________ # of Booths Alcohol Permitted



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Contact (will not print in magazine) _____________________________ Phone (include area code) _____________________________________ Fax _________________________________________________________ Email ________________________________________________________ Website _____________________________________________________

Make Plans to Attend...

Tomorrow’s Leaders KRPA’s Leadership Development Institute for Young Professionals

September 13-15, 2011 Tall Oaks Conference Center Linwood, KS

Mailing Address ______________________________________________

Mailing Address 2 ___________________________________________

Watch for program details soon!

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KRPA Today - • 23




Kansas Recreation and Park Association 700 SW Jackson St., Suite 805 Topeka, Kansas 66603

Voices of Park and Recreation Users in Kansas ce e a c h an it gives m and e s u a c e e tension allet Fit b “I love B nd let go of all th week. As a my ha g tc n e ri tr u s d rity to builds up I sit for the majo nt t a th s s r e me e stre m v o m m ra g an d r prog compute nd the stretchin a y, a again.” of the d feel alive m ake m e g e: 4 0 A Kerwin Park Stefani Overland r, e e in g n E re a Softw

p it up!” “I like what you’re doing and kee Dale Stephenson Dodge City

“I was diagnosed with MS in 2008, which is rare for an ‘older’ person, but not unheard of. Since that time I have been able to maintain a fairly normal lifestyle with new advances in medical treatments for MS, but have lost some balance and stamina. The LPRD class I attend three times a week helps me maintain muscle tone and gives me techniques to improve my balance. The low impact workout is ideal for my situation, providing a good mix of upper and lower body exercises in a time frame that fits my schedule and ability.”

“I am legally blind and use a guide dog nam ed Saga. I live about mile from Turner Rec half a reation Commission (TRC) and walk to the with Saga almost eve center ry day. In fact I attend so oft en that I know exactly how many steps it tak es to get to the TRC. I have been going the for about seven years re and use the fitness cen ter weight room a lot. sometimes walk aro und the outside edge I of the gym for exercis weight room is great e. The and has really nice equ ipment. A few month started Karate and I s ago I am having lots of fun . Everyone at TRC has helped me with any thin always g when I need it and has been ver y fair.” Kenny Nead Age: 56


David Williams - Age: 63 Customer Service Representative, Lawrence


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KRPA Today Summer 2011  

Kansas Park & Recreation Association membership magazine.