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Today Spring 2013

KRPA

Kansas Recreation & Park Association

Get Up & Get Moving page 18

A Walking Revolution

Movement making Americans Happier & Healthier page 12

Making a Concession for a Healthy Lifestyle page 16

2013 KRPA

Awards page 8


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That’s our commitment to you, and our commitment to play. 800.438.2780 cunninghamrec.com

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Today

KRPA

Kansas Recreation & Park Association

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

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 www.krpa.org 785-235-6533

KRPA Board of Directors President – John Washington (Garden City) President-Elect – Diann Henderson (Great Bend) Past President – Ernie Shaw (Lawrence) Secretary/Treasurer – Cindy Crandall (Deerfield) Administration Branch – Scott Nichols (Grant County) Aquatics Branch – Jennifer Wegener (Shawnee County) Marketing/Customer Service Branch – Amy Conkling (Hutchinson) Park Law Enforcement Branch – Rob Gordon (KDWPT, Tuttle Creek) Park and Natural Resources Branch – Paul Krueger (Olathe) Recreation Branch – Eric Jantz (Holcomb) Sports Branch – Nick Leon (Holcomb) TR/Aging Branch – Rhonda Pollard (Johnson County)

Contents Discovering Kansas Parks................................................... 4 Perspective............................................................................. 5 Around Kansas..................................................................... 6 2013 KRPA Awards............................................................... 8 Signs of the Summer...........................................................10 A Walking Revolution........................................................ 12 Making a Concession for a Healthy Lifestyle..................16 Get Up and Get Moving......................................................18

Advertisers Bell Structural Solutions.................................................... 15 Cunningham Recreation...................................................... 2 Musco Lighting................................................... Back Cover Schwab Eaton......................................................................... 3 United States Tennis Association....................................... 2 On the Cover: Photo courtesy of PlayCore www.playcore.com Please support our advertisers, they make this publication possible. For information on advertising, contact Todd Pernsteiner at (877) 694-1999 or info@pernsteiner.com.

Members At Large West – Paul Lewis (Dodge City) Central – Chris Umphres (Great Bend) East – Kelby Hellwig (Johnson County)

Committees/Ex Officio Awards – Connie Smith (Emporia) Citizen Board – Kim Galbraith (Blue Valley) Conference Planning – Diann Henderson (Great Bend) Professional Development – Steve Herrig (Blue Valley) Public Policy – Doug Kupper (Wichita)/Nancy Wallerstein (Johnson County) Colleges and Universities – Janice Jewett (Pittsburg) Parliamentarian – Steve Friend (Baldwin City) KDWPT – Linda Lanterman (Pratt) Doug Vance – KRPA Executive Director

We design the places you love to live, work, & play.

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

Editorial Committee Chair – Chris Claxton (Leawood) Roger Steinbrock (Lawrence) Amy Conkling (Hutchinson) Chris Umphres (Great Bend)

Community Planning

Randy Knight (Johnson Cty) Dawn Harmon (Blue Valley) Paul Lewis (Garden City) Kelby Hellwig (Johnson Cty)

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.

Construction Support Services Parks & Recreation Facilities Plazas & Streetscapes Site Planning & Development Storm Water Management

785.539.4687 Schwab-Eaton.com

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 info@pernsteiner.com.

Track & Sports Facilities Transportation Systems Water & Waste Water Systems

Deadlines for articles, photos and advertising: Fall - September 15, 2013 Winter - December 15, 2013 Spring - April 15, 2013 Summer - June 15, 2013

Surveying

Civil Engineers

Land Surveyors

Landscape Architects

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Discovering By Lee Ann Sack, City of Wichita Naturalist at Great Plains Nature Center

Kansas Parks

Mobilizing Help to Fight Bush Honeysuckle in Wichita’s Oak Park Northwest of downtown Wichita, nestled in the bend of the Little Arkansas River is Oak Park. Purchased by the City of Wichita in 1922, the 37 acre park is naturally wooded and landscaped to enhance the native beauty of the area. Open stretches of lawn, lily ponds- one named the Giant’s Bathtub - artificial springs and brooks intersperse the park. Stone curbed drives invite visitors to enjoy an 18-hole Disc Golf Course and wandering nature trails doted with limestone footbridges, arches and seating.

started slow while they became comfortable with plant identification, but the work quickly increased along with their confidence. They worked in teams to remove larger plants sometimes creating competition between teams. Laughter and cheers could be heard as they succeeded in bringing down a large specimen. They cleared approximately 100 cubic yards of material from 1/3 acre. Their accomplishment was visible and although tired and dirty, they beamed with pride in their work.

With all of this serenity and beauty; what’s the problem? During the 2012 KRPA State Conference and Trade Show staff members from Wichita Park and Recreation attended a session on invasive species. As we listened intently to a staff member from Johnson County Park and Recreation District describe the war they were waging against a new foe, Bush Honeysuckle, we turned to each other and ominously stated, “I’ve seen that in our Parks!” As spring arrived, we realized how much Bush Honeysuckle had already invaded our parks and our war began. Initial inspection of all park properties revealed substantial colonization throughout the city. Oak Park was identified as our ground zero. The naturally wooded areas were being consumed by Bush Honeysuckle, native species of flora and fauna were in decline and the popularity of Oak Park made it an ideal location to gain public support. The work in Johnson County demonstrated that volunteer efforts are a key component in the fight. Bush Honeysuckle removal is labor intensive and hard work. Our intent was to educate the public about invasive species, encourage team work and have fun while doing it. During September, our first volunteer effort materialized through an Eagle Scout Project. The scouts learned identification of Bush Honeysuckle, such as a hollow core, opposite leaves, coloration and bark texture. The work

November brought our second Eagle Scout Project. They picked up where the first project stopped. Boy Scouts, Venture Scouts, family, friends and neighbors came to help. Again, the work turned to fun and satisfaction. Citizens walking by were interested and supportive of the restoration effort. Scouts talked about returning next year for another project or scheduling their

Eagle Scout Project in Oak Park. A small piece of wooded area is again open and inviting, revealing native woodland. The oaks in Oak Park have room to grow and thrive. About 50 cubic yards were cleared from ¼ acre during this work day. Mid-November was our last volunteer project for the year. Most other deciduous leaves had dropped, but Bush Honeysuckle retains its leaves long after a hard freeze, making it easy to identify. The Mayor’s Youth Council organized this effort and was represented by nine different area High Schools. The fun of working together toward a common goal overshadowed hard work during each volunteer effort. Laughter, cheers of pride and accomplishment along with words of encouragement, team challenge between schools and civic pride are heard throughout the park. An additional ¾ acre is cleared of 150 cubic yards of Bush Honeysuckle during this event. For Wichita, Oak Park is a valued landmark where everyone remembers childhood walks through the woods, wondering where the giant is if he takes a bath in the pond. The natural woods are a favored spot for casual and serious bird watchers who are eager to see the woodland restored. It’s a destination for family picnics, senior pictures, conservation study or simply a calming walk with a friend. The dedication and hard work of Park staff along with local volunteer efforts will continue to restore the native woods to their original beauty and solitude so future generations will also have lasting memories in Oak Park. Bush honeysuckle (Lonicera spp.) is a woody invasive plant that forms dense stands that shade out herbaceous plants and out-competes tree species for resources. In general Lonicera spp. reduces wildlife habitat, species diversity& causes a decline in the regeneration of Kansas’ dominant oak-hickory forest.

“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 doug@krpa.org.

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Perspective By John Washington, KRPA President, Garden City Recreation Commission

“Intergovernmental Cooperation” As Interlocal and Intergovernmental agencies we have learned the key to success is cooperation and communication. It is an effective way for governments to respond to recreational needs. For this year’s trip to Washington D.C. for the NRPA Legislative Forum, cooperative efforts were made by NRPA to offer a hurricane of training and networking. In addition, KRPA scheduled meetings with Kansas congressional leaders to discuss parks and recreation issues. The excitement generated within me has given me great respect for KRPA and NRPA goals and concerns. So, I‘ve come home to go to work on new ideas and tell my stories. Here are some important priority facts from our policy position.

Act Now: • The available funding for bike and pedestrian projects has shrunk from $1.2 billion to approximately 800 million. This funding is no longer specifically dedicated to bike and pedestrian projects as states are no longer required to invest a portion of their surface transportation funding in pedestrian projects. As we know, the State of Kansas opted-out this year of using surface transportation funding for these types of projects. We need that back and with your help all things are possible. • Recognizing the importance of public recreation and park opportunities to large urban renewal and community development efforts, Congress established the Urban Parks and Recreation Recovery Program (UPARR) to providing matching grants to localities in economically distressed communities. Over two decades this program has restored neighborhoods to restore facilities

that have fallen into disrepair, encouraged innovative recreational programming and delivered service, UPARR has not been funded since 2002, and must be updated in order to best meet our demands. Now remember, everyone has fallen into disrepair! Through your efforts we can encourage innovation in recreation programming and delivery of services, and support programs of demonstrated value in providing constructive alternatives to our atrisk-youth. So, when you sit down and visit with groups and individuals making policy, talk about providing matching funds in the Community Parks Revitalization Act. • Reauthorize (MAP-21) transportation program to enhance states dedicated funding for walking and biking. The Transportation Law expires in 2014 and Congressional Leaders are meeting to discuss the components of the next Surface Transportation Bill. It is important to advocate during the reauthorization process before they eliminate funding for TE, RTP, and the SRTS Programs. • Health, wellness, and physical activity requires funding for the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Transportation Grant (CTG program). Also, we want to ensure that recreation and parks agencies are included as eligible partners in any federal strategy or guidelines aimed at increasing physical activity at the local level. Because parks provide the spaces, places, and opportunity for physical activity as well nutrition programs, they are essential partners in combating some of the most complicated challenges our country faces; poor nutrition, hunger, and

obesity. It’s important to stress that communities step outside of their comfort zones and make a positive change in the health and wellness of our nation in ways to increase activity. • Children in Nature, another aspect of the NRPA legislative platform, is a strong way of telling ourselves to connect our children with the outdoors. We all know that time spent outdoors improves the health and balance of your life! The No Child Left Inside Act, introduced last year in Congress, is just as important if not the most important discussion you could have with legislative leaders in pushing forward our legislative platform. The concept would authorize legislation that improves our children’s health, supports economic growth, and strengthens the future of conservation by providing incentives to states and local entities to reconnect youth and families with nature and foster environmental stewards. Spend time on the NRPA website and educate yourself on the discussion from the National Legislative Forum on Recreation and Parks. We all know that recreation and park agencies, like schools, have limited resources. Considering the tremendous benefit provided by having recreation and parks agencies take part in the local environmental education curriculum. It makes sense to partner with agencies and jointly work with our legislators for our future funding. Every participant has a right to a quality future with recreation and parks. References: National Recreation and Park Association. 2011. PRORAGIS Program Guide

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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.

KRPA to Collaborate with the American Cancer Society

KRPA announced at the 2013 state conference in January that the first partnership initiative would be encouraging members to support the fight against cancer by joining the KRPA Birthday Club. KRPA members are being asked to make a donation to the American Cancer Society on their birthday and can do so by filling out the donation form in the attached document. The American Cancer Society is the official sponsor of birthdays. The Society will measure the impact of KRPA by tracking the total amount of money raised by KRPA members during the course of the year. “We hope KRPA members step forward and make a donation to the Society on their birthdays this year and help ensure that they and their loved ones will celebrate many more birthdays to come,” added Vance.

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“We look forward to our involvement with the American Cancer Society and offering unique opportunities for our members to play a role in their communities in helping support the effort to fight cancer,” said KRPA Executive Director Doug Vance. “We represent an industry in Kansas which places a priority on offering resources that support healthy lifestyles and it’s highly appropriate we support the Society in this cause.”

BlueCHIP CO

The Kansas Recreation and Park Association is collaborating with the American Cancer Society to use KRPA’s resources to fight cancer. KRPA will work with the American Cancer Society in Kansas to develop programs, resources and awareness that benefit in the effort to defeat this deadly disease.

BlueCHIP Award Presented To Winning Communities.

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On-site presentations have been made to BlueCHIP award winning communities, organizations or KRPA members. Those honored or scheduled to be honored include Mission, Blue Valley, Wichita, Lawrence, Great Bend and Greensburg. KRPA partners with Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Kansas along with Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Kansas City to honor communities for their efforts in supporting programs that promote healthy lifestyles.

The BlueCHIP Award for Mission was presented at a city council meeting. Pictured, from the left, are Christy Hummerickhouse (Mission Parks & Recreation), Laura McConwell (Mayor, Mission), Macaela Stephenson (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City) and Mark Raduziner (Mission Park Commission Chair)

The BlueCHIP Award for Lawrence was presented at a city council meeting. Pictured, from the left, are Ernie Shaw (Lawrence Parks & Recreation), Marlou Wegener and Todd Chapple (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas), Lawrence Mayor Bob Schumm, KRPA Executive Director Doug Vance and Janelle Martin (Executive Director, Douglas County CHIP).

Blue Valley BlueCHIP – Cindy McAlister, Blue Valley Recreation Commission Board Chair, receives the BlueCHIP Award from Macaela Stephenson of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas City.

The Health & Wellness Coalition of Wichita earned the BlueCHIP Award for large communities in Kansas. On hand for the presentation at the Wichita YMCA were (front, from the left) Doug Vance (KRPA), Monica Cissell (Sedgwick County Depart. On Aging/CPA A), Debbie Williams (Wichita YMCA), Kylie Hurtig (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas), Jalaa Miller (Sedgwick County Health Department), Rex Wilcox (Via Christi Health Systems. Back Row – John Deines and Marlou Wegener (Blue Cross Blue Shield of Kansas).

Did You Know? Campaign Launched KRPA’s new advocacy marketing campaign – Did You Know? – was launched during the pre-conference day of the 2013 state conference as staff teams representing a dozen agencies took part in the day-long training event in Manhattan. Agencies that enrolled in the training included Baldwin City, Blue Valley, Garden City, Great Bend, Johnson County, Lawrence, Leawood, Lenexa, Manhattan, Mission, Newton, and Salina. In addition, KRPA hosted a “Train the Trainer” April 25 in Lawrence and will host another training program for agency teams May 29 in Derby.

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KRPA Goes to Washington!

2013 KRPA

Calendar of Events

Four representatives of KRPA visited Washington, DC, in March with other park and recreation leaders from across the country to attend the annual NRPA Legislative Forum. In addition to participating in educational events hosted by NRPA, the group also visited Capitol Hill to meet and discuss legislative priorities with Kansas congressional members or their legislative aides.

July 8 Deadline to apply for NRPA Congress Scholarship 11 KRPA Board of Directors Conference Call

Picture in front of the United States Capitol are, from the left, Bob Johnson, Jr. (Blue Valley and former NRPA Board Chair), Sue Vance (Kansas Department of Wildlife, Parks and Tourism-AmeriCorps), KRPA Executive Director Doug Vance and KRPA President John Washington (Garden City).

Unique Community Partnership Bringing Special Sports Field to Olathe this Fall Olathe will soon be home to one of four adaptive baseball fields in the Greater Kansas City area. Located at the Olathe Public Schools’ College Boulevard Activities Complex (CBAC) it will become the home of The Miracle League of Olathe program. The Miracle League of Olathe formed in 2004, with a vision of offering children of all abilities the chance to play baseball. In 2013 the league will have an official home field thanks to a unique community partnership that brings together community organization, private business and professional sports. In addition to the original sponsorship by Olathe Medical Center, which is donating $125,000 to the project, the Olathe Public Schools, who is donating the land, the Olathe Parks and Recreation Department, who will operate the league and Strickland Construction, who is assisting in the construction of the field,

MidAmerica Nazarene University, and the Olathe Chamber of Commerce , the Kansas City Royals Charities, Variety of Kansas City and the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation have all come forward with financial and fund-raising support. “To bring the community together for such a unique project is what Olathe is about,” said Eric Hughes, Miracle League Board President, “this is the right project at the right time and we are thrilled to not only partner with our local community, but Royals Charities, Variety of KC and the Cal Ripken Sr Foundation.” The field is scheduled to begin construction this summer with a fall 2013 completion. It is our hope that the first pitch will be thrown out during the spring 2014 season. Fund-raising efforts continue as funds are still needed to complete the project. Contact Erin Dugan at 913-780-8037 for more information on how you can be part of this amazing project.

August 15 KRPA Board of Directors Meeting (Great Bend) 16 Southwest Kansas Golf Tournament (Buffalo Dunes, Garden City) September 10-12 Tomorrow’s Leaders Institute (Linwood) 18 Administrative Branch Workshop (Lawrence) 20 KRPA Golf Tournament (Eagle Bend, Lawrence) 24-26 Built Environment and Outdoors Summit (Topeka) 26-27 KRPA-MPRA Executive Forum (Kansas City, Mo.) October 3 KRPA Board of Directors (Lawrence) 8-10 NRPA Congress (Houston, TX) 27 Deadline to apply for KRPA Conference Scholarship

Residents Approve New Recreation Commission in Ellinwood The City of Ellinwood, located in the southeast corner of Barton County about 10 miles east of Great Bend, will become the newest community to have a recreation commission in Kansas. As a result of the April 2nd election, the citizens of USD 355, Ellinwood School District, approved a ballot question to form a joint recreation commission by a vote of 301 to 187 to assess up to three mills for the operation of the commission. “Now, the real work begins,” said Mel Waite, who helped lead a seven-person steering committee that spearheaded the effort that resulted in the ballot question for the community. The concept of developing a recreation commission structure for Ellinwood, a community of approximately 2,000 residents, first started in February, 2012, with a public meeting organized by Waite and others who had a sincere interest in seeing organized recreational programs available in the community. “We looked at all options, including private funding concepts,” said Waite. “In the end, it was apparent that the development of a joint recreation commission would best serve our needs.” “From that meeting we organized the steering committee and developed a comprehensive survey that was circulated throughout the community,” said Waite, a former city administrator who now works in private business in Ellinwood. “The key for us was making sure we had both the city and the

school in support of the process. Once we got both of their governing bodies on board, we were able to move forward.” Other Ellinwood community leaders who served on the steering committee were John Isern, Nancy Baird, Derek Joiner, Carl Isern, Marion DeWerff and Larry Drees. “We also had the support of both the USD 355 School Board and Superintendent Ben Jacobs, along with the support of the City Council which included Mayor Frank Koelsch and City Administrator Robert Peter,” added Waite. “While neither the school or city were actively involved in the promotion and campaign, they were supportive of the issue.” In addition, Waite said he had received valuable advice on the needed steps in the process from nearby recreation commission directors in Great Bend, Hoisington and Lyons. “Those are the communities where many of our youth teams have been participating in league play,” said Waite. “Now, a five-person board needs to be appointed and the funding mechanism needs to start feeding into the budget development,” noted Waite. “The city has been providing $30,000 in support of recreational programming in the past and that will help get our budget development started.” “We are very excited to see this dream become a reality,” explained Waite.

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2013 KRPA Conference

Award Winners

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1. Mitch Gross of the Sunflower State Games receives the Distinguished Public Service Award from Doug Vance 2. Tom McEvoy (center) of Emporia accepts the Distinguished Fellow Award from Connie Smith (left) and Jennifer Bennett (right) 3. Accepting the Hall of Fame Award on behalf of Janice Pankratz were her husband (left) Larry, Del Myers and daughter Bethany 4. Linda Lanterman (left) of KDWPT presents the KRPA Hall of Fame Award to Jerry Hover 5. Roger Steinbrock (right) presents the Distinguished Fellow Award to Ernie Shaw 6. Brandy Shoemaker from Ottawa Recreation Commission receives the Distinguished New Professional Award from Tommy Sink 7. KRPA President Ernie Shaw (right) presents the President’s Award to Bob Johnson, Jr. 8. Michael Meadors of Johnson County Park & Recreation District accepted the Distinguished Board Member Award on behalf of Nancy Wallerstein from Connie Smith 9. Cindy Crandall (right) of Deerfield receives the Distinguished Professional Award from husband Doug Crandall (center) and Amy Calderon 10. The Distinguished Service Award was presented to John Brown, Emporia, by Jennifer Bennett 11. Cathy Ziegler (right) was honored with a special award for her years of service to KRPA by Bonnie Simon (center) and Doug Vance

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Signs of the By Todd Lovin Park Manager, Tuttle Creek State Park

Summer

Educating Park Users As A Deterrent to Unintentional Park Violations Park professionals throughout Kansas are gearing up for a busy summer season with visitors seeking to take full advantage of the outdoor recreational opportunities they offer.

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hose opportunities can range from sports, exercise, arts and crafts to experiencing the wide variety of what nature can offer. Building or enhancing family and friend relationships in a safe environment represents the core foundation principle to all the parks activities. Unfortunately, park law enforcement officers such as park rangers, park police, sheriff deputies and local police department officers to often deal with some less than desirable activities within the parks. As an over-simplification, park violations many times can be categorized as “intentional” or “unintentional.” Methods or strategies used to deter those crimes can vary greatly. The intentional crimes are ones that are not park specific and, generally, they go against normal morals, values and safety requirements. Examples of these crimes are theft, battery, drunk driving, no fishing licenses, and disorderly conduct. To

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deter or prevent intentional crimes, law enforcement officers use common and well planned policing methods. In a local or state park it is important to be proactive rather than reactive. Many times common crimes can be deterred by increasing patrols, changing patrol patterns, or just becoming more visible. In Kansas State Parks, many users reported that parks had increased park rangers or patrols. In reality, park rangers have simply stepped up their patrol vehicles visibility in recent years. This included putting emergency light bars back on the vehicle from a dash mount light, putting on law enforcement decals, etc. As a result of the changes, park visitors have been able to better recognize park ranger vehicles when they passed through the area. Criminals will target park areas at times because they feel it is remote and lightly populated and the risk of getting caught is minimal. Therefore, efforts to increase patrols or visibility can be a very effective deterrent.


Park signs are many times a first impression of a park’s overall condition. However, the message is delivered, communication is essential.

While intentional crimes can be difficult to prevent, unintentionally committed violations may ultimately do the most damage to the park and may require the most resources. Simply stated, the unintentional violations are often the ones that folks say, “Sorry, I didn’t know, or you should put up a sign” type violations. In many situations, the “I didn’t know” line is just that an excuse. But, as park law enforcement officers and employees, we should give pause to reflect and not automatically discount the argument. Among the examples of these violations are pet off-leash issues, vehicle operations and alcohol violations just to name a few of those issues that are most common. Many times these violations are due to park or agency regulations. The regulations are in place to protect the parks resources, are personal safety oriented, and are to ensure visitors enjoyment of the park. Possibly the most effective way to lessen an unintentional violation is by the widely used practice of community policing at which park officers are generally quite proficient. A simple abbreviated definition of community policing is the proactive, effective development of partnerships and resources with individuals, groups and organizations to identify and resolve issues within a jurisdiction. While the approach has to be multi-pronged, one essential element is that the community has to be engaged. A common approach for a park officer’s use is one-on-one communication and education. Park officers regularly stop by a campsite to chat about park facilities, user satisfaction and so forth. After the user’s nervousness about what they did wrong feeling wears off, the brief encounters many times leads to very informative, educational opportunities. When the visitor returns in the future, the relationship can continue to grow.

Well designed and strategically located signage is many times overlooked but is a necessity to educate park visitors on park regulations. To be effective, appropriate signage truly requires the entire park department to participate. It’s easy to think the signs at our park of responsibility provides our users all the information they need and are the appropriate messages. To test that theory, go to a park you are unfamiliar with and look at their information on display. Does it fully answer your questions? Many times we will find that “our park” has similar signage and information and maybe that “there isn’t a sign argument” is a bit more accurate than we give it credit. In addition to the information, pay attention to the quality/professionalism in the design of the sign. A rusted, bent, crooked, broken-down sign probably doesn’t make a user believe the park is serious about park regulations. Most everyone has heard the saying, “build it and they will come.” The opposite message is just as true if we add on something like “let it crumble and they avoid it”. Park signs are many times a first impression of a park’s overall condition. However, the message is delivered, communication is essential. A prime of example of that partnership and communication is during Country Stampede at Tuttle Creek State Park in Manhattan. Several years ago, the campgrounds had an issue with vehicle driving or “cruising”. This cruising was the root of numerous problems including drunk driving, traffic problems, vehicle accidents, and personal injuries due to individuals falling out of the backs of vehicles. Law enforcement officers worked diligently and were increasingly frustrated. Law enforcement effectively communicated to event organizers how detrimental and

dangerous cruising was to the overall event. Through a series of discussions with event organizers several regulation changes were made including banning cruising, limiting vehicles, and prohibiting riding in the backs of trucks. Event coordinators diligently posted the new regulations on all their information to users. With the new regulations in place, Stampede personnel - including security and campground management - consistently made visitors aware of the change. As a result, in recent years the problems associated with cruising have been significantly reduced. If it wasn’t for this team approach of problem solving, law enforcement likely would still be dealing with cruising today. Parks experience the same problems as our communities and neighborhoods with a few special park twists. Through effective teamwork and partnerships we can maintain our parks safely for the family environment we all strive to do daily. KRPA Today - www.krpa.org • 11


A Walking

Revolution Movement making Americans happier & healthier

By Jay Walljasper

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Everyone can do it and it’s fun. We have to make being healthy joyful.” Dr. Regina Benjamin US Surgeon General

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Ways to get people moving in 2013

How to encourage everyone to walk 1. Take a Walk Today. Invite friends and family to take a walk with you this week. Stroll with your dog or a neighbor. Host a walking meeting at work. Ride public transit more often, as most trips begin and end with a walk. 2. Visit Every Body Walk! website for information, inspiration, tools and compelling videos. 3. Get involved with us to help Americans walk more and to make your community more walkable. info@AmericaWalks.org

How to make your community more walkable 4. Speak Up for Active Transportation Infrastructure: It’s important that national, state and local investments in transportation improve walking, bicycling, public transit and other forms of active transportation. 5. Create Complete Streets: Show your support for state, regional and local Complete Streets policies, which provide for “routine accommodation” of pedestrians and bicyclists on roadways. This can be accomplished with sidewalks, better crossings, pedestrian lighting and other safety features. More information here. 6. Reduce Traffic Speed: Cut speed limits and help motorists drive safely by installing traffic calming devices, especially around schools, town centers, business districts and workplaces. 7. Promote Safe Routes: Launch a Safe Routes to School program in your community — so kids, teachers, and staff can walk to and from school. Also, ensure that physical activity is built into every student’s school day. For more information see SafeRoutesPartnership.org

THE NEXT BIG HEALTH CARE BREAKTHROUGH — which could cut rates of heart disease, diabetes, colon cancer, and Alzheimer’s by at least 40 percent and save Americans $100 billion a year — comes from a place you’d least expect. On your block. In the park. Everywhere. So what’s this amazing treatment, which also happens to be easy, enjoyable and virtually free? It’s as simple as taking a walk. “Walking is like medicine for my patients,” says Dr. Bob Sallis — a Kaiser Permanente family practitioner from Fontana, California—describing the connection between how much time his patients spend walking and their overall health. “If walking was a pill or surgical procedure, it would be on 60 Minutes.” “Being physically active is one of the most important things people of all ages can do for their health,” explains Joan Dorn of the Centers for Disease Control

8. Encourage Walking at Work: Start a trend by introducing walking meetings at your job. Suggest that employers create incentives to reward people who commute by foot, bike and public transit. 9. Celebrate Walking: Help stage public events and meet ups — such as a stroll with the mayor — which emphasize the health, economic, environmental and social benefits of walking. 10. Improve Maps and Signage: Post signs showing how close it is to get to destinations on foot, and create easyto-use walking maps for your town and region. 11. Walk Your Talk: Work with neighbors and local officials to increase pedestrian space in the streets with parklets, play streets, open streets or walking malls for shopping. 12. Make the Streets Safer: Organize community groups to walk the streets, working with law enforcement and media to ensure that walking is, and is perceived as, a safe and enjoyable option. 13. Get Creative: The best way to generate good ideas is, of course, to take a walk.

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More people walking leads to safer hometowns, better student performance in school, a stronger sense of neighborliness, increased economic activity at local businesses and improved social equity among all Americans. Tyler Norris Kaiser Permanente Vice President

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and Prevention (CDC). She notes that walking ranks #1 as Americans’ favorite physical activity, and that doing it for as little as 30 minutes is one way to achieve significant health benefits. US Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin announced that she is preparing a Call to Action on Walking, which is being compared to the famous 1964 Surgeon General’s Report on the dangers of smoking. “Walking is easy,” Dr. Benjamin told — told a group of health, business, education, and government leaders who came together in Washington, D.C. to advance a national walking movement. “Everyone can do it and it’s fun. We have to make being healthy joyful.” More than 100 organizations, ranging from the National PTA to the American Lung Association to AARP to NAACP to Nike, were on hand at the meeting. Despite their wide-varying missions, the vast majority of groups agreed on two common goals: 1) Encouraging everyone to walk more; and 2) Boosting policies, practices, and investments that will make communities everywhere more walkable. A national summit to launch a walking movement is now being planned for next fall. The benefits of walking don’t stop at health. More people walking leads to safer hometowns, better student performance in school, a stronger sense of neighborliness, increased economic activity at local businesses and improved social equity among all Americans, notes Tyler Norris, Vice President of the large non-profit health care provider Kaiser Permanente. Our country’s low rate of physical activity compared to other nations is not just laziness. To get Americans back on their feet — and to enjoy improved health and other widespread benefits that arise when people walk — we need to make movement, once again, a natural part of daily life. This calls for a close look at how people are

either encouraged or discouraged from walking to work, schools, shops, parks and other destinations in our communities. Lexer Quamie of The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights advocates “equal opportunity in mobility,” which eliminates obstacles and dangers that make walking difficult or unsafe for many low-income, older, and young individuals and people with disabilities. She noted that the pedestrian fatality rate for African Americans and Latinos is almost twice that of whites. Real estate developer Christopher Leinberger outlines the powerful economic arguments in favor of walking. One-third of all assets in the US today are real estate, he explains, “and there is a huge pent-up demand for walkable urbanism” — a term describing cities, suburbs and small towns with sidewalks and other pedestrian amenities. “All of the growth over the next generation, if we give the market what [people] want, will be walkable urbanism,” states Leinberger, who is also a research professor at the George Washington University School of Business. Americans already walk more than many people realize, accounting for 11 percent of daily transportation trips nationally, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. “But until now there has not been a unified voice to advocate for improving the built environment to increase walking for transportation, shopping, and leisure”, notes Scott Bricker, executive director of America Walks. Data from the Federal Highway Administration’s 2009 National Household Survey shows Americans walk in surprisingly large numbers to work (35 percent), shops (40 percent) and school or church (46 percent) when these places are a mile or less from home.


Number of Americans who walk when their destination is a mile or less from home:

35%

40%

46%

walk to work

Walk to shops

Walk to school/ church

Data from the Federal Highway Administration’s 2009 National Household Survey

Six in ten already Americans report walking for at least ten minutes in the past week according to a recent publication from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Yet 52 percent of us still don’t get the recommended minimum of physical activity: 30 minutes a day five times a week (60 minutes for kids). But there’s good news: Walking is on the rise. Americans are walking six percent more on average than we did in 2005. Also, young people show a preference for walking. Federal Highway Administration research shows that vehicle miles traveled by drivers under 30 dropped from 21 percent of the total in 1995 to 14 percent by 2009 — an unprecedented 33 percent reduction that marks a definite cultural shift from Baby Boomers and Generation X to the emerging Millennial Generation. And the launch of a new walking movement offers promise for substantially increasing these numbers.

He’ll soon need new playground equipment. Stay top of mind. For as little as $350 per issue, KRPA Today gets you in front of key recreation and park decision-makers. No other form of advertising gets you so targeted.

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To quickly download advertising information, visit www.pernsteiner.com/ KRPAadvertising2013.pdf or call Todd at (952) 841-1111.

A Walking Summit is planned for October 1-3 in Washington, DC (more details soon available at EverybodyWalk.org). Everybody Walk!, which was catalyzed by Kaiser Permanente to get Americans moving and make communities more walkable, has become a collaborative involving many of the more than 100 organizations involved with the December 5 meeting (which was convened by America Walks, the American College of Sports Medicine, the Safe Routes to Schools National Partnership and Kaiser Permanente). America Walks, a national coalition of local walking advocacy groups, serves as the collaborative’s coordinator. For more information see EverybodyWalk or contact: info@AmericaWalks.org.

Jay Walljasper is a writer, speaker and consultant about how to make our communities more livable, sustainable, prosperous and lively. He is author of The Great Neighborhood Book and All That We Share: A Field Guide to the Commons. He lives in Minneapolis and you can find more of his work at JayWalljasper.com.

KRPA Today - www.krpa.org • 15


Making a Concession for a

Healthy Lifestyle

a “SCORE!” for the Johnson County Park & Recreation District By Jill Geller Superintendent of Recreation, Johnson County Park & Recreation District

ealthy food at a sporting event? Are you kidding? Five to ten years ago this would have been unthinkable. But it’s becoming more common each year as Americans strive to be healthier and park and recreation agencies expand their commitment to promoting healthy lifestyles. And that’s exactly what Johnson County Park & Recreation District is doing at two of our most popular sports facilities.

H

We made the decision to welcome in 2013 by making it easier for patrons to stick to their New Year’s resolutions with healthy concession offerings at Okun Fieldhouse in Shawnee and New Century Fieldhouse in Gardner. Through an initiative marketed as JCPRD Smart Snacks SCORE!, visitors to these facilities can now enjoy a Jalapeno Chicken Wrap, a Turkey Sandwich on Multigrain Bread, or a Grilled Chicken Breast on Flatbread. Sorry, no french fries, as fried food is a thing of the past. The snacks and sides now offered include baked chips, apples, and bananas.

16 • KRPA Today - www.krpa.org

Menu boards display the calorie count for each item, so patrons can make an educated decision when choosing what to eat. Healthy eating is also promoted through portion control. Gone are large candy bars, though fun-size candy can be purchased for a quarter. We actually started introducing healthy options on our concession menus two years ago, but the healthy items didn’t sell well. We soon realized that when patrons had the choice, they most often chose the unhealthy items. So, starting in 2013, the unhealthy items disappeared from Okun’s and New Century’s menus. And the reality has been, since those items are no longer on the menu, customers have not been asking for them. It really was a decision of walking the talk. In our promotions, we frequently state that ‘Everything We Do Makes a Healthier You.’ Now we do so not only by promoting active lifestyles, but by encouraging smart food choices as well.


SCORE

Menu Items ENTREES Calories Turkey Sandwich on Multi Grain...................200 Grilled Chicken Breast on Flatbread.............. 265 Jalepeno Chicken Wrap................................ 280 Boneless Wing Dings (4 pc)......................... 190 Hamburger.................................................340 Cheeseburger.............................................. 420 Hot Dog (All Beef)....................................... 430 BEVERAGES Calories Diet Coke........................................................ 0 Coke, Pibb Xtra, Sprite................................. 144 Dasani Water.................................................. 0 Powerade Zero................................................ 0 Powerade................................................... 130 Capri Sun................................................80-90 Juice................................................... 140-150 Coffee............................................................ 0 Hot Chocolate............................................. 135

As are most park and recreation agencies, JCPRD is heavily reliant on concessions revenues to support operations at our sports facilities. From a financial standpoint, we were initially concerned about making this switch. We were concerned it might have a negative impact on revenues, but we’ve been very pleasantly surprised. The community has embraced our efforts, and on most weekends our concessions sales have been up as compared to the same weekends in 2012. As I’ve visited these venues on weekends, it’s been so rewarding to hear positive comments from patrons. Like the high school volleyball player who said “Look Mom, they’ve got the calorie counts on their menu board!” And the 6-year old basketball player who excitedly asked his mom to buy him an apple - and she just as excitedly said, “You bet!” When Fox 4 News recently did a feature story on the new menu, volleyball mom Betsy Saxer was quick to give our healthy concession options a very high score. “I’ve gone with my daughter to volleyball games and tournaments at many facilities over the years,” she told reporter Katie Ferrell. “When I visited the concession

SNACKS Calories Apple......................................................... 130 Apple w/ Caramel....................................... 260 Granola Bar - Chocolate Chip......................... 90 Special K Protein Bar Chocolate Peanut Butter Bar................... 180 Strawberry Bar...................................... 170 String Cheese................................................ 80 Popcorn...................................................... 320 Pretzel........................................................ 180 Pretzel w/ Cheese....................................... 285 Pickle............................................................. 5 Candy (Fun Size)......................................60-90 Lemon Chill................................................ 220 stand here at Okun, I thought, ‘Oh my gosh.’ As a parent of a young athlete, I want to have healthy options for my child. She’s an athlete trying to perform and when we’re at a volleyball venue for the entire day, we want to have healthy options available.” Given the positive response the SCORE! menu has generated to this point, we plan to roll it out this summer at Roeland Park Aquatic Center, Heritage Park Football Complex, and The Theatre in the Park. We couldn’t feel better about what we’re doing. Okun and New Century will welcome more than 500,000 patrons through their doors this year, and our other facilities will host tens of thousands more. So we are touching a huge number of people through this initiative. The customers love it, our revenues are up, and from a health promotion standpoint it’s simply the right thing to do.

BREAKFAST ITEMS Calories Breakfast Burrito......................................... 290 Blueberry Muffin......................................... 450 SIDES Calories Baked Lays - Original.................................. 130 Baked Lays - BBQ....................................... 140 Baked Ruffles - Chedder & Sour Cream......... 140 Nachos w/ Cheese....................................... 280 CONDIMENTS (Upon Request) Calories Ketchup........................................................ 10 Mustard........................................................ 10 Relish........................................................... 10 Miracle Whip Light........................................ 15 Mayonnaise.................................................. 90 Lettuce......................................................... 15 Tomato Slice................................................... 5 Sour Cream................................................... 60 Jalapenos....................................................... 5 BBQ Sauce................................................... 60 Honey Mustard...........................................300 Buttermilk Ranch Dressing........................... 350 Extra Nacho/Pretzel Cheese......................... 105

SCORE! has definitely proven to be a winwin-win! KRPA Today - www.krpa.org • 17


Get UP and Get

MOVING

with these 10 Recreation Programs By Lynn Maska, Ed.D. and Ashley Lutters Fort Hays State University

obesity are a lack of physical activity and poor nutritional choices. The U.S. Surgeon General states that individuals need at least 30-60 minutes of physical activity most days of the week (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2013). Participating in physical activity programs helps to reduce the risk of heart disease, obesity, as well as many other diseases. Physical activity enhances overall quality of life and is a lot of fun. Finding quality, health enhancing programs can be as easy as visiting the local recreation agency. Recreation agencies offer a variety of fitness and wellness activities that will help to promote overall health and wellness for all ages. Here are ten programs offered around the state to get people moving.

Programs for YoutH

It is time to send our youth out to play. Participating in structured play on a regular basis can help establish healthy behaviors for life.

Kansas Kids Fitness, Safety, and Bike Rodeo Day Garden City Recreation Commission The Kansas Kids Fitness, Safety, and Bike Rodeo Day will by Saturday, May 4. Garden City Recreation Commission partnered with several health and safety agencies to help children get ready for a fun, safe, and active summer. The event will conclude with bike safety information and cyclist can ride through and obstacle course.

M

Movement is one of the most significant factors in improving wellness and quality of life. Physical activity helps to promote a healthy mind, healthy body and can add years to an individual’s life. A sedentary lifestyle can be detrimental to overall health and fitness, leading to many degenerative diseases including; heart disease, obesity, as well as many other health disparities (Teague, M. Mackenzie, S. and Rosenthal, D. 2009).

18 • KRPA Today - www.krpa.org

Zumbatomics

Heart disease is the number one killer in the United States. Approximately 600,000 Americans die from heart disease every year, that is one out of every four deaths (CDC, 2013). Obesity rates in the United States have reached an epidemic proportion. Powers, Dodd, and Noland (2006) have estimated that 60% of all American adults are overweight and obese. Youth obesity rates are reported at 30%. The major contributors to both heart disease and

Hays Recreation Commission Zumbatomic is for kids from age 3 to 10 years of age, with music and dance moves that are appropriate for each age group. The class will expose youth to movement and body awareness while enjoying a fun, fast-paced workout.

Kids Water Jam Newton Recreation Commission This water aerobics class is geared specifically towards kids and the emphasis on fun and exercise. Music helps to motivate participants as the work-out with weights, noodles, and games to increase overall fitness.


Programs for AdultS Meet the stresses of life with a strong, fit body and mind. Physical activity should be a part of your everyday life, just like work.

Yogilates Hutchinson Recreation Commission This class mixes yoga and pilates while integrating core exercises, alignment principles, and a great warm-up of the spine and body through pilates. Participants learn good breathing techniques and movement flow form yoga.

Yoga by the Water Shawnee County Parks and Recreation Start your day off stress free as you join Mimi at the lake as you learn yoga exercises to become more flexible and build strength. The sounds from the outdoors and the soothing water help enhance the class experience and promote relaxation.

Ballet Fit Turner Recreation Commission Ballet dancers have lean strong bodies for a reason, the technique work and barr stretches. Participants learn to build a dancer’s body through a fitness class/dance class that help strengthen the legs and core.

Programs for SeniorS

We are never too old for play. Exercise helps to rejuvenate the mind, body and spirit.

Salina Senior Games Salina Parks and Recreation This year marks the 15th annual Salina Senior Games. The games are open to individuals 50 years and older. Athletes can participate in a variety of events including table tennis, pickleball, football and softball throw, cycling, golf, track and field, as well as many more. The game will begin Wednesday, July 3.

Area RunS

5K, 10K, half marathons are very popular with both participants and spectators. Races offer you the opportunity for a personal challenge while training to improve fitness. Most races include all ages and are a great way for families to work-out together.

Couch to 5K Emporia Recreation Commission Couch to 5K is a running program to train people for a 5K run. The program lasts for eight weeks and finishes with a 5K run for the participants.

Girls on the Run Maize Recreation Commission This ten week training session is designed for girls from 3rd through 8th grade to train for a 5K run while learning the importance of community service, a healthy body image, and overall wellness.

Rock’n’Route Triathlon Derby Recreation Commission This event includes a 400m swim, twelve mile bike ride in the country, and ends with a 5K run through Derby’s High Park. There are many wonderful recreational programs throughout the state that promote movement and enhance quality of life. Many of these programs ideas can easily be adapted to use anywhere and for anyone. The key is to motivate all people to become excited about physical activity. References Center for Disease Control and Prevention, (2013). Heart disease statistics. www.cdc.gov. Powers, S., Dodd, S., & Noland, V. (2006). Total Fitness and Wellness. New York: Pearson/Benjamin Cummings. Teague, M., Mackenzie, S., & Rosenthal, D. (2009). Your Health. New York: McGraw-Hill. U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, (2005). U.S. Surgeon General rolls out 2005 agenda: the year of the healthy child. www.surgeongeneral.gov.

KRPA Today - www.krpa.org • 19


Today

KRPA

Kansas Recreation & Park Association

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

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KRPA Today Spring 2013