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Missouri Fall 2013

Parks & Recreation

Official publication of the Missouri Park & Recreation Association

Recreation Students Gain Hands-On Experience

Boots on the Green

4th Annual Golf Tournament

GO APE Holds Grand Opening At Creve Coeur Park

Missouri Voted

“Best Trails State”

– American Trails

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Parks & Recreation

TABLE OF CONTENTS Announcements.................................................................................. 4 Updates................................................................................................ 6 President’s Letter................................................................................ 7

Managing Editors Jan Neitzert, CPRP, CAE Executive Director

Propane Mowers Making Cuts Across Missouri.............................. 8

Gary Gates, CPRP Assistant Executive Director

St. Charles County Parks & Library District Partnership................13

Missouri Trail Alliance Update......................................................... 10 St. Charles Opens New Disc Golf Course.......................................12 Boots on the Green...........................................................................14

Sarah Veile Membership and Marketing Specialist

Park It Forward...................................................................................16

Advertising/DESIGN/Production Pernsteiner Creative Group (952) 841-1111

Walk Jefferson City........................................................................... 22

Missouri Parks & Recreation ©2013. The official publication of the Missouri Park & Recreation Association, an affiliate of the National Recreation & Park Association. The magazine is included in annual membership dues.

We need your contributions! Missouri Parks & Recreation magazine is composed, in large part, from submitted articles and photos. We rely on your input to produce a successful publication. Please send articles, news and high-resolution photos to Sarah Veile at Advertise in MISSOURI magazine. For advertising information, email Todd Pernsteiner at or call (877) 694-1999. Deadlines: Deadlines for articles, photos and advertisements are: Winter – November 15, 2013 Spring – February 15, 2014 Fall – August 15, 2014

Technology Solutions for Park & Rec Facilities.............................. 18 Go Ape Holds Grand Opening at Creve Coeur Park.................... 20 Mixing Tigers, Food & Region 2...................................................... 23 Ground Breaks on McCoy Park Inclusive Play Project.................. 24 Recreation Students Gain Hands-On Experience......................... 26 Springfield-Greene Celebrates a Century of Parks...................... 27

ADVERTISER INDEX Bell Structural Solutions....................................................................11 Hydro Dramatics/Aquamaster........................................................... 5 Missouri Propane Education & Research Council........................... 9 Most Dependable Fountains............................... Inside Front Cover MUSCO Sports Lighting....................................................................17 USTA....................................................................................................17 Zero Waste..........................................................................Back Cover Thank you to Musco Lighting, our Corporate Sponsor. Thank you also to our advertisers for your help in supporting MISSOURI PARKS & RECREATION magazine. We kindly ask members to please support our advertisers. Interested in advertising? Contact Todd Pernsteiner at (877) 694-1999 or

The Missouri Park & Recreation Association will comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by providing reasonable accommodations for our meetings, events and in our services when they are requested. Please make your accommodation required at least 72 hours in advance by calling our office at (573) 636-3828.

The Musco Lighting Building 2018 William Street Jefferson City, MO 65109-1186 Phone: 573-636-3828 Fax: 573-635-7988

On the Cover: Katy Trail, photo courtesy of

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 3


Kate Plank Retires Retiring on August 15, 2013, Plank was a 1985 Graduate of SMSU, MPRA member since 1985, MPRA Board Secretary from 2000-2001, and SW Region Director 2012-13. Plank donated to the MPRA building fund, and was also a two-time contributor of the MPRA Conference Auction for St. Louis Cardinals tickets! Plank worked for the Springfield-Greene County Parks department from 1985 to 2013 in the following areas: Youth/Adult sports, Senior Activities, Community & Family Centers, Aquatics, Youth at Risk Development (now known as SPARC), Facility Planning/Development and a variety of departmental special events. “After 28 years, I’ve decided that there’s more to life than work, so I’m going to travel, start some new hobbies and enjoy life! I’ve always enjoyed the fellowship and professional development that I’ve gained through MPRA. It’s a fantastic organization and I encourage all you ‘young people’ to get involved and make a difference! Carry on MPRA, I’ll see you around!”

Welcome Sarah Veile MPRA is thrilled to welcome Sarah Veile to the staff. Sarah fills the newly-created position of Membership and Marketing Specialist, and will concentrate full-time on membership connections and effective marketing of our services to all member types. Her duties will include oversight of MPRA publications, so be sure to send news from your agency to her going forward. You can reach her at Sarah attended Westminster College in Fulton, MO where she received her Bachelors of Art degree in business communications and marketing. She began her professional career at the Jefferson City Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as the Communications Manager. Most recently she spent the last eight years as the Event Coordinator and National Accounts Coordinator for the Jefferson City News Tribune. “I’m very excited about my decision to join the staff at MPRA. I think this will be a great opportunity for me to meet new people and promote something that I really believe in.”

Warrensburg Parks & Recreation New Hire

Ashlie Fatino has joined the Warrensburg Parks & Recreation Staff as a Recreation Supervisor. She received her Bachelors Degree in Physical Education with an emphasis in Fitness Management from Doane College in Crete, Nebraska. Ashlie did her internship with Crete Parks & Recreation for four years as a Recreation Coordinator Assistant. As Recreation Supervisor, Ashlie’s duties include health and fitness, aquatic, youth and special event programming.

Blue Springs Parks & Recreation Announces Staff Promotion and Welcomes New Employees Randy Cooper, who practically grew up in the Blue Springs Parks & Recreation Department, has recently been promoted to the position of Superintendent of Parks and Buildings. As a Blue Springs High School student he volunteered for the Department as a part of various Boy Scout projects. He was hired full-time in 1981 as a Maintenance Worker, promoted to Crew Chief in 1988 and to Park Maintenance Supervisor in 1996. Randy now oversees the operations of the parks, buildings and open space divisions. He is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of 21 parks, 678 acres of park land and 12 public buildings. Justin Stuart was hired to a new position of Superintendent of Athletics & Instructional Programs. Justin comes to the Blue Springs Parks & Recreation Department from the Indianola, Iowa Parks & Recreation Department where he held the position of Sports/Fitness Coordinator. Justin also worked as the Recreation Program Coordinator with the Liberty, Missouri Park & Recreation Department and with the City of Platte City, Missouri as Director of Parks & Recreation. Justin is a graduate of Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa with a degree in Wellness Program Management. He is originally from Chariton, Iowa. Kaylahree Mayfield was hired to a new position of Recreation Supervisor of Youth Programs. Kaylahree’s home town is Shelton, Nebraska. She served as Program Director for Camp All-Stars in Kents Hills, Maine for the 2011 and 2012 seasons. She has promotions and operations experience with the Omaha Nighthawks United Football League, Omaha Diamond Spirit Baseball Association, and with Creighton University where she graduated with a B.A. Degree in Journalism, Public Relations & Advertising. Besides youth programs and departmental marketing, Kaylahree is responsible for the setting up BSP&R’s first Summer Day Camp Program.

Kevin Marquart Retires Community Recreation Coordinator Kevin Marquart retired in May 2013 after 28 years with the Springfield-Greene County Park Board. Marquart was one of a legendary group of Recreation Staff members hired in the 1980s who helped build the Park Board’s extensive awardwinning Recreation Program. He was well known throughout his career for his outstanding work with the Park Board’s Accessible Recreation program.   He was instrumental in establishing the Doling Family Center as a community hub for Springfield’s north side. Most recently, as head of the Doling Family Center, he helped bring the $3.3 million Doling Indoor Aquatics Addition online. Marquart was known affectionately as the Park Board’s “gentle giant” for not only his extraordinary height, but his exceptional kindness. Marquart remains active in his retirement by working with Abilities First, where he continues to serve southwest Missouri’s special-needs community.


People who strolled through a park, as opposed to a busy urban area, had a measureable boost in focus, energy and feelings of well-being. –Get Moving for a Healthy Brain by Margery D. Rosen, AARP Bulletin, September 2013, Vol54 No.7

4 Missouri Parks & Recreation •


Dave Smith Memorial Lighthouse Dave Smith, Director of Parks & Recreation for the City of Ferguson, passed away four years ago following a valiant battle against cancer. Dave’s staff decided that in his honor they would place a lighthouse on the Wabash Lake island in January. In talking to his family they were 100% for the project. A great partnership was developed. Fundraisers included a quilt raffle, three golf tournaments, a mouse race, (the Ferguson Lions Club donated the hall), soliciting from Missouri Park & Recreation Association members as well as directors in the metropolitan area, a trivia night at the Maryland Heights Community Center, and many smaller events. $19,500 was generated for the project. The city purchased the lighthouse from “The Lighthouse Factory” located in Michigan, for $10,000 in 2011. The lighthouse was put into storage until the island was repaired; $9,500 was donated to the city to help pay for island repairs and lighthouse installation. The lighthouse installation was completed in October. The dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony was held in April. Approximately 175 people attended, including Dave’s family, city staff, MPRA members, Parks & Recreation staff, Department Heads, Ferguson residents, individual donors, council members, and friends. The city thanks those who donated and were unable to attend. Fundraisers will not disappear as the family decided to continue the fund and use revenues to assist individuals in need. When you’re in the area, we invite you to please drop by January Wabash Park and enjoy the new Dave Smith Memorial Lighthouse.

Toni Siering Promoted to Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation: Toni Siering has been with Clayton Parks & Recreation for nearly 12 years. During that time, as Superintendent of Parks & Recreation Operations, she has overseen the administrative responsibilities of the department as well as daily operations of the department’s indoor recreation facility, The Center of Clayton. Recently, Toni was promoted to the position of Assistant Director of Parks & Recreation as part of a department restructure. In her new position, she manages department accounting and human resource functions, and oversees all programming, facility membership, rentals, department marketing and day-to-day operations. Toni is excited to have a more encompassing role in the department.

Bowling Green Hires Derick Beanland “The City of Bowling Green is very excited about hiring its first park and recreational professional, Derick Beanland. We believe that Derick will further enhance the city’s excellent parks system and add a component of recreational programming for the benefit of our community. I welcome Mr. Beanland to the city,” said Dan Lang, Bowling Green city administrator. Derick is a graduate from University of Central Missouri and holds a B.S. in Exercise Science. Directly out of college, he had an internship with the Los Angeles Dodgers as their Strength and Conditioning Coach. Most recently, Derick served one year as a recreation specialist, and one year as a recreation supervisor for the Missouri Department of Corrections.

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Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 5


Did You Know

MPRA Selects New Magazine Publisher

MPRA member agencies continue to "make friends" in their communities by providing information to their residents about the tremendous benefits offered by parks, recreation and open space. Special events are happening, and "DYK" facts are visible all around town. Another quarterly survey will be sent in September to assess the growth and new opportunities that these initiatives are promoting around Missouri - and Kansas, where they are implementing their own DYK campaigns! Coming up? MPRA staff and members will present an education session at NRPA's Congress! In addition, Jan Neitzert will be presenting the Keynote address for ORPS (Oklahoma Recreation and Park Society) in November, describing Did You Know/Friends of the Park to the delegates. This will be followed by a breakout session with Directors and upper-level leaders, giving them information on how Oklahoma's association and/or their public agencies could acquire all they need to deploy their own DYK initiative.

MPRA is proud to announce the selection of Pernsteiner Creative Group to produce MISSOURI magazine. PCG will be responsible for advertising sales, design, printing and distribution. They are also a strategic partner in helping us expand our corporate membership and develop relevant content. PCG currently produces publications for Minnesota, South Carolina, Kansas and Colorado Park & Recreation Associations. We hope you like the new look of the piece. If you are interested in advertising, contact Todd Pernsteiner at or (952) 841-1111.


Executive Board & Jan Neitzert


SUPPORT member/ promote services/ involvement and commitment. Build internal brand strength

Study & Research Committee


TOtally new tech (software, hardware, web presence, tech tools for education and training) and staff/member training as needed

Terry Robertson and Staff


STRENGTHEN our networks/Relationship building/Positioning/Branding (DYK, Partnerships, higher ed, MOAHPERD or trails alliance) External brand recognition & strengthsell DYK to at least three other states or establish two new corporate partners

Executive Board, Staff, Board Members


After a terrific response at our conference, the Charitable Giving Campaign continues. We are 20% to our initial goal - the point at which grants can be made from this fund. The primary recipients of these funds will be attendees to MPRA education events and eventually to public agency members who need help for special community projects. The Board and Committee Chair Mike Oppermann are requesting that anyone interested in being involved with this initiative please contact them soon! By popular demand, we have made it possible to contribute automatically on weekly or monthly basis, just by contacting our fund manager, Truman Heartland Community Foundation, Watch for an unbelievable opportunity coming soon!

STRATEGIC Plan: Create a new plan for a multi-year metric based targets/priorities, succession plan. Establish & share with key stakeholders, provide training/education as needed & establish integrated communications plan

Organizational Unit Resource mapping (a state-wide GIS/GPS/ member/community social equity, assets, and opportunities, to help continue to build community took kit)

Study & Research Committee


Charitable Giving

Strategic Support to Strengthen Our System

SYSTEMS wide synch of all general ops (restructuring/ realignment committees, all associated by-laws, policy & procedural manuals, and employee manual), streamline standing committee, regional governance, state tournaments, trails alliance)

Patty DeForrest, Eric Gruenenfelder, Jan Neitzert

Notice anything different about Missouri Parks & Recreation Magazine? We have a new look – what do you think? Email

6 Missouri Parks and Recreation •

President’s Letter By Terry Robertson, MPRA Board President

MPRA Strategic Planning Overview: Initial Tasks, Topics, People, Times and Opportunities Establish 4 teams: Planning, Communication, Documentation & Leadership Planning team Eric Gruenenfelder, Janet Snook and Terry Robertson 1. Formalize all teams; identify TASKs, TIMELINEs, LOGISTICs, relational roles, etc. 2. Establish regular Conference call dates times, initial topics (within and between teams), develop content for surveys, etc. 3. Keep process moving and communication open 4. Some specific examples of tasks a. Identify outcomes, format and general logistics b. Establish/identify level and type of involvement via teams & discussion c. Develop & administer survey(s) d. Vision & targets e. Analysis – results, conclusions, recommendations – new multi-year targets Communications Team Gary Gates, Sarah Veile, Terry Robertson as needed 5. Keep membership informed at key times, key issues, recognition, using website, email blasts, Facebook, etc. 6. Develop member pages on website (news, resources, new software) place holders for membership service determined via surveys, focus groups, etc. 7. New website, new software, new position, member surveys coming (strategic planning, DYK progress, NRPA & other sessions, conference planning team, budget, DYK initiatives, Trail alliance, etc.) 8. Common calendar, content style for branding-identity, recognition, strength, completive benchmarks, unique profiles Documentations Team Patty DeForrest, Jan Neitzert and others 9. a. Restructure Ad-hoc committee documentation, by-laws, policies, procedures, create new graphic organizational chart, determine any budget or communication issues 10. b. Complete above in advance of Annual Conference (in time for membership vote at conference) 11. c. Draft several “info pieces” and/or short articles for MPR Magazine in advance and after conference Leadership Team Representative of above team and from board, regional reps, committees, students, and/or other interested volunteers 12. Monthly—think ahead group – vision, short & long term outcomes, specialty topics, other as needed 13. Quarterly— Targets, environmental scans, think ahead 14. One timers— focus groups, member services & needs/wants (targets), specialty survey topics as needed 15. All members— reply to survey about membership surveys – good, better, best…and the rest

Building off of our leadership retreat approach (Good, Better, Best) What do we do well now? (GOOD) What could we do better? (BETTER) What could we do to be the very best organization? (BEST) From our Leadership Retreat: GOOD: • Collaboration • Impact on the community • Fun (what we do is fun!) • Professional growth opportunities • There is something for everyone • Friendships • Resources and support/ willingness to share

• Education opportunities • Conference and networking available there • Regional governance structure – MPRA strength locally • Fiscally sound • Many opportunities to serve

BETTER • More involvement among members • Education – bring in experts outside the association, change the way we do business • Organized knowledge database (professional knowledge) • Multiple avenues of communication

• Communication and technology improvements • Active involvement with students and younger professionals • Succession planning for volunteer positions, pass down info • Bring in the new ideas • Risk-taking

BEST • Competitive sessions, bring in speakers from outside the profession • Having the right people in the right spots among the volunteers • Have leaders express the importance of the association to younger professionals and students • More university or college involvement (give students experience) • Create a space on the MPRA web site for program ideas

• Training and education for everyone • Continue to grow DYK, making info available • Informed membership • Become the “gold standard” for state associations • Clarify what we do best and focus on those areas • Have a demonstrated influence on new members and partners • Technology and web site enhancements • Publicize our successes in NRPA magazine – strengthen public presence

See the “Strategic Support” chart on page 6 for more information

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks and Recreation 7

Propane Mowers

Making Cuts Across Missouri Submitted by Hannah Rhoad, Integrated Marketing

Enjoying and preserving the great outdoors are central themes in Parks & Recreation Departments nationwide. At a time when departments are feeling pressure from budget constraints as well as environmental concerns, the emergence of propane as a eco-friendly, low-cost fuel for lawn mower fleets is providing timely relief. Replacing a traditional gasoline-fueled commercial mower with propane, the world’s most-used alternative fuel, can reduce greenhouse gases by nearly 50%1 and cut carbon monoxide by more than 80%.2 Steve Ahrens, Executive Director of the Missouri Propane Education and Research Council (MO-PERC), explains that environmental benefits are only the beginning: “They reduce emissions while also running cleaner, cooler, quieter, more economically.” In fact, the economic argument for propane is a particularly strong one, with fuel savings (typically one dollar or more per gallon) supplemented by other cost-saving benefits. The cleaner-burning propane requires fewer changes of oil and oil filter each season (which in turn makes crews more efficient by keeping mowers in the field), and extends the operational life of the equipment. In addition, the closed system utilized by propane tanks prevents siphoning losses as well as environmentally damaging spillage associated with traditionally powered mowers.

8 Missouri Parks & Recreation •

Around the country, park and recreation departments are moving their fleets to propane. Among them: • With the 2011 purchase of 18 propane-powered mowers, the City of Austin (TX) Parks & Recreation Department completed its conversion to an all alternative-fuel powered-fleet.3 • The National Park Service acquired six propane-fueled mowers at the National Mall and Memorial Park (NAMA) in Washington, D.C., in June, 2013. National Mall Superintendent Bill Vogel says, “We are always looking for ways to integrate sustainable practices into every part of our operation.” 4 • In 2012, Shenandoah National Park partnered with the Energy Department’s Clean Cities program in the “Clean Cities National Parks Initiative” to place 12 propane-powered lawn mowers in the Virginia park.5 • Forest Preserve of Cook County, Illinois, which oversees nearly 69,000 acres of land, announced they have converted 16 riding mowers (1/4 of their riding fleet) to propane.6 In Missouri, propane is quickly becoming the mower fuel of choice for many lawn care professionals as well. Ahrens has championed the benefits of propane to Missouri landscapers for years, and notes

that the adoption curve is strong. “In the past two years alone, we’ve seen many Missouri landscaping companies, from small to large, converting existing mowers to run propane. In addition, each season many of them are acquiring new propanepowered mowers as they cycle out older equipment. Once they get a few in their fleet and see the results, they start making plans to convert the rest.” Recognizing the success and acceptance of propane-powered mowers, manufacturers are quickly jumping on board. Several commercial mower manufacturers, including Exmark, Ferris, and Ariens/Gravely now offer factory-installed conversions and mowers designed just for propane. Engine manufacturer Kawasaki has specifically stated that converting their engines to propane will not impact the engine warranty. In addition to generating awareness of propane, Ahrens says that MO-PERC and the national PERC organization both have financial incentives available that can help offset the cost of a propane mower, whether new or a conversion. “Our Lawn Equipment Assistance Fund (LEAF), provides successful applicants with $750 toward the cost of a conversion for existing mowers or 15% of the purchase price of factory-direct OEM propane-powered mowers. PERC adds another $500 for conversions and $1000 for new mowers through their Propane Mower Incentive Program.” The LEAF incentives are available on a per-mower basis. MO-PERC’s LEAF funding, which has been utilized heavily by professional landscapers and school districts, is open to park and recreation departments (and other government entities) as well. Eligible entities may include private licensed landscape contractors, state, federal, municipalities, counties, schools, school districts and universities who are registered to do business in the State of Missouri.


WITH PROPANE. Park departments around the country are converting their lawn mowing fleets to propane fuel. They’ve discovered that propane-powered engines run cleaner than gasoline-fueled commercial mowers and reduce greenhouse gases by nearly 50%. What’s more, cleaner-running propane-powered mowers require less engine maintenance and cost less to operate. Find out more about the benefits of propane at, where you’ll also find information about the financial incentives to switch to propane.

About MO-PERC The Missouri Propane Education and Research Council (MO-PERC) is a notfor-profit organization authorized by the Missouri legislature to promote industry education, public safety and consumer awareness of propane. More information can be found at


Energetics Inc., “Propane Reduces Greenhouse Gas Emissions: A Comparative Analysis”, (Washington, D.C., Propane Education & Research Council, 2009).


Environmental Protection Agency, “Engine Certification Data: Nonroad Small Spark-Ignition Engine Certification Data: 2007–2011 Model Year Engine Family and Models & Parts,” 2009 data, last updated September 2010, www. (accessed September 23, 2009).


“Park Department sets example with propane lawn mowers,” PropaneMowers:


Rich Piellisch, “Propane Mowers on the Washington Mall”, Fleets and Fuels, June 29, 2013:


“Summary of Current Projects”, Virginia Clean Cities: about/current-projects/


“Forest Preserve Mowers Move to Propane Power”, Forest Preserve District of Cook County: 270.31603 Mo Parks and Rec Print Ad.indd 1

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 9

8/26/13 12:30 PM


Trail Alliance Update Submitted by Jan Neitzert, Executive Director, MPRA

As you know, in April, Missouri was named the "Best Trails State" by American Trails. Since then, thousands of Missourians have joined in celebrating all the wonderful trail resources within our state. Governor Jay Nixon launched the "100 Missouri Miles Challenge" and trail users are approaching half a million miles so far - walking, biking, canoeing, horseback riding - just about any way you can enjoy a trail, the miles count.

10 Missouri Parks and Recreation •

The "Trail Tour" group of 2013 (left to right): Jane Lale, DNR, Mike Goodwin, Kansas Trails Council, Connie Schmidt, DNR, Kelley Brent, DNR, Doug Vance and Bonnie Simon, KRPA, Jan Neitzert, MPRA, Elizabeth Simon, Sunflower Foundation, Dawn Fredrickson, DNR. The photographer is Mike Snyder who represented Columbia Parks & Recreation. Not pictured were Bill Bryan, DNR, J. J. Gates and Phil Stiles of Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry.

This recognition was not lost on our neighbor to the west. On July 22, four representatives from Kansas came over for a day of education about Missouri's Trails in central Missouri. Mike Goodwin of the Kansas Trails Council and Elizabeth Simon of the Sunflower Foundation accompanied KRPA staff on a long, hot day. They heard about the history of Missouri's historic trails (Lewis & Clark, Santa Fe, Trail of Tears, etc.) and about the emergence of a modern network of multi-use connections. With representatives from the Dept. of Natural Resources, Division of State Parks, the group saw firsthand the awesome KATY Trail from Jefferson City to Rocheport, including the Pat Jones Pedestrian Connector in Jefferson City. They also visited the Rocheport Trailhead after a beautiful lunch at Les Bourgeois. Luckily, this location put the group in close proximity to Columbia, who has made use of some tremendous resources in the past 25 years, and can claim some amazing trails in a system that continues to grow. Mike Snyder of Columbia shared some creative use of urban features in accommodating trail users and was able to highlight the three-way collaboration between the city, the Audubon Society and a local neighborhood to establish a trail that meets everyone's priorities. There was also time to discuss the Missouri Trails Alliance, a cooperative effort that MPRA is sponsoring to provide a resource for all user groups and hopefully one day truly connect all Missourians to each other "on the trail." Doug Vance, KRPA Executive Director, says, "Thanks again for hosting and helping organize the gathering of very dedicated trial advocates in Missouri. Mike, Elizabeth and myself were all educated and impressed with the wealth of information presented and with the great things being done to support and promote trails in Missouri. Ms. Simon added, "I am especially touched by the sharing of time and knowledge, both of which are so valuable in today's world. I think this type of camaraderie and collaboration speaks to the caliber of individuals who do this kind of work."

FALLFEST Submitted by Troy Bock Director, Moberly Parks & Recreation

September 21 Rothwell Park, Moberly This year’s event included fall activities ranging from a petting zoo, carnival games, face painting, hayrides, miniature train rides on our mile-long miniature railroad run by Friends of the Park, and more.


From left to right: Kevin Nierman, Curt Heineck, Joe Snook, Buzz Aulenbach, Tom Lovell, David Dean, Alan Rioux, Seth Painter, Skip Grigsby, Dan Gabbert, Mark McHenry and Tracy Clagett.

For more than five years, a group of intrepid cyclists have made an annual trek from Rocheport to Jefferson City on the KATY Trail. They usually make the 100-mile round-trip ride in May, but due to flooding, this year’s trip was held in July. Several longtime MPRA members are included in this active group. Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks and Recreation 11

St. Charles County

Opens New Disc Golf Course at Indian Camp Creek Park Submitted by Nancy Lee Gomer

The St. Charles County Parks Department hosted a grand opening celebration Saturday, June 15 and Sunday, June 16, to unveil its new 18-hole disc golf course. Guests were the first to experience the new course at Indian Camp Creek Park (2679 Dietrich Rd., Foristell, MO 63348) by participating in one of two events scheduled opening weekend. The St. Charles County Parks Department teamed up with the St. Charles County Disc Golf Club to host a tournament on Saturday and a public open house on Sunday for anyone interested in learning the basics of disc golf. The state-ofthe-art course features long and short tee pads at each hole, as well as three pin placements, which will be rotated throughout the year. On Saturday, June 15, guests tested their skill by participating in the grand opening tournament which featured two rounds of 18 holes. Registration was from 8:30 – 9:45 a.m., and tee off was at 10 a.m. A tournament fee of $20 per player included lunch and beverages. The tournament was limited to the first 90 registered players and the course had limited access to the public during the course of play. 12 Missouri Parks & Recreation •

On Sunday, June 16, several fatherson duos celebrated Father's Day with a game of disc golf at the new park course. Members of the St. Charles County Disc Golf Club were available from 9-11 a.m. to give instruction and answer questions about the game. The first 100 guests received a custom stamped commemorative disc courtesy of Gateway Disc Sports. At the request of the public and the growing popularity of the sport, the new disc golf course at Indian Camp Creek Park was built. It is the second disc golf course to be built within the St. Charles County Parks system. The first course was created more than 10 years ago at Quail Ridge Park, a 250-acre park near Wentzville. The new course at Indian Camp Creek Park winds through a section of prairies and woodlands within the 603-acre park. It is anticipated that league play will also take place at Indian Camp Creek Park in the future. For more information about St. Charles County Parks, visit or contact (636) 949-7535.

St. Charles County Parks and Library District Partner to Promote Nature, Literacy and Exercise Submitted by Nancy Lee Gomer

St. Charles County, Missouri – A new park/ library partnership allows families to “Dig into Reading” at St. Charles County’s Quail Ridge Park this summer! For the first time, the St. Charles County Parks Department and the St. Charles City-County Library District are offering readers of all ages a chance to participate in a Picture Book Walk at Quail Ridge Park (5501 Quail Ridge Parkway, Wentzville, MO 63385). Participants walked around the park lake while reading acclaimed children’s author/ illustrator Peter Brown’s book, The Curious Garden. The Picture Book Walk opened on Monday, June 3 at 3 p.m. with a special ribbon cutting and celebration, including a performance at 4 p.m. by Wildheart, a Parent’s Choice and Emmy Award-wining group of conservation educators and entertainers. Additional children’s festivities, craft tables and light refreshments were available inside the Quail Ridge Lodge until 6 p.m. that day. “The picture book walk promotes the love of reading with the enjoyment of the outdoors,” says Parks Director Bettie Yahn-

Kramer. “It’s a free, festive, educational program that appeals to all ages.” The picture book walk journey begins at the paved trail below the Quail Ridge Lodge and wraps around the picturesque lake. The nearly one-mile-long walk features 17 numbered signs which encompass all 32 colorful pages of Brown’s popular children’s book. The walk was designed for families with young children in mind, and is convenient for strollers and bicycles to easily maneuver around the lakeside path. This new outdoor experience will be in place at Quail Ridge Park year-round. Quail Ridge Park opens daily at 7 a.m. and closes a half hour after dusk. “We are so excited to offer families an extraordinary new reading experience as part of our Summer Reading Programs this year,” says St. Charles City-County Library District Children’s Librarian Amy Koester. “This unique program combines the outdoors, literacy and exercise together to really give you a different reading experience.” The Curious Garden tells the story of a

former industrial area in New York City and its transformation into a lush community garden – a story perfect for the outdoor setting of the lake trail. Brown has written and illustrated a number of other picture books, and his illustrations in 2012’s Creepy Carrots earned a Caldecott Honor. Brown has become a favorite among young readers in St. Charles County, according to the library district. The St. Charles County Parks Department, St. Charles City-County Library District, St. Charles City-County Library Foundation, Take 20 and Read and Sam’s Club of Wentzville are proud sponsors of the 2013 Picture Book Walk at Quail Ridge Park. For more information about the Picture Book Walk at Quail Ridge Park, please visit or contact the St. Charles County Parks Department at (636) 949-7535. For more information on the Library District’s annual Summer Reading Program, visit or contact any branch of the St. Charles City-County Library District.

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 13

Boots on t he

Green 4th Annual Golf Tournament

Submitted by Jerry Hitzhusen, University of Missouri

14 Missouri MissouriParks Parks&and Recreation Recreation • •



1. Boots on the Green golfers, VAMC staff and volunteers. 2. From Left: John Winters, VMAC, John Muehling, Boots on the Green golfer, Dany Baker, and Jerry Hitzhusen, clinic Instructor. 3. Governor Jay Nixon and Gary York, Boots on the Green golfer.


The 4th Annual Boots on the Green Golf Tournament and Clinics were held this year at the St. Louis VA Medical Center and Arlington Golf Course in Collinsville, Illinois. The St. Louis VA Recreation Therapy Staff and Volunteers along with Dany Baker, Jerry Hitzhusen and several PGA golf professionals in the St. Louis area were responsible for the golf clinics held on a weekly basis during the winter months. The Mission of the Boots on the Green Adapted Golf Program is to utilize the therapeutic benefits of golf to increase strength, balance, range of motion, grip strength, endurance, competitiveness and social skills. A Recreation Therapy Intern assisted in the coordination of the adaptive golf clinics.Inclusionary activities, such as a Veterans Golf League and utilization of a golf library, were also added this year. The last four clinics were held on the Arlington Golf Course putting green and driving range. These activities helped Veterans with disabilities to get ready for the 18 hole Boots on the Green Golf Tournament held on May

10, 2013 at the Arlington Golf Course. Prior to all of the clinics and golf tournament, Judy Alvarez, PGA/ LPGA Professional from Palm City, Florida and author of “Broken Tees and Mended Hearts” conducted a training clinic for the St. Louis VA Medical Center recreation therapy staff and volunteers and area professional golfers at the Arlington Golf Course. Over 114 Veterans and Veterans with Disabilities participated in the 2013 Golf Tournament at Arlington on the Greens Golf Course hosted by Golf Professional and Manager Mark Marcuzzo. This year the tournament was so successful that three single rider golf carts were purchased and donated to the Arlington Greens Golf Course to be used by Veterans while playing golf. The non-profit group H.E.R.O.E.S. was invaluable in organizing the tournament and aiding with funding. A bonus for 16 golfers with disabilities, staff and volunteers was an invitation by the Gateway PGA Section to attend the first round of the 74th Senior PGA Championship Golf Tournament held at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, Missouri. Six Boots on the Green Golfers with disabilities were able to ride on their single rider golf carts on the course and watch the Senior Golf Professionals play on Thursday, May 21, 2013. A highlight was that Gary York, one of the sponsors of Boots on the Green and a golfer with a disability, got to meet Governor Jay Nixon as seen in the photo at left. More information about the Boots on the Green Program can be found on YouTube and also by contacting Herman Lugge and John Schmeink at the St. Louis VAMC at 314-652-4100, ext. 66341, or Jerry Hitzhusen, Associate Professor, Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, University of Missouri, via email at Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks and Recreation 15

Park it Forward Submitted by Heidi Downer, Kansas City Parks & Recreation

“Park It Forward” was a campaign by Kansas City, MO Parks & Recreation to draw awareness to National Parks & Recreation Month (July). Interns went to facilities and parks all over Kansas City, giving away free items, vouchers, and other cool prizes. The campaign also promoted the new Kansas City, MO Parks & Recreation website: Every day a "Daily Adventure" would be posted on Facebook and Twitter. Later that day the interns would go to the specified park or facility, find someone enjoying the activity, and award them with a prize. The prizes included vouchers for free golf and tennis, a bicycle pump, dog snacks and water bottles. The interns would take a photo of the recipient(s) with the prize and then post it on Facebook and Twitter. For more information please visit: or

16 Missouri Parks & Recreation •

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Play Days

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Organize a Play Day to introduce kids to competition and encourage them to transition to team and tournament play on your courts.

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USTA Junior Tournaments Host a Junior Tournament to attract local attention to your programs and facility. Competitive players can test their skills on your courts. Contact your local USTA section or district to learn more about how to host.

© 2013 USTA. All rights reserved.

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 17

“We’re always looking to improve our experience for the members in the community. We knew the demographic in this area would really be impressed with this system.” – Bill Ingemi, Health and Wellness Director, Dan Kinney Family Center

Two Park and Rec Facilities Leverage Technology Solutions to Ease Management and Engage New Members Submitted by Jennifer Edwards, Springfield-Greene County Park Board

18 Missouri Parks & Recreation •

In a fast-paced, technology-driven society that offers endless options for fitness consumers to choose from, attracting and retaining members has become even more challenging for fitness facilities. Many facilities still find themselves searching for unique and cost effective ways to increase levels of engagement within their facility and stand out among saturated markets. In two Missouri cities, with multiple fitness centers for community members to choose from, two park and recreation centers have found a clever technological solution that they believe is opening the door to a new world of possibilities for customer acquisition, engagement and relationship building. Bill Ingemi, the Health and Wellness Director at the Dan Kinney Family Center in Springfield Missouri, first discovered Fitness On Request while searching for a cost-effective way to draw more members into his facility. Fitness On Request is a video-based group exercise platform that allows facilities to conveniently offer group fitness classes all day, every day by means of a

unique large-screen audiovisual system. At a touch-screen kiosk, users or administrators are able to browse through dozens of available classes, select the class of their choice and watch it immediately projected in front of them on a life-size HD screen. Bill mentioned, “We’re always looking to improve our experience for the members in the community. We knew the demographic in this area would really be impressed with this system.” It didn’t take long for Bill to also realize the value of a video-based group fitness platform. “Fitness On Request initially caught my attention because of the cost-efficiency. We’ve spent a lot of money on aerobics instructors at some of our other sister locations, so when I heard about Fitness On Request it really piqued my interest.” Bill continued to do more research and the more he learned about the solution, the more on-board he was. “I was impressed to learn about the production of the Fitness On Request classes. The quality of the videos and the experience that the instructors have is really important for us.” Bill’s solution offers

a variety of competitive classes from content provider Elements Fitness, produced by Fitness Hall of Fame member Linda Shelton. Shelton says, “These classes are not just a Band-Aid or a substitute for a live class. We have created a format to be as authentic as live instruction as you can get, so members will feel both inspired and see real fitness benefits.” At the Dan Kinney Family Center, members have access to over 50 Elements™ classes spanning popular formats of yoga/Pilates, kickboxing, strength and conditioning, dance, step, cycling, active aging, and sculpt. “We’ve never had anyone complain that we don’t have a live instructor at this facility,” Bill says, “The response is really positive.” Fifteen miles across town, Scott Garrie, Director of the Park & Recreation Center in Nixa Missouri, experienced similar success with this innovative amenity. In 2013, the Park and Recreation Center in Nixa closed its doors to re-open in April with double their original space and new enhancements, including Fitness On Request. “We knew we had a lot of opportunities,” says Scott of their

new space. But those opportunities also came with challenges. “Until now we had been charging our members only $5.00/year. We wanted to start building some revenue streams and during the expansion we made the decision to start charging families $40/month.” With such a dramatic change in price, Scott and his team were very aware that they needed to ramp up their offerings to justify the new cost. For Scott, a video-based program offering and management was a logical solution. “We do offer a few live classes, but not enough that would justify such an increase in membership price. With Fitness On Request we have so many different classes available. It offers flexibility for our customers with low overhead costs for us.” Scott is fully confident in the robust variety of classes and levels he can offer to his members. “The fact that Fitness On Request offers classes with three instructors on screen demonstrating three different levels is really important. For us, that means that our customers who all have different levels of skill and agility can still participate in the same class and get a great workout together.”

For these two centers, success is about delivering value to their customers while engaging in convenient, cost-effective, and scalable management solutions. With Fitness On Request, both facilities have found a way to keep up and even get ahead in their competitive markets. Both Scott and Bill gained a simplistic management solution, a “wow”-factor amenity, and a unique way to differentiate them from competitors.


Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 19

By Angie Riehn, Public Information Coordinator, St. Louis County Parks Department

Go Ape and the St. Louis County Parks Department held a grand opening of the first treetop adventure course in Missouri on Friday, July 26, at Creve Coeur Park. During the event Parks employees and local media talent had the opportunity to preview the course before it was opened to the public that afternoon. County Executive Charlie Dooley led a ribbon-cutting ceremony along with Parks and Go Ape staff, officials from Maryland Heights and other council members. Under this public/private partnership, Go Ape and St. Louis County Parks will offer residents and tourists of

20 Missouri Parks & Recreation •

Tom Ott, Acting Director of St. Louis County Parks Department, tests out the new course.

the St. Louis Metropolitan area a unique outdoor experience that allows participants to live life adventurously and experience Creve Coeur Park from a new vantage point - from 40 feet up in the trees. Go Ape is a highly interactive adventure where participants are equipped with harnesses, pulleys and carabineers and receive a 30-minute training session before they are turned loose into the forest canopy. The course at Creve Coeur Park will provide visitors with two to three hours of outdoor fun and exercise. The course features five ziplines, including the first skateboard zipline in the Midwest, two Tarzan swings and over 40 other challenging and fun obstacles. The course is designed for all athletic levels and encourages participants to push themselves and turn "I can't" into "I can." "St. Louis County Parks is very excited that Go Ape has brought its treetop adventure course to Creve Coeur Park," said Parks Department Acting Director, Tom Ott. "Go Ape is a great addition to the variety of outdoor recreational programs and activities in St. Louis County Parks." For more information or to book your “treetime” visit The cost is $35 for kids (10-17 years) and $55 for adults. To join the tribe, become a fan of "Go Ape USA" on Facebook or follow @GoApeUSA on Twitter.

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks & Recreation 21


Jefferson City Submitted by Phil Stiles, Jefferson City Parks & Recreation


oor weather can be an event-killer and an event planner’s worst nightmare. Hours upon hours of hard work and preparation can be changed with a quick glance at the weather forecast. Precautions can be taken, such as renting out a “rain location” on the same date or scheduling a backup date for the event. However, we would all rather have the weather cooperate and allow our outdoor activities to go off without a hitch. On April 27th in Jefferson City, this was not the case. A last second rain forecast altered plans for the kick-off to Walk Jefferson City, a community-wide walking program offered by Jefferson City’s Department of Parks, Recreation, and Forestry.

22 Missouri Parks and Recreation •

Much to the surprise of those involved, the turnout was excellent despite the poor conditions. Those registered for the program came out to the kick-off event on a rainy Saturday to receive their Walk Jefferson City t-shirt, pedometer, and walk log. They also came out to walk the four miles from the North Jefferson City Pavilion to the Missouri River Bridge and back. A six-month program through the summer, Walk Jefferson City’s main purpose is to improve health and fitness in the Jefferson City area. There are monthly group walks scheduled to keep the momentum going, with educational sessions at each group walk, allowing walkers to gain more knowledge when it comes to healthy living and exercise. However, the program is engineered toward getting Jefferson City residents consistently walking on their own, with their families, or by forming their own smaller walking groups. The walk log given to registered members allows them to record their time and steps for chances to win prizes. Of course there are other beneficial by-products to the Walk Jefferson City program too, such as the opportunity to get out and explore Jefferson City’s wonderful parks and trails system, and earning points in a worksite wellness program. Taking into account the rain that threatened to derail the event, the Walk Jefferson City kick-off has to be considered a success. And yet, the success of the program overall is dependent on its members’ commitment to making frequent exercise a part of their lives. This was not supposed to be just an occasion to get out and support healthy living through one-time participation. The Walk Jefferson City kick-off event was meant to be exactly that: a “kick-off” to something greater.

Mixing Tigers, Food & Region 2 By Gabe Huffington, Region 2 Director, City of Columbia Parks & Recreation

As each region looks for ways to support their members and the association, the responsibility to raise funds to support MPRA is a key component to meet the annual goals of the region and the association. Leaders from each of the four regions provide their members with the opportunity for education, networking and have set goals for monetary contributions to MPRA on an annual basis. The money raised by each region assists in the support of the overall mission of MPRA and allows Parks & Recreation professionals to continue to enjoy the benefits of such an outstanding organization. Fundraising for a group or an organization can be a difficult task, and each of us that have served as a Region Director, Conference Committee Chairperson or worked with another organization, have spent a good portion of our meetings discussing ways to raise funds for our events, associations or municipalities. We always seem to be looking for a fundraising idea that will top car washes and bake sales. Fundraising at the regional level won’t allow our association to add three new employees in the MPRA office or allow the conference committee to give away iPads at the annual conference, but the contributions that we can make support our association, provide members of our region with an opportunity to work together and often allow us to work with groups or organizations outside of the field of Parks & Recreation. Region 2 has held workshops, hosted golf tournaments and organized opportunities that coincided with different municipality events on an annual basis, but common issues arose with each type of fundraising. The two biggest issues were always the ability to make money after expenses and the time spent to organize the activity. Organizing fundraisers that normally happen during our peak season take up a lot of time and effort. I think we

have all been in the position of nagging individuals for event prizes and donations at some point during our Parks & Recreation career. In an effort to find a different way to fundraise, the members of Region 2 have partnered with the University of Missouri concessions program for University athletics. The fundraising program is available for all University of Missouri athletics and special events and requires our region to staff and operate one of the concession stands at Mizzou basketball home games. The time commitment for our group will be five games throughout the season which will begin in November and end in March. The program allows us to pick the five games we would like to work so we can pick highly attended games which have higher revenues or try to schedule games that our region members will be able to attend. Each game will require staffing of 10 to 12 individuals from the region and the total time commitment is approximately four to five hours for each game. The payment structure for each concession stand is based on a percentage of sales up to 12% of the sales for that particular game. Working games featuring high profile teams or weeknight games around 6 p.m. are the most desirable as those games tend to drive up food sales resulting in a higher payout for the group working the concession stand. Why did our region feel that this may be a better way to fundraise for MPRA? First, this type of fundraising requires very little planning for our members. The time an individual spends planning and running a golf tournament compared to this type of event makes it seem like a great way to gather our region members and raise money for MPRA. We looked at the opportunity as a fundraiser that will allow us to avoid asking our vendors for donations and save the time we normally

spend making multiple contacts to members to attend an event. While the work is fast paced and reminds many of us of our first job in the fast food industry, the Mizzou concessions opportunity is already organized for us. Our main responsibility is to simply make sure 12 people are in the concession stand one hour before the game, practicing their “How may I help you?” lines. Second, the athletics concessions opportunity happens in the winter months, which is normally the time of year when many of us have a little more free time to participate in MPRA and region events. Pools are closed, athletic fields are dormant and no one is attending an outdoor movie in the park in January. Lastly, this type of fundraising brings together members of our region. This isn’t an event that the region director can take care of all by his or herself. It takes multiple members of our region to be successful. We will continue to provide our region members with different educational workshops and build our region’s golf tournament, but this new fundraising opportunity will hopefully allow us to build on our fundraising goals for MPRA. The activity this winter will also provide our region members with another reason to get together, work hard and discuss issues and events happening in the Parks & Recreation field. Region members feel that the opportunity to partner with the University of Missouri could be a key component for our region through fundraising, education and a new source of speakers for conferences and workshops. Each of the four regions has a different sports team or large venue for concerts and events that could be used in a similar fashion to how we are partnering with the University. While you may not want to wear a Royals or Rams hat for a few hours, the value to your region may be worth more than your allegiance to your favorite sports team.

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks and Recreation 23

Independence Parks & Recreation

Ground Breaks on McCoy Park Inclusive Play Project Submitted by Kristen Zimmerman, Independence Parks & Recreation

On July 23, the City of Independence along with the Kansas City Royals, The Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, Unlimited Play, Variety the Children’s Charity of Greater Kansas City and a host of community supporters, broke ground on the city’s first Ability Field. The field is specifically designed so that children with disabilities can play the great game of baseball … just like any other kid. The need for inclusive play facilities like the one being built in Independence first came to light during the 2010 parks and recreation master plan update process. It was during that time that Patty Banks (now Vireo) led the city through a comprehensive analysis of their recreation programs, services offered, facilities and parks. Consultants drilled down

into census data, analyzed survey results and conducted 70 public meetings to find out what citizens wanted out of their Parks & Recreation Department. During that process they discovered a glaring, unfulfilled need. Their research showed that there are far more children living with disabilities in Jackson County than any other county in the Kansas City Metro. The study went on to state that of all the cities in Jackson County, Independence has far more children with disabilities living in their community than any other city located in the area. Unfortunately they also learned that the availability of truly accessible play spaces in their region is limited. There are several smaller inclusive playgrounds in and around Jackson County and one Challenger League ballfield has been built

24 Missouri Parks and Recreation •

to the north, but given the overall need, this particular segment of the population is presently underserved. Ultimately, the updated Parks & Recreation Master Plan called for the development of a large destination type inclusive playground to be built in one of Independence’s signature parks. The plan suggests that such a project would begin to address the local need and should serve as a model for neighboring communities who may be looking to add inclusive play facilities of their own. With this in mind, the inclusive play project was officially placed in the Parks & Recreation Sales Tax Capital Improvements Plan. But due to other pressing needs, the project was not slated to begin until 2017.

Suffice to say that it did not stay there for long. As luck would have it, in the spring of 2012 we were introduced to Unlimited Play, a non-profit organization based in St. Louis. Unlimited Play specializes in helping cities build inclusive playgrounds through design, creating awareness and raising funds. Unlimited Play creates destination playgrounds that greatly impact communities for generations to come. Their unique, custom design is very mindful of the many challenges that people face and is dedicated to creating a play space for every person regardless of what they can or cannot do. Unlimited Play playgrounds include a variety of features not found on typical ADA compliant playgrounds. The McCoy All–Inclusive playground will include: • Pioneer/trail themed area accessible to children and caregivers of all abilities; fenced around to provide the utmost safety. • Safe, smooth surfacing that ensures mobility for children/adults in wheelchairs and walkers and for those who experience difficulty on uneven surfacing. • Ramping systems from the bottom to the very top of every play element. • Swings including adaptive swings, toddler swings, and the very popular saucer swings.

• Stainless steel slides and roller slides to enable children with Cochlear ear implants to enjoy. • Sensory-rich environment including musical elements such as tuned drums and aluminum chimes, and interactive panels to spark problem-solving and team work. Shortly thereafter we met with the Cal Ripken Sr. Foundation, which was looking for opportunities to help communities build Ability Fields in the Midwest. An Ability Field includes common features of a ballfield: backstops, foul poles, outfield fencing, bleacher seating, etc. But instead of dirt and grass, an Ability Field features a rubberized playing surface with painted on bases, larger dugouts to accommodate mobility assistance devices and more ADA parking close to the field. Formal partnerships were established with both organizations and the timeline was moved up to 2015 with one major change: if the project was going to go earlier than programmed, fundraising would have to play a major role. A very short time after that decision was made, a local insurance agent entered the project into a national contest sponsored by State Farm, whereby 40 different organizations would be awarded a significant amount of funding to help get worthy projects off the

ground. Out of 3,000 entries, the McCoy Park Inclusive Play Project finished in the top 20. In a matter of weeks, just after the project had been moved up two full years, we suddenly had seed money and a whole lot of momentum. So much so that the project was once again moved forward and an official kick-off celebration was held in November of 2012. Since that time, $900,000 in cash donations, grants and in-kind services needed to complete the project have been raised. Vireo again stepped forward and volunteered to develop a master plan for the $1.6 million project that now includes a Cal Ripken Ability Field, two Unlimited Play Playgrounds, a new pavilion and patio area, newly renovated restroom facilities and upgrades to an existing three pad sprayground. The Ability Field, pavilion and patio areas are scheduled to be completed in time for the spring season. If all goes well, the city should be breaking ground on the playgrounds next fall. For more information on the McCoy Park Inclusive Play project, please visit

Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks and Recreation 25

Recreation Students GAIN

Hands-On Experience By Joseph Lovell, Assistant Professor, Lindenwood University

Lindenwood recreation students embarked on a semester long journey last spring coordinating the annual Kilometers for Chris 5K run in St. Charles, MO. The event is held as a fundraiser for Chris Lister, a Lindenwood alumnus, who continues to recover from being hit by car while running a 10K race in 2012. The annual race is built into the curriculum for the recreation program planning class and gives students the opportunity to put into action the content they are learning in the course.

26 Missouri Parks and Recreation •

The event took place the fourth Sunday of April, which gave students roughly twelve weeks to plan and implement the fundraiser. Students took complete responsibility for the project starting with assessing last year’s event in order to plan for potential improvements for the upcoming race. From that point, students worked in small groups to plan and implement the project that included creating event goals and objectives, preparing a budget, developing a marketing plan, gathering race day materials, soliciting sponsorships and donations, and recruiting volunteers. Students also collaborated with other departments on campus, namely Student Development and Public Safety, as well as the City of St. Charles to ensure a safe event. The students’ hard work was rewarded as 240 participants arrived to Lindenwood’s campus on April 28. Students continued to work together covering various aspects of the race including day-of registrations, volunteer management, barrier set-up, race directional sign placement, announcements, and finish line responsibilities. Chris Lister also made a surprise appearance as he greeted runners and walkers as they crossed the finish line in Hunter Stadium. Students’ ability to solicit over $2,000 in sponsorship funds and donations was pivotal for the success of the event. Those funds and donations covered all the expenses of the race. In the end, the event raised $4,788, which was donated to the Chris Lister Recovery Fund. Not everything went according to plan, but students were able to evaluate the event and learn from the handson experience. Overall, students were able to improve their skills in programming and event management in preparation for the day they start their careers as recreation professionals.

Grant Beach Park


Fassnight Park

The Springfield-Greene County Park Board

Celebrates a Century of Parks Submitted by Jennifer Edwards, Springfield-Greene County Park Board

“The Park Board has enhanced our community’s quality of life for longer than any of us can remember, and that’s reason to celebrate,” said Bob Belote, Director of Parks. The year-long celebration began in December 2012 with a special four-month exhibit dedicated to parks at downtown Springfield’s History Museum on the Square. The exhibit featured historic photos and artifacts highlighting Springfield’s 10 Historic Parks, dating from 1869 to World War II, as well as local softball and golf history. The centennial’s signature event was the Park Board’s 100th Birthday Bash, held Saturday, May 18, at historic Phelps Grove Park. The 1913-themed event featured live Dixieland Jazz music from the New Creole Jazz Band, free carnival midway games, food & drink at 1913 prices, a birthday cake shaped like the Phelps Grove Pavilion, parks history, croquet, badminton, horseshoes, Maypole dancing, Model T display and the sealing of the Centennial Time Capsule. A program featured proclamations from elected officials and MPRA Executive Director Jan Neitzert, recognition of past and present Park Board members, and remarks from longtime Parks Director Dan Kinney. The program concluded with the sealing of the Centennial Time Capsule. Everyone attending the Birthday Bash was encouraged to be a part of history and sign their names on the Centennial Time Capsule register, which was sealed inside the time capsule and buried in Phelps Grove Park, to be opened in the year 2113.

the event may been seen at media/park-boards-100th-birthday-bash.

“Parks are part of everybody’s life. They bring all kinds of opportunities to young and old,” said Jerry Clark Quinn, former president of the Park Board, in an interview at the event. “This is a beautiful day to celebrate 100 years and just to realize how important (parks are) in family growth.” The then-named Springfield Park Board was established May 22, 1913. The new board immediately set about acquiring land to build new parks, one of the first of which was Phelps Grove Park. Springfield’s other Historic Parks are Dickerson Park Zoo, Doling, Fassnight, Grant Beach, Lafayette, Sequiota, Silver Springs, Smith and Washington parks. The celebration continues throughout 2013 as the Park Board asks the community to help visualize the next 100 years by filling out a 5-minute survey online at



Silver Springs Park

“Wouldn’t it be fun if some of the kids who wrote their names on the register are there in 100 years when the time capsule is opened up?” said Belote. An estimated 5,000 residents took part in the celebration, gobbling up some 5,600 10-cent burgers and hot dogs and more than 4,000 glass-bottle Cokes, priced at a nickel. A video of Fall 2013 • Missouri Parks and Recreation 27

Missouri Parks & Recreation The Musco Lighting Building 2018 William Street Jefferson City, MO 65109-1186

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Missouri Parks & Recreation Magazine Fall 2013  

Official publication of Missouri Park & Recreation Association, Fall 2013 - recreation, parks, sports, events, trails.

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