Page 1

Celebrating 75 Years

MINNESOTA Official Publication of Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

Volume 7, Issue 2

Summer 2012

Recreation and Parks 2012 Fall Conference Guide

(on reverse)

Partnerships are vital to Parks and Recreation

Members share their beloved parks stories in their own words

See what the new kid on the block can do for your next meeting, special event or competition.

Discover St. Louis Park is just under a year old, but our city is no stranger to hosting events and meetings. This year St. Louis Park will play host to the Minnesota Tree Climbing Championships and Twin Cities Film Fest. Last year we hosted a new event, Cavalia, the cirque-style spectacle. Our central location which includes unique indoor and outdoor meeting and event spaces will make your functions more memorable. St. Louis Park is convenient and easy to get to – literally right across the street from Minneapolis. So close, in fact, we share a zip code. Contact us at (952) 426-4047 to see how our hotels and event spaces can host your next big event in St. Louis Park. Comfortably close to it all. (952) 426-4047

MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks

Publisher Minnesota Recreation and Park Association 200 Charles Street NE, Fridley, MN 55432 Tel: 763.571.1305 Editorial Staff Michelle J. Snider Bethani Gerhard Editorial Board Patty Anderson, Maple Grove Jan Ficken, Brooklyn Park Jennifer Fink, Anoka County Chad Ubl, Winona Heidi Sedlacek, New Brighton Advertising & Design Pernsteiner MRPA Board of Directors President: Jack Kirk, Fridley President-Elect: Cindy Walsh, St. Louis Park Past President: Cris Gears, Three Rivers Park District Secretary: Diane Evans, Plymouth Treasurer: Dale McCamish, Rochester RSC Chair: Lyndell Frey, Eden Prairie East Metro: Barry Bernstein, Hastings East Metro: Dan Schultz, Rosemount East Metro: Jason T. West, New Brighton Northwest Region: Brad Bonk, Willmar Northeast Region: Marc Mattice, Wright County Southern Region: Rick Schaber, Saint Charles West Metro: Aimee Peterson, Chaska West Metro: Andy Soltvedt, Golden Valley West Metro: Donna Tilsner, Edina

Celebrating 75 Years WHAT’s INSIDE By Chad Ubl, Editorial Board

The cover of this issue should give all of us pause; stop and smell the roses. It is apropos considering it is the ‘busy’ time for recreation professionals. It is apropos considering the articles in this issue. As a member of the 2012 Annual Conference Committee it is my duty to encourage you to attend the 2012 conference, yet I would like for you to stop and smell the articles in this issue.



tion of


ota Rec


and Park


Celebra tin 75 Yeargs



e 7, Summe Issue 2 r 2012

Membe belove rs share th in thei d parks storeir r own words ies

Recrea tion a nd


2012 Confe Fall rence Guide (on rev erse)

Partne rs are vi hips ta Park l to Recreas and tion

This issue, I assume for some, acts as the guide for the 2012 conference yet there are articles in this issue that will act as segue to the conference sessions. The cover also is apropos when you read the letter submitted by Pat Gaustad in the MRPA Flashback. One could assume Ms. Gaustad stopped to smell the roses. See you at the conference! Cover photo: Courtesy of Anoka County Parks

This magazine is the official quarterly publication of Minnesota Recreation and Park Association and is provided complimentary to members as part of their MRPA membership. The editorial board encourages the submission of articles and photos for publication. Articles of approximately 500-700 words or less may be submitted, but may be edited for length and clarity. Contact Michelle Snider, MRPA, at 763.571.1305 x100 if interested in submitting an article for a future issue.

Deadlines for Articles and Advertising Spring 2012 issue.......................... February 28 Summer 2012 issue...............................April 13 Fall 2012 issue......................................... July 30 Winter 2012 issue........................... October 14 MRPA reserves the right to approve all submitted advertising in MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks magazine. All requests for advertising should be made to Todd Pernsteiner, Account Manager, at 952.841.1111 or

Park & Trail System Plan Park Master Plan Park Design Funding & Implementation


An affiliate of National Recreation and Park Association

Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 3

MRPF Annual

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2012

Golf Tournament Dutch Legacy

Cragun’s Legacy Courses 11000 Craguns Drive Brainerd, MN 56401 Tel: 1-800-272-4867

Tournament Information Check In: 9:30 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. Shotgun Start: 11:00 AM Format: 4-person scramble Award Program: immediately following golf tournament Fee: $82 (rain or shine - no refunds) Fee includes: 18 holes with cart, range balls prior to event, goodie bag, one drink ticket (excludes mixed drinks), box lunch, prizes and FUN!

Beautiful Scenery! Top- notch with ama zi ng vie ws!

TABLE OF CONTENTS What’s Inside........................................................................ 3 From the Board President................................................... 5 Keeping Up........................................................................... 6 MRPA in Action..................................................................... 7 Meet John Stutzman............................................................ 7 FICA Alternative Plan Offers Big Savings for Anoka County................................................................. 9 Interested in Saving 6.2% on Your Payroll Budget?......... 9 Partnerships are Vital to Parks and Recreation............... 10 Funding Park Facilities....................................................... 12 Revenue Generations vs. Core Values............................. 14 Beloved Parks..................................................................... 16 Fit Choices by Medica....................................................... 17 Are Social Media and Electronic Communication Worth the Risk?.................................................................. 19 MRPA Flashback: My Life in Recreation........................... 20

ADVERTISER INDEX Bell Structural Solutions...................................................... 4 Clearwater Recreation....................................................... 18 Discover St. Louis Park........................... Inside Front Cover Knapper Tables.................................................................. 17 Landscape Structures.......................................................... 8 MRPF Foundation............................................................ 4, 7 Pernsteiner............................................................................ 4 Safety Plus Playground Surfacing, LLC............................ 17 Science Museum of Minnesota ............ Inside Back Cover SEH........................................................................................ 3 Thank you to our advertisers for your help in supporting MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks magazine. We kindly ask members to please support our advertisers. Interested in advertising? Contact Todd Pernsteiner at 952.841.1111 or

Forging partnerships one client at a time. • Event planning & marketing • Association magazines & ad sales • Sponsorship programs • Marketing & brand design / (952) 841-1111 (formerly Pernsteiner Creative Group)

4 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •


We love our parks I really enjoy this time of year, when our parks are bustling with so much activity. Seeing the countless smiling faces, hearing the joyful cries of children playing, and watching families enjoying some quality time together are all poignant reminders to me of why I entered this line of work to begin with. Whether it is with the park facilities we provide or the program opportunities we offer, we are making our communities a better place to live, work and visit. I can’t imagine what our communities would be like without our wonderful park systems. Good quality green spaces are essential to happy, healthy community life. People love their parks for a variety of reasons and make use of them for many leisure time pursuits. Some people love the looks of the parks with trees, flowers, and greenery. Some people love the opportunities for active play at our ballfields, game courts, play equipment, pools, and beaches. Some people love to bike or walk the trails. Some love to gather in the parks with family and friends for picnics and social events. Perhaps that is why our parks are consistently named as one of the top amenities our citizens value in our communities. A few years ago, (three to be exact), I was blessed to become a grandpa

when my daughter and son-in-law had twins. It is amazing to me to see how quickly my grandchildren learned that “the park” was that very special place they could go to just have fun. You don’t have to ask them twice if they want to go with you to the park. Their faces light up and they head for the door.

Your fellow MRPA members hard at work As your MRPA President, I am so very impressed at the many hard-working, dedicated members of this association that make things happen. Our sections, committees, task forces, and the Board of Directors are all doing their part to make MRPA an effective, meaningful professional association. Thank you to all of the members of MRPA who are actively involved and helping move this association in a positive direction.

It’s a year to celebrate Just a friendly reminder that our next MRPA 75th anniversary event is right around the corner. The Mississippi River Cruise will take place on Thursday, July 26 beginning at 6 p.m. This will be a narrated cruise and the route will include views of the new Lowry Avenue bridge, the Minneapolis Riverfront, the Hennepin Avenue bridge and the beautiful Minneapolis skyline. With a pizza buffet, a cash bar, and a boat-

He’ll soon need new playground equipment. Stay top of mind.

load of MRPA members….it promises to be one enjoyable evening. You can sign up quickly and conveniently on the MRPA website. Also, don’t forget about the new 75th anniversary apparel. What a great way to show you are proud to be an MRPA member. Polo shirts, windshirts, and pullovers are among the apparel items available for purchase. The next order goes in on July 6.

Three months until MRPA Conference 2012 It is not too early to think about booking your room at Cragun’s resort for the MRPA Conference, scheduled for September 18-21. The conference committee is working extremely hard and doing a great job preparing for this exciting event. The educational programs, exhibit hall, social events, and 75th anniversary celebration will likely make this one of the best conferences our association has ever had. Registration for the conference is now open…read through the magazine’s conference pages and visit the MRPA website for details.

Enjoy the summer While summer is always an extremely busy time of year for parks and recreation professionals, I encourage you to make sure you take some time to enjoy this beautiful time of year yourself!

For as little as $350 per issue, MRPA gets you in front of key recreation and park decision-makers. No other form of advertising gets you so targeted.

MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks

Go to MRPAmagazine2012.pdf to download the advertising rate card or call Todd at (952) 841-1111.

Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 5

Keeping Up

Michaud retires, VonDeLinde honored, dance coordinator celebrates 20 years. “Keeping Up” is a feature that highlights MRPA member events, news, people and more. To contribute to this section, please send a 125 word or less brief and photos to Michelle Snider at MRPA (

Steve Michaud Retires After 38 Years Steve Michaud has been Lakeville’s first and only parks director, and is retiring July 16. Since 1975, he has been an active member of the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association. He served on the MRPA Board of Directors for many years, including Board president in 1992. In addition, Michaud received the Jack Niles Award in 1981, and the Clifton E. French Distinguished Award in 1997. “I also was instrumental in starting the Lawful Gaming Committee,” he adds. “I received a meritorious award in 1996 for my work on that committee.” Michaud also served and chaired many of the MRPA sections throughout the years. In 2003, Michaud was inducted into the Minnesota USSSA Hall of Fame. He jokes, “It wasn’t for my softball ability, but for bringing USSSA to the state of Minnesota.” Michaud helped start the Budweiser Classic, a large softball tournament in Brooklyn Center. This year marks the 30th Annual Dudley/Budweiser /Easton Classic. Throughout the years, Michaud adds that he had one rival: Ken Vraa, the retired parks and recreation director from Eagan. The two of them liked to banter back and forth about whose city was better. Michaud’s final note to Vraa is, “Eagan copied Lakeville because we are so progressive.”

Anoka County Parks and Recreation Director VonDeLinde Honored Anoka County Parks and Recreation Director John VonDeLinde has been honored by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO) with the Fellow Award. The award is presented annually to a park and recreation professional to recognize exemplary performance.

2011. VonDeLinde has helped secure more than $40 million in grants for county parks and regional trails since he joined Anoka County.

“I can think of no one more deserving of this honor than John VonDeLinde,” said Anoka County Commissioner Jim Kordiak, who chairs the county’s Parks and Recreation Committee. “He is a tireless champion of the county and regional park systems and is tenacious in pursuing outside funding to expand and improve parks and trails.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award from the national association representing county park agencies,” VonDeLinde said. “This award would not be possible without the county board’s vision and support of our park system, the great generosity of our funding partners, and a very dedicated team of staff and volunteers. I have been very fortunate to be part of a county park system that was established nearly 50 years ago and has a long history of success in serving the citizens of Anoka County.”

VonDeLinde has been the director of Anoka County’s Parks and Recreation Department since 1994. Under his leadership, the county’s park system grew by 2,000 acres to total more than 11,000 acres today; the regional trail system went from 15 to 45 miles; and the number of county park visitors jumped from 1.9 million in 1995 to nearly 3.4 million in

The award will be presented to VonDeLinde in July at NACPRO’s Conference and Awards Ceremony in Pittsburgh.

New Hope Dance Coordinator Celebrates 20 Years New Hope Parks and Recreation started their dance program more than 40 years ago. This year marks Melissa Guse’s 20th year as the dance coordinator for the New Hope dance program. When she started in 1993, there were 72 dancers in the program and today there are more than 350 boys and girls registered. “Melissa has done an amazing job,” states Susan Rader, director of New Hope Parks and Recreation. “She has added more: tap, ballet and jazz classes, created lyrical, pointe and classes for 2 1/2 year olds, and started taking dancers to local competitions,” says Rader. “It is a program that city staff is extremely proud of.”

6 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

MRPA in Action

Meet John Stutzman


By MRPA Magazine Editorial Board

Parks and Natural Resources Section The MRPA Parks and Natural Resources Section has been planning educational sessions for this fall’s seminar, Winter Wonderland Workshop: Maintaining Winter Recreation. The workshop will be held Wednesday, October 24 at the Maple Grove Community Center. The workshop is geared toward park operations and maintenance staff. The day will consist of classroom sessions related to refrigerated outdoor ice, winter trail maintenance, smart trail signage, snowmaking for winter recreation, winter programming, and more. Additionally, field sessions will be offered November through January as follow-up educational experiences related to the classroom sessions. Mark your calendars and watch for more information to come this summer!

MRPF SILENT AUCTION Thursday, September 20, 2012 The Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation (MRPF) is conducting its famous silent auction again this year. Delegates are encouraged to participate in this year’s auction since the donations generated go right back to us as professionals in the parks and recreation field. For the first time ever, there will be a package of four Disney Parkhopper passes on the auction block. Pull out your wallets and open your purses while at the same time helping the profession of parks and recreation. (Additional donations for the auction can be made by contacting Erin Mayberry, or at 607-664-3502.)

John Stutzman’s first parks and recreation job was coaching t-ball for Ho p k in s / Minnetonk a during college. “While I envisioned a career in professional sports, I really enjoyed what I did while working for Hopkins/Minnetonka,” Stutzman states. After completing an internship with the Saint Paul Saints, Stutzman realized he had more fun working with kids in the park and recreation profession. He was fortunate to be offered an internship the following summer with the City of Chanhassen’s Parks and Recreation Department. “After two great summers working with an incredible staff in Chanhassen, I was hooked and knew I found a career path,” Stutzman states. “I was thrilled to have an opportunity to be offered fulltime employment as the recreation supervisor for the City of Chanhassen. In Chanhassen I was very fortunate to have people like Jerry Ruegemer, Nate Rosa, Todd Hoffman, and Jodi Sarles to work with in my time there. I am extremely thankful for the opportunities and guidance they have given me over the years.” After six months of working for the City of Chanhassen, Stutzman’s supervisor, Jerry Ruegemer, encouraged him to become a more active member in the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association. He took his advice and says he has never looked back. “It has been one of the best decisions I have made throughout my career,” says Stutzman. “Not only have I really enjoyed the experiences I have had in the different sections, committees, and educational opportunities, but through MRPA I have met so many great people, many of whom I now consider good friends.” Stutzman has been very involved with MRPA over the past few years. He is the 2013 Annual Conference program committee co-chair, a member of the 2012 Annual Conference adventure race committee, and the 2012 Summer Leadership Workshop chair. He is also active in the MRPA sections and committees. Stutzman encourages all professionals to get involved in MRPA. “You might meet someone who can help you at some point in your life,” says Stutzman. “This is such a great profession to be a part of. I fully believe that all of us in the parks and recreation profession not only have a passion to live life to its fullest, but also have a passion for helping others enjoy their lives.” MRPA members are the heart of our organization. They are involved and committed to advancing the parks and recreation programming. MRPA in Action is a new magazine feature which will highlight one section/committee and one professional per issue.

Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 7

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FICA Alternative plan offers Big Savings for Anoka County

The new plan will lead to an estimated savings of about $42,000 per year for the Parks and Recreation Department.

By John VonDeLinde, Director, Anoka County Parks

Recently, the Anoka County Board approved a measure that will lead to cost savings for the Parks and Recreation Department and for our seasonal employees. This new initiative called the “FICA Alternative” plan may be of interest to other park and recreation agencies. The idea was brought forward by Jennifer Fink, our marketing and visitor services manager, who had learned of it through a MRPA workshop. Under the FICA Alternative plan, there is no longer a mandatory payroll deduction for Social Security payments for most of our seasonal and part-time employees. This optional way of handling Social Security payroll deductions is provided for in the Internal Revenue Service regulations.

In lieu of the traditional 6.2% payroll payment - by both the employee and the county - the seasonal employee has a 7.5% pre-tax payroll deduction that goes into a deferred compensation plan. The County no longer makes a FICA contribution. The employee can take their money out at the end of their employment with the County, or can leave their investment in place for as long as they wish. For most seasonal employees, the new plan acts like a short-term savings program. The employee has immediate access to their money (and not have to wait until they are 62 years old) which can come in very handy for school tuition, books, or other expenses.

The new plan will lead to an estimated savings of about $42,000 per year for the Parks and Recreation Department. In the end, it will be a much better program for the 300+ seasonal employees and a significant cost reduction for the county as well. To the best of our knowledge, we are the first county in the state to use this optional approach. If other agencies are interested in this new program, we would be happy to share our experience.

You can Also learn more about the FICA Alternative plan at this year’s conference director’s forum.

Interested in saving 6.2% on your payroll budget? Bruce Nelson, Precision Retirement Group, Inc.

In the last several months Precision Retirement Group, Inc. has been introducing a plan that would save 6.2% on all part-time, seasonal, and temporary (PST) wages. Through this federally authorized alternative plan, your entity could opt-out of FICA taxes while offering PST employees a 7.5% deferred savings account. Here is how the plan works: Rather than reducing the employees’ wages on an after-tax basis by the required 6.2% FICA tax on each pay check, the employer establishes The FICA Alternative Retirement Plan account offered through Precision Retirement Group, Inc. A 7.5% pre-tax contribution is deducted from the PST employees’ wages and is contributed to their personal account. Once The FICA Alternative Plan has been established, all future employer FICA contributions (6.2%) are eliminated. Upon termination or retirement, the account is distributed to the employee. Precision Retirement Group, Inc. has been offering this plan to governmental entities through the country for the last 13 years. Implementation cost for all plan documents is a one-time expense of $1,000. There is no additional or on-going cost to your governmental entity!

With The FICA Alternative Retirement Plan, employees gain more control of when and how they can use their money. Unlike Social Security, with The FICA Alternative Plan, the employee contributions and interest are available upon: • Termination of employment • In the event of death or disability • At normal retirement age PLAN ADVANTAGES FOR EMPLOYERS: • Save 6.2% of the matching Social Security portion of total PST payroll • Easy implementation • Limited on-going payroll administration • Web site access for payroll data transfers • Annual employer statements • Plan support (a turn-key implementation process) If your agency or department is interested in learning more about this valuable savings opportunity, please contact Bruce Nelson, at 800.369.9461. Precision Retirement Group, Inc. is a MRPA corporate member.


Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 9

Partnerships are


to Parks and Recreation By Bethani Gerhard, Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

What do partnerships and sponsorships look like in the field of parks and recreation? They are vital for many parks and recreation agencies to support park development, programming, scholarship funds, and special events held throughout the year. Wright County Parks In order to create the Bertram Chain of Lakes Regional Park, Wright County’s newest regional park, they knew they would not have all the necessary funds. “To assist with the acquisition and development, Wright County joined forces with the City of Monticello, who agreed to be 50/50 partners in acquiring these lands,” states Marc Mattice, parks administrator for Wright County Parks. “The acquisition process started in 2008, and once completed will include 1,200 acres and four undeveloped lakes.” As the planning progressed, they realized there should be formal programming. In order to have a successful day-camp style program, resources would be necessary. “Wright County began discussion with the YMCA, who agreed to operate a day camp during the months of June through August,” states Mattice. “This partnership shares in the cost of developing the necessary facilities and program features on the park. The YMCA transports par-

10 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

ticipants from the Northwest suburbs of the Twin Cities, as well as locally. Around 1,600 youth attend camp each summer.” The 30th Annual Ney Regional Park Spring and Fall Environmental Field Days also has partnerships with a variety of agencies: • The

Soil and Water Conservation District

• Minnesota

Department of Natural Resources, Forestry, Fisheries, and Wildlife divisions

• Pheasants


• Private

Firm working with Natural Resource Management

• Wright

County Master Gardeners

• Wright

County Office of Planning and Zoning

• School

Districts within Wright County

“Each spring and fall, these partners join together to offer an environmental field day to every 5th grade class in Wright County, with nearly 250 youth each day attending, totaling over 1,500 youth per year,” states Mattice. “This program is offered free of charge to the school districts, and provides an opportunity for the students to learn about their natural environment, and experience hands-on activities.”

there were a total of 88 registrants who received scholarships from March 1 through December 31, 2011. “Without this partnership, these registrants may have never had a chance to participate in a parks and recreation program,” adds Atkinson. To date, Tim has donated more than $2,000 to the department in various ways, including youth t-shirts, wrist bands and scholarship funds.

In addition, WCER has a sponsor for the bus cost for the Minnesota Twins and Disney on Ice field trips every year. “We are fortunate to have Itron, a business who values lifelong learning, sponsor this event,” states Knudson. “This year, Itron has given us a generous donation to start active programming for Baby Boomers.” WCER will have open gym activities for seniors during the school year. Itron’s support will allow them to purchase equipment for these activities.

New Brighton Parks and Recreation

Waseca Parks and Recreation

New Brighton Parks and Recreation currently has a partnership with the Dairy Queen off Old Highway 8 in New Brighton. “This partnership is a true collaboration where both parties were seeking help in a time of need and by happenstance, wound up being a positive aspect in each other’s business development,” states Patrice Atkinson, recreation supervisor for New Brighton Parks and Recreation.

Waseca Community Education and Recreation (WCER) has partnerships with the Waseca Rotary Club and Waseca Exchange Club. Due to donations from these organizations, Waseca was able to offer open gym opportunities throughout this past winter. “These three opportunities were attended by over 1,200 people,” states Mary Jo Knudson, recreation coordinator for Waseca Community Education and Recreation.

“We appreciate all of our sponsors and partners,” states Knudson, “without them, we wouldn’t be nearly as successful with our programming.”

In the spring of 2011, the new owner of the Dairy Queen, Tim Larson, stopped by the New Brighton Parks and Recreation to offer a donation of $500, to be placed in the scholarship fund. The scholarship program helps assist New Brighton residents who need to subsidize the cost of recreational programs. Larson was revitalizing his Dairy Queen location, and was searching for ways to help the community. After the initial contact with the owner from the New Brighton Dairy Queen, discussions with the recreation supervisor began, to determine if other collaborations would be possible. “Both entities believed that this was that start of a great partnership,” says Atkinson. “New Brighton Parks and Recreation realized that we need to do our part to help local businesses succeed and Dairy Queen wanted to help the community find ways to be active.” Because of New Brighton Parks and Recreation’s partnership with Dairy Queen,

WCER also partners with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Waseca has a ‘Boat and Water Safety’ class that is taught by local DNR conservation officers. “It leads students through the beginning stages of getting their watercraft operator’s license,” states Knudson. “They are taught the main elements and are trained in a hands-on manner.” The Minnesota DNR and conservation officers also provide educational games and answer questions from parents and children during the annual ‘Take a Kid Fishing’ event. “This event is always a huge success,” says Knudson. “Many different organizations are involved to pull this one off.”

Spring2012 2012••MINNESOTA MINNESOTARecreation Recreationand andParks Parks11 11 Spring

Funding park facilities takes


Creativity, Pe and Commu By Kylie Blanchard

As federal, state, and local budgets have slimmed in recent years, resources for funding parks and recreation projects have become more challenging to locate for those working to advance their community’s offerings. But as the following examples show, creativity, perseverance, and community support can go a long way in the success of funding parks and recreation facilities projects.

“It’s always a challenge to fund large projects. They are costly and not always a priority, so it takes a variety of funding sources to get these projects done.”

“It’s always a challenge to fund large projects,” says Bob Klatt, director of Woodbury Parks and Recreation. “They are costly and not always a priority, so it takes a variety of funding sources to get these projects done.”

Bob Klatt – Director, Woodbury Parks and Recreation

He says often a combination of funding sources including referendum funds, reserve funds, dedicated funds, tax revenues and grants come into play when working to complete a project. The community of Woodbury is currently working to expand its Bielenberg Sports Center by replacing its 50,000-square-foot “air bubble” domed field house with a nearly 90,000-square-foot permanent field house structure. If funding remains after the initial construction of the field house, preliminary plans also allow for the construction of storage space for equipment to maintain the outdoor fields, an outdoor refrigerated ice rink that could be enclosed in the future, and an upgrade of the existing building facade to meet the city’s architectural standards. “The overall vision for the Bielenberg Sports Center, when we originally built the facility in 1994, was that we would definitely be doing a major upgrade and revision around this time,” says Klatt.

2 12 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

A 14-member citizen task force, which includes the city’s mayor, a city council member, representatives from the primary user organizations, city staff and other citizen

representatives, worked closely with the architect and the construction managers to develop the current preliminary plans for the project. Funding options are still being finalized, but the city has been planning to address the aging field house since 2010. A total of $15.5 million is scheduled in the city’s 2013 Capital Improvement Plan for the potential expansion of the facility. In addition, the current general-obligation bonds for the Bielenberg Sports Center debt will be paid off in 2014 and 2019. These revenue sources, plus the contribution from the Capital Improvement Fund, are expected to pay for the expansion; and a property tax increase for this project will not be needed. “The combination of using existing reserve funds, some revenue from the facility itself, and existing tax revenue from previous referendums is how we are approaching funding this facility,” says Klatt, adding additional study by the city’s financial advisor and staff will still take place before seeking City Council’s approval of the funding plan. Project planning for the Bielenberg Sports Center is expected to continue through 2012, and pending City Council approval, construction could begin in early 2013. Klatt says in planning for a project expansion, it is important to take a team approach. “This process has to involve the community, city staff and departments, as well as policymakers and decision-makers,” he notes. “You need to get everyone working together toward a common goal.” And taking the time to implement a solid financial plan for funding a project will help to ensure its success in the community. “We want the Bielenberg Sports Center to be a staple in the community and for this expansion to last the next 50 years,” says Klatt.

erseverance, unity Support The City of Bemidji Parks and Recreation Department has also made positive changes through a Master Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Plan that identified what improvements the city should implement in the parks systems. The plan was adopted in 2001 and the funding for this project was created through the citizens’ approval of a half-cent sales tax, with up to $9.8 million invested in city parks and trails. This plan has helped to make many changes in the community parks and recreation facilities, which have had a positive impact on the entire community. “Our parks were in deplorable condition,” says City of Bemidji Parks and Recreation Director Marcia Larson. “The community wanted park facilities they could use, and they voted in favor of the half-cent sales tax to improve parks and trails.” “The community has been extremely supportive of the improvements to the parks and trails,” she adds. “The usage of our parks has increased tremendously and with this has come a demand for more facilities and recreational programming.” The first park improvement project funded through the sales tax revenue was Diamond Point. A complete renovation of the park was completed in order to meet the community’s needs and fulfill the site’s potential as a lakefront park. Improvements included the main building, beachfront, playground, trails and many other park components and cost approximately $3.4 million. Next, a new warming house was added to Nymore Park, which replaced one that was in disrepair. The City Park project was completed in 2010 and cost $3.8 million. It included upgrading a nine-hole disc golf course to an 18-hole course, a four field softball complex, and a multi-season building which serves as a warming house, rental facility,

hockey and pleasure rink, playground and skate park. Improvements also included parking areas and trails, a picnic shelter and open space plus landscaping. Larson notes a local group raised $166,000 towards the $316,000 cost of the skate park project. The West-Shore Trail project provided trail connection from Paul Bunyan Park to Diamond Point and on-road to Cameron Park. The trail travels along Lake Bemidji through the Bemidji State University campus. The sales tax revenue was used as a match for Enhancement Funds for the funding of this project. The East West Trail project also used sales tax revenue to match Enhancement Funds. This trail now connects the downtown, lakefront parks to the Paul Bunyan State Trail and provides a corridor to the west toward the community’s high school. Both trail projects form the basis of the city’s trail system and connect to the Paul Bunyan State Trail. Larson says the community’s financial plan for these projects has helped create many improvements and garner additional support for Bemidji’s parks and recreation system. “The City Council has been extremely supportive of the Park and Recreation Department,” she notes. “My budget and staffing have increased as we have added and improved trails and parks, and we are currently designing our last big project using sales tax revenue, the Paul Bunyan/Library Park project.” Improving Bemidji’s parks and recreation facilities has also increased the community’s pride. “Now there are weddings and family reunions in Diamond Park every weekend,” says Larson. “People care what their parks look like and we have also seen behavior improve and vandalism decrease as a result of these improvements.”



5 1 City Park, Bemidji 2 Diamond Point Park, Bemidji 3 Bielenberg Sports Center, Woodbury 4 City Park, Bemidji 5 Diamond Point Park, Bemidji

“Now there are weddings and family reunions in Diamond Park every weekend. People care what their parks look like and we have also seen behavior improve and vandalism decrease as a result of these improvements.” Marcia Larson – Director, Bemidji Parks and Recreation

Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 13

Revenue Generation

Core Values . s v Have we lost our way?

By Harvey Feldman, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration

In the September 2011 issue of Parks and Recreation magazine an article entitled “Mastering Revenue: Agencies turn to fees and charges to make up for shrinking general funds” caught my attention. The cover had the headline PAY TO PLAY: Some like it. Others don’t. All agree it’s here to stay” and I do too. In the article a colleague was quoted as saying, “This is no different from running a regular business, no different at all.” I vehemently disagree with this assertion. Instead I support the position of Jim Collins, author of the best-selling book Good to Great, rather than the number of other park and recreation administrators who believe the sentiment expressed in that statement will save their own department from financial difficulties. If you have not read Good to Great, I recommend it to you. When Collins was asked

how his research applied to social sector organizations, he prepared a monograph called “Good to Great and the Social Sectors, Why Business Thinking is Not the Answer,” to accompany his five-year research study. In the monograph he penned, “A great organization is one that delivers superior performance and makes a distinctive impact over a long period of time. For a business, financial returns are a perfectly legitimate measure of performance. For a social sector organization, however, performance must be assessed relative to mission, not financial return” [emphasis added]. As professionals, we need to speak out and share Collins findings with others wherever we can. Our mission defines what business we are in, NOT how much revenue we raise or the percentage of cost recovery we achieve. From a practical standpoint there is another reason why the ‘no different at all business’

14 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

statement generally won’t work. We operate in a ‘diffuse power structure,’ as Collins calls it, which makes it considerably more difficult to be a mission and values driven organization. Park and recreation directors and staff end up spending more of their time generating new revenue streams than evaluating outcomes tied to community issues. Collins suggests that, “Social sector leaders are not less decisive than business leaders as a general rule; they only appear that way to those who fail to grasp the complex governance and diffuse power structures common to social sectors.” One such social sector CEO commented that the “diffuse power structure rendered executive-style leadership impractical.” Stated another way, too many chefs (councils and city/county managers) focus on revenue production in judging the value of our service.

Unless you work for an independent special district or have a special relationship with your governing authority, the likelihood of your agency keeping your increased revenues without losing a like amount of tax supported funds to another department is slim. Special districts, on the other hand, are a single purpose agency with their own taxing authority and the revenues gained from increased fees and charges will likely be used for park and recreation purposes, not for an additional city police officer, public works maintenance worker, or reducing taxes of the agency. As Tom Lovell, Lee’s Summit, Missouri administrator and 2010 Gold Medal Award winner stated in the same Managing Revenues article, “One concern is that if we start getting revenues the government will decide they won’t have to support us at all, and their support is critical.” To Lovell’s point, John L. Crompton, a distinguished leader and researcher in recreation and park management, notes the downward spiral in tax support that occurs when park and recreation departments place more importance on generating revenue than on achieving their core mission. In “Community Benefits and Repositioning, the Keys to Park and Recreation’s Future Viability,” Crompton suggests that if agencies increase the priority of self-generated revenue objectives and reduce priority given to services with social merit, they provide less justification for public tax support, which therefore results in less tax support. If we are truly going to manage resources, we must become more strategic. It makes no sense to generate more revenues and then lose like amount of tax support. As the saying goes, “it is a little late when you get to the very top of the ladder, and then find out that it has not been leaning against the right wall.” We must ask ourselves two critical questions in order to determine the agency’s true financial picture. One, have your tax supported funds been reduced or stagnated over the last five years? Two, are your fees and charges revenue included when you are asked to reduce your budget by 10-percent? If the answer to both is YES, you are not, I repeat not, making up for shrinking general (tax) funds. You are falling further behind the financial 8-ball. It is becoming increasingly clear that potential opportunities to enhance revenue are driving decisions about the mix and level of programs offered

by the agency. We advocate that the ‘right wall’ is the agency’s mission. For example, Naperville, Illinois Park District’s mission is “to provide recreation and park experiences that enrich the quality of life of our community.” That’s the business most of us are in and if we forget that I believe we will have lost our way. We must focus more attention on program and facility outcomes based on our core values. We must never forget our ‘reason for being’ and ‘the business we are in.’

Survived shipwreck Pirate John Julian

It is especially important to reinforce our core values in everything the agency does -- every policy, program, process, and procedure. While financial issues are critical to the operation, focusing on revenue generation instead of our ‘reason for being’ may well jeopardize that vision. According to the research project by Jim Collins and Jerry I. Porras from the national best-selling book, Built to Last: Successful Habits of Visionary Companies, “deeds are more important than words.” Collins and Porras suggest that in order to realize the vision, organizational leaders must “almost religiously preserve its core ideology -- its reason for being at all costs...if an organization is to meet the challenges of a changing world, it must be prepared to change everything about itself except its basic beliefs. The only sacred cow in an organization should be its basic philosophy of doing business.” Recreation planning should be a process that classifies programs according to community needs and established core values. Based on best practices from around the country, recreation planning has expanded beyond organized athletic programs and now commonly encompasses objectives such as health and wellness, fitness, environmental stewardship, and creating a sense of community. Professionals should strongly consider reviewing the 19 communitywide benefits as set forth in Crompton’s Community Benefits and Repositioning text as a backdrop for repositioning programs and facilities. Indeed, it is park and recreation’s ability to meet broadly defined community issues that distinguish it from for-profit businesses. Let’s be true to our mission and core values first and foremost. Quality programs with outcomes that address the quality of life of the community is the best way to keep our agencies vital and essential. Our core values must always trump revenue generation.

Groups of 15 or more get even bigger discounts. Reserve at (651) 221-9444 or

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Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 15

Those of us in the parks and recreation profession know the health, social, and economic benefits of parks. However, for many, parks also have a profound, personal meaning. They may remind us of times shared with family and friends or of special life moments. Members share their beloved parks stories in their own words...

Greenleaf Park, Apple Valley

Gregory Park, Brainerd

In December 2009, we moved into a new home in Apple Valley; we are one house away from the park entrance. We go to the park at least five times a week with our youngest daughter. The park is a small neighborhood park that contains a playground, youth ball field, and a walking/ running path that connects to other trails and walkways. In 2011, we purchased three trees from the annual City Tree Sale and donated them to “our park.” We took a photo with our three kids standing by each tree. We walk right past these trees every time we go to the park. Cassidy, our 4 yearold, usually comments on “her” tree and runs and gives it a hug. We look forward to many years of watching “our trees” grow and we are very fond of this park because of the memories it is creating for us.

I have heard numerous people tell me about all the memories they have had at Gregory Park, both as kids and adults. Our administrative specialist grew up a few blocks from the park and tells lots of stories about the park being the neighborhood’s gathering place in the summers throughout her youth. We have an historic bandstand in Gregory Park, which was recently refurbished and is still in use for our “concerts in the park” each summer. – Tony Sailor

– Sandy and Scott Breuer

Ritter Farm Park, Lakeville This park is a 340-acre natural environment/ wildlife refuge. There are year-round activities at Ritter Farm Park that include hiking, nature camps for kids and families, art camps, special events, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. – Steve Michaud

Riverside Park, St. Cloud

Cassidy, Melanie and James by their trees in Greenleaf Park.

It was a muggy July evening and my boyfriend, Jake, wanted to go for a bike ride around the St. Cloud State campus. We wound up in Riverside Park by the Mississippi when he had to check something on his bike. Little did I know he had an engagement ring in his pack and proposed to me by a big Oak tree. Of course I said yes! We’ve since visited Riverside Park to reminisce our college days, and to find our favorite Oak tree.

16 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

– Heidi Sedlacek

The Hutchinson Brothers statue in Library Square.

Library Square, Hutchinson This park is home to our Carnegie Library, bandstand, fountain and statue of our founders: the Hutchinson Brothers. The Hutchinson Brothers statue was a gift to the City to commemorate our sesquicentennial (1855-2005). The bandstand is home to the 10 week Music in the Park summer series attended by several hundred listeners each week. Some park activities include Dairy Days, Water Carnival Community Festival, Crazy Days and this Year’s 38th Annual Arts and Crafts/Taste of Hutchinson Festival. The park was part of the original Hutchinson Brothers plat. The forward thinking Hutchinson Brothers set aside land for public parks, schools, and advocated for women’s rights when they settled Hutchinson in 1855. – Dolf Moon

There’s three sides to every story. (At outdoor family gatherings.)

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Did you know that Minnesota Recreation and Park Association has nine fitness centers on the Fit Choices by Medica plan? Being part of this plan not only provides a service to our members, but it’s also an alternative funding source. MRPA is entering their seventh year of the MRPA / Fit Choices by Medica partnership. Since June of 2006, MRPA has expanded from 150 participants on the monthly usage file, to over 1,000 participants in 2012. How does Fit Choices by Medica work? Participants present their Medica ID card when they enroll at a participating fitness facilities. This program provides a $20 credit toward monthly dues when a person works out at least 12 days per month at any participating fitness center. How does Fit Choices by Medica work with MRPA? The fitness clubs compile usage for each member who is registered for Fit Choices by Medica and sends it to MRPA each month. MRPA works directly with Medica and receives a list of qualified members. Medica wires the money directly to MRPA by the 20 th of every month. MRPA then cuts individual checks to each community center. If your fitness center is interested in being a part of this growing work-out incentive program, contact Michelle Snider, MRPA, at 763.571.1305 ext.100. A Medica representative will let MRPA know if your facility is approved to be part of Fit Choices by Medica.

Thank you to all our participating community centers: • • • • • • Call for a free estimate: 1-855-372-2668

• •

Lakes Area Recreation Center, Alexandria Becker Community Center Eden Prairie Community Center Center Court Fitness Club, Grand Forks, ND Veteran’s Memorial Community Center, Inver Grove Heights Le Sueur Community Center Shakopee Community Center Central Square Community Center, South Saint Paul

Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 17

18 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

Be sure to educate staff and volunteers on how offenders use the Internet to groom youths, the pitfalls of electronic communication with youths and how to avoid unintended consequences.

3. Monitor computer use and electronic communications. Studies estimate the average American worker spends an hour a day surfing the web for personal matters. In addition to decreased productivity, you should be concerned about the risk of pornography, sexual harassment, and inappropriate communication with youths in your program. Organizations can use the latest in technology to monitor and block inappropriate content. If your organization allows youths to use onsite computers, keep the computers in an open area, easily viewed by passers-by, check browser histories frequently, use screens and filters to block access to unacceptable sites, and establish rules for users.

AreSocialMedia andElectronic Communication worththerisk? Permission of this portion to be reprinted from Praesidium, Inc. Safety Bulletin Volume 17, 2011

4. Educate parents and youth about Internet safety and what your organization does to prevent dangers. Teach parents how to keep their children safe online, but also let them know your organization’s policies and staff expectations for electronic communication. In addition, educate youths about appropriate and inappropriate electronic communication. They need to know who to tell if a staff member or another program participant send them something inappropriate. 5. Respond quickly. Once violations have been identified, your organization must have procedures in place to respond quickly. How would you handle these situations? • A volunteer has been sending hundreds of text

messages to a youth. • An employee is connected to a youth via his personal

Facebook page. • An employee accessed inappropriate websites on his

work computer. Having a response plan in place for these types of incidents keeps a bad situation from getting worse. Praesidium can help you develop a response plan and provide consultation if you have an incident. About Praesidium:

Whatshouldyourorganizationdotoprotect itself, staff and youths? 1. Establish electronic communication policies. The first step in managing this risk is developing clear policies for the acceptable use of electronic communication and social media. 2. Train staff and volunteers about this risk. Training shouldn’t end after your initial orientation process. Offenders constantly look for new strategies to establish private access to youths – your effort to train staff and volunteers on the latest abuse prevention topics should be just as rigorous.

With two decades of experience, Praesidium is the national leader in abuse risk management. We offer a full range of risk management and loss control products and services to help you protect those in your care from abuse and to preserve trust in your organization. Call 800.743.6354 or visit for more information.

Another great resource for Social Media Policies: The website provides links to 213 social media policies, 160 social media research reports and a study of more than 49 social media policies.

Spring 2012 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 19

Celebrating 75 Years

PhAback R M Flas

My Life in Recreation By Pat Gaustad

Submitted with the assistance of Patricia G. Hoversten, Pat’s daughter I think it may have all started when I slipped on my mother’s wet kitchen floor. Or was it when I fell out of the tree? Each time I broke my leg (the same leg). I don’t know if I was a tom-boy, just in hurry, or a clumsy child. My parents’ solution was to send me to dance lessons. This was in the 1920s. I think it was their version of physical therapy. I had to take the train from our town of Dilworth, Minn. to lessons in Moorhead and Fargo. Soon, I was the teacher’s assistant. Soon after that I was teaching lessons in my parents’ home. I helped choreograph the Dilworth High School Operetta (1930s). I was able to use my father’s railroad pass to travel to the towns surrounding Moorhead or used the bus lines to teach lessons to the various towns that wanted a dance teacher, including Glyndon, Sabin, Breckenridge, Detroit Lakes, Hawley, Barnesville, and Wahpeton. In most places I taught I was fortunate to have excellent students and crossed paths with several who had interesting stories: Patty Carvelle (Mrs. Roger) Maris; the great-great-great-great-grand daughters of Sacajawea (in Wahpeton, where their parents were faculty at the Indian School); and I think Lonnie Anderson was briefly a pupil when I taught in Roseville (maybe Frank Rog would remember). Besides having dance lessons and dance schools of my own, I taught for the Fergus Falls State Hospital as a recreational and occupational therapist for the residents. I think I was among the first RT/OTs in the state. This was under WPA. While I was self-employed with my own dance school, WPA had to hire certain specialists that could not be found to fill specific slots. I was always proud to have worked for WPA. After marrying in 1945, I followed my husband to Missouri, where I taught lessons for a while when he was

20 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks •

in OCS. His work took us back to the Fargo-Moorhead area where I taught until we moved to Madison, Wisconsin. I taught in Madison, Brookfield, and Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Next move was back to Moorhead where I continued to teach sometimes in my home and often at a school or YWCA. Our next move was to Saint Paul where I taught in South Saint Paul, South Grove / Inver Grove Heights, Roseville (thank-you Frank Rog), the Saint Paul YWCA, and eventually for the Saint Paul Parks and Recreation Department, first as a dance specialist traveling to many of the city recreation centers by bus, then working as a recreation leader, crafts specialist (OxfordJimmy Lee), Assistant-Director, Director (Hamline and Sylvan). Along the way I have met many wonderful people (staff, youth, parents, booster clubs) through the recreation centers and in their communities. I enjoyed participating in and helping with the hospitality for the National Recreation and Park Association convention when Minnesota hosted. There have been many stories and many rewards. Every aspect of recreation is valuable. Thanks to the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association for all they do and giving me so many years of a satisfying career with opportunities to work with so many fine people. Pat Gaustad retired in 1980 from Saint Paul Parks and Recreation, and now lives in Waseca, Minnesota.


Conference Guide

Presort Standard US Postage Paid La Crosse, WI Permit No. 25


Welcome to the 2012 Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference. We are proud to celebrate the 75th anniversary of MRPA at beautiful Cragun’s Resort in Brainerd. We have an action packed conference awaiting you with keynote speaker Jon Gordon, author of the Energy Bus, Tom Baumann teaching the Lean Kaizen philosophy, and Minnesota legend, Don Shelby. You are invited to participate in the inaugural MRPA Adventure Race, a mental and physical challenge as well as a learning opportunity. The conference committee has been working hard to provide opportunities for delegates, students and retirees during the conference, including numerous networking events and the chance to meet with over 60 vendors at our exhibit hall. We extend our gratitude to each and every one of the sponsors and conference partners as well as the Annual Conference Committee for helping make the 2012 MRPA Conference a great success. And lastly, thank you for your attendance. This conference is an exceptional learning opportunity and we encourage all delegates to be active, participate and enjoy all what Cragun’s has to offer! Jason T. West, New Brighton Parks and Recreation Jennifer Fink, Anoka County Parks and Recreation 2012 Annual Conference Co-Chairs

MRPA CONTACT INFOrmation 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM, M-F 200 Charles Street NE Fridley, MN 55432 T: 763.571.1305 x100 F: 763.571.5204 Michelle Snider, Executive Director E-mail: Web: Conference Website

As we come to the 2012 MRPA Conference showcasing the end of MRPA’s 75th anniversary, we would like to recognize our corporate members and vendors. Many of them have come forward and are sponsors of this conference. Without the support of these organizations, this conference would not have the great speakers, presenters, and networking opportunities for which we are accustomed. We encourage you to visit with these organizations and express your appreciation.


• Landscape Structures, Inc. • Flagship Recreation • MTI/Toro • Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation • Sam’s Club • Musco Lighting • RES Pyrotechnics • Your Boat Club • Taho Sportswear • Spartan Promotional Group • Front Runner Events • Magic Bounce

Conference Partners:

• Bluebird Photobooth • Kromerco • Maximum Solutions • Minneapolis Northwest • Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground • Precision Retirement Group – FICA Alternative • STANTEC • St. Croix Recreation

schedule at a glance

Key Events

Tuesday, September 18

Wednesday, September 19

MRPF Golf Tournament 11:00 AM – 3:30 PM

Opening Keynote Speaker 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM

Registration 3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Jon Gordon

Pre-Conference Institute 4:00 PM – 6:15 PM

The Energy Bus: 10 Rules to Fuel Your Life, Work, and Team with Positive Energy

Sunset Boat Cruise 5:30 PM – 7:30 PM Welcome Networking Event 7:30 PM

Pre-Conference Institute 4:00 PM – 6:15 PM Kaizen is a Japanese business philosophy that stresses incremental, continuous improvement in the workplace.This continuous improvement process is being implemented in departments across the entire State of Minnesota. In Anoka County, this process was used to decrease the paternity determination process from 176 days to 63 days! Derived from the Japanese word “kai,” which means change, and “zen,” meaning to make better, Kaizen strives to make continuous changes for the better. It has been adapted and used in private industry since the 1980s, where it is known as Lean Six Sigma, to promote efficiency and the production of high quality goods and services. Kaizen requires that all employees in an organization, line staff and supervisors alike, look for small, incremental ways to improve productivity, safety, and effectiveness. Be introduced to the seven wastes and other tools that can help those at all levels in an organization, improve efficiency and effectiveness.

Welcome Networking Event 7:30 pm, Poolside Join us for a networking experience poolside. Cragun’s will provide our conference attendees with a select menu for dining options along with a full beverage service. Move to the Bear Trap Lounge later in the evening for entertainment that will include karaoke for those arriving later in the evening.

Based on his international best-selling book, The Energy Bus, Jon Gordon presents a powerful roadmap to overcome common life and work obstacles and bring out the best in yourself and your team. Everyone faces challenges and every person, organization, company and team will have to overcome negativity and adversity to define themselves and create their success. Whether you are a leader looking to build a positive culture, a manager trying to energize and engage your team, or someone who desires to enhance your productivity and performance, this talk will help you create more success and enjoy the ride of your life.

Sponsored by

Musco Lighting Luau 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Put on your Hawaiian shirts and do the locomotion down to the North Beach for a lakeside luau. Festivities include dinner along the shores of Gull Lake. Bring your dollars and your competitive spirit for some friendly “yard games” hosted by MSU Mankato Recreation Club. At 7:30 PM take a seat for a thrilling Fire, Knife, and Dance Show by the Hawaiian Islanders. After the show, stick around for a fireworks display over Gull Lake provided by RES Specialty Pyrotechnics. The evening will wrap up with lakeside bonfires and acoustic music provided by “Ragman.”

Wednesday, September 19

10:45 AM – 12:00 pm

schedule at a glance

Wednesday, September 19

Trends in Synthetic Athletic Fields and Other Installations Ronn Ponath – President of Kromer Company LLC

Lunch 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM

There are many changes occurring in the use and application of synthetic fields. Fields and other installations are being designed for more specific surfaces, and the technology surrounding them has changed dramatically since the early Astroturf fields. Learn about the ongoing research on issues such as materials, safety, playability, attractiveness, durability, environmental impacts, initial costs, lifetime costs, and recycling. Learn about updated maintenance procedures that are specific to the surface, design and usage, as well climate differences and frequency of usage. Participants will also walk away with information on how industry warranties continue to change.

Education Sessions 1:00 PM – 2:15 PM 2:30 PM – 3:45 PM

The Essence of Successful, Sustainable Inclusive Play Community Events

Registration/Breakfast 8:00 AM – 8:45 AM Keynote Speaker: Jon Gordon Sponsored by MTI Toro 9:00 AM – 10:30 AM Education Sessions 10:45 AM – 12:00 PM

Mary Hauff – Independent Consultant

Adventure Race 4:00 PM – 6:00 PM Musco Lighting Luau Networking Event 6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

Small Steps, Big Change. How to Overcome Your Fears and Step Boldly to a New You Juli Seydell Johnson – Eagan Parks & Recreation Want to make a change in your personal or work life but don’t know where to start? This session will provide concrete strategies for successfully implementing a change in you and encouraging change for those around you. Learn the simple steps and coaching strategies that have helped more than a hundred non-runners to their first starting line and that can help you reach your goals.

Partnering Your Way to Success Michael Hecker – Elk River Parks and Recreation The economic case for a city, school district and/or a hospital cooperating to design, construct and manage a community recreation center is compelling. Partnerships for a parks and recreation agency can involve several financial partners from the public, private and non-profit sectors. This session will provide specific perspectives on partnering with schools and hospitals. Listen as the latest partnership between the City of Mason, Ohio and the Tri-Health Hospital Corporation, developed the expansion of the Mason Community Center to become a 235,000 square feet facility with an emphasis on health and wellness.

We all would like to have kids giggle and laugh so hard their sides ache, be accepted and have friends. Community parks and playgrounds are where friendships for life can be fostered, where imagination goes wild and all things are possible. Does your community offer successful inclusive play events? Come and glean ideas to plan and offer simple and engaging inclusive play community events. Inclusive play events provide an opportunity for children of all abilities and varying interests to experience: • The exhilaration of free play • Freedom of independent choice to take risks • A sense of accomplishment and building confidence through play • Positively channeling energy through healthy, outdoor fitness activities Come, listen, learn.

Integrity in Organizational Leadership Jeff Thompson – Innovations in Quality Jeff Thompson works as consultant to many local elected officials and municipalities on how to implement effective management techniques and utilize the four levels of organizational integrity to affect how departments function. Thompson will detail where organizations start to fall apart and what you can do to bring them back.

Pickleball – The Fastest Growing Sport in the United States Jim Probst – USA Pickleball Association Learn how this increasingly popular game, which was started in 1965, is played. You will learn about the equipment needed, the court requirements and more importantly get a chance to play yourself! Seniors, children, and people of all ages are playing. You should too!

1:00 pm – 2:15 PM Recreational Trails, the Forgotten Pavement: How Preventive Maintenance Can Save Your System Thomas Wood – MnDOT Does your community have a way to maintain that great new trail that you just constructed? Learn what preventive trail maintenance entails, why you should do it, and how to accomplish it! Each area will be covered in-depth so that trail owners can make educated decisions on what, where, why, and when to treat trails.

Design Your Writing Robyn Lingen – Designwrite Studios This jam-packed session will help get your message out clearly and concisely by walking you through essential steps toward lean, targeted writing for a variety of communication strategies. Learn ways to say more with less. Understand design basics. Maximize your relationship with design staff through precise copywriting and clear layout direction. In one short hour you’ll be armed with the tools you need to inform, invite and inspire residents community-wide.

Healthy Communities, Active Living Connie Bernardy – Active Living-Ramsey Communities Jody Yungers – Ramsey County Parks & Recreation Groups around the state are working to improve health and reduce chronic disease by engaging the community to promote and create environments that are safe and convenient for everyone to integrate physical activity into their daily routine. They are collaborating to enhance the built environment, influence policy and transform systems to cultivate and support a way of life that makes physical activity in our neighborhoods and communities safer and easier. Through a panel discussion, learn how leaders, practitioners and advocates from state, county, municipalities and non-profits are coming together to increase physical activity among residents.

Wednesday, September 19

Navigating the Media Minefield Bob Wittman – Wayzata Public Schools Rick Kaufman – Bloomington public schools Handling a crisis is not a matter of “if” but “when.” Are you prepared to handle all that comes with responding to a crisis? Do you know what to say to the media? Learn from two experienced communications professionals with a combined 50-plus years of school and community education experience. They will share examples of a few past crises and what to do when you are faced with an emergency. Session will include how to face your fears when the media calls, navigate an interview, and respond to the immediate crisis. Presentation will be interactive and engaging. Participants will tackle real-life scenarios from simple to difficult situations and the presenters will offer practical solutions for dealing with these situations.

Workforce Planning Joyce Hottinger & Laura Kushner League of Minnesota Cities If your city has a high number of employees nearing retirement, you’re not alone. Data from the Public Employees Retirement Association (PERA) shows nearly half of Minnesota’s cities have a workforce where at least 25-percent of their employees are over age 50. Those who choose to work in government service have a unique opportunity to make an immediate, tangible, meaningful difference in the lives of Minnesotans on a daily basis. Sharing this message is a key component of attracting new people to city government. In this session, learn how to take actions that make your city an attractive employer and learn how to start taking immediate steps to review, and possibly change, employment practices in order to be seen as a “preferred employer.”

Integrity in Individual Leadership Jeff Thompson – Innovations in Quality Learn about leadership credibility, and the integrity of a strategic focus. Thompson shows ways to maintain this focus under difficult and changing conditions. Session will also demonstrate integrity based decision-making and how to understand your own leadership style, while examining your mindset for managing.

Wednesday, September 19

2:30 PM – 3:45 pm

Alternative Pavements for Stormwater Management Andrea Weber, RLA – Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Deb Bartels, RLA – Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board This session will review several local case studies of stormwater management designs which incorporate pervious pavements and discuss the purpose and benefits of infiltration. Examples will include, Lake Calhoun south parking lot (permeable and grass pave and rain gardens), Wabun Picnic Area and North Mississippi Regional park-grass pave (alternate grass pave product/ technique), City of Maplewood Edgewater Park road project (permeable concrete). Lessons learned will also be included as most of these projects are 2-5 years old. Methods for maintaining these pavements will also be discussed.

Concussions: Don’t Let Your Community Take the Hit! Recreational Sports Commission Douglas Carnival – MRPA Lobbyist Mark Carlson, M.D., Sports & Occupational Medicine, Sanford Clinic Bemidji In this session, participants will identify how the current concussion law applies to their organization/community. Participants will also discuss various options of ways to communicate the concussion law to other staff members and their community. The participant will recognize in written form how other cities/agencies have implemented the concussion law in their communities including some of the medical implications.

Reducing Crime: Keeping Kids Safe Jan Ficken – Brooklyn Park Recreation & Parks Jeff Ankerfelt – Brooklyn Park Police Youth and adults have teamed up with recreation and police staff in Brooklyn Park to play a key role in decreasing juvenile crime by increasing after-school activities and safe recreational places. Find out how this first-ring suburban community created a successful youth violence prevention initiative focusing on increasing recreation opportunities by engaging the youth and adults in its community and how you can do the same in yours!

The World Café Bob Wittman – Wayzata Public Schools Rick Kaufman – Bloomington public schools Join other Park & Recreation professionals as we discuss a variety of conversations regarding current trends in the park and recreation world. The World Café process delivers a new way of thinking, and meaningful conversations in a way that promotes a focused conversation. Wittman and Kaufmann will lead these thought provoking conversations.

Collaborating to Create a Healthier Generation Melissa Hanson – Sajai Foundation Childhood obesity is the single biggest health issue facing kids today. Unfortunately, it is challenging to make inroads if you go at it alone. It takes passion and collaboration to truly have an impact. This session helps communities identify what children need to learn about healthy living, discusses the implications of shrinking budgets and staff, and shares national, local and nonprofit partnership examples to help agencies understand resources and collaborations they could consider in their community. Participants will have an opportunity to begin formulating their own collaboration plans and to brainstorm ways to ensure children in their programs are learning about healthy living.

Aquatic's Best Practices Aquatic Section Members This session will be an interactive panel presentation on the best practices for aquatic programming. Information and ideas will be shared on everything from swimming lessons to in-service training. Come and learn how your aquatic programs and facilities can be their most successful.

Interested in Volunteering At the Conference? Room Hosts • Exhibit Hall • Social Keynote Sessions • Registration Contact Margo Prasek at

Thursday, September 20 schedule at a glance

thursday, September 20 Registration/Breakfast 8:00 AM – 8:30 AM Education Sessions 8:30 AM – 9:45 AM 10:00 AM – 11:15 AM Lunch – Student Mentorship 11:30 AM – 1:00 PM Education Sessions 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM

Off-site 8:00 AM – 11:00 AM Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike Tour Steve Weber – MN DNR

While riding the trail, learn how the Cuyuna Lake mountain bike system was developed and the positive economic impact it has on the community.

Director’s Forum 1:15 PM – 2:30 PM Exhibit Hall Sponsored by Flagship Recreation 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM Retiree Social 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM 75th Anniversary Banquet Keynote Speaker – Don Shelby Sponsored by Landscape Structures Inc. 6:00 PM – 8:30 PM

Student/Emerging Professional Track: MRPA values its student members – they are our next generation of professionals! The Conference Committee, with the assistance of the Southern Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (SMRPA), placed special emphasis on assisting students in attending the conference and created a series of sessions that would appeal to students and emerging professionals. We will also be having a student mentorship luncheon on Thursday. We are asking professionals to come prepared to interact with the students at their tables. MRPA would like to extend our gratitude to SMRPA, for making financial contributions to Minnesota State University Mankato and Winona State University to assist with transportation and registration fees for students. Sessions marked with this icon are designated as ideal for students or emerging professionals.

Thursday, September 20

8:30 am – 9:45 aM

Time to Celebrate! Planning Successful Outdoor Performance Venues in Your Community Ken Grieshaber – SRF Consulting Group Diane Evans – City of Plymouth What does it take to plan and develop successful outdoor entertainment spaces and programming within your park and open space system? How can they be used to generate revenue to support additional recreational programs? Discover what makes outdoor performance venues successful and how they can be implemented to accommodate small or large group gatherings and host a variety of events from concerts to wedding ceremonies. Several popular outdoor performance venues will be presented demonstrating how both site and architecture components can be used to create dynamic outdoor spaces which can reinforce an identity for your community. How to plan and implement a development program for your facility will also be addressed to maximize its potential as a revenue generating component of your park and recreation system.

175 Study Donald ‘Al’ Lieffort – Greater MN Regional Park & Trail Coalition The 2011 Legislature allocated $175,000 to the Greater Minnesota Regional Park & Trail Coalition to begin gathering information about regional park and trail systems emerging in areas of Minnesota outside of the seven county metro area. This information will be used to help determine how to allocate Park & Trail Legacy Funds for the upcoming 25-year period. This session will inform and update attendees on the current status of the project.

Innovations in Youth Sports: MYAS’s New Educational Programs and Scheduling Services Dan Klinkhammer – Minnesota Youth Athletic Services This session will describe new services from Minnesota Youth Athletic Services (MYAS) the country’s largest multi-sport organization focused on youth sports with over 100,000 participants annually. Learn about our primary scheduling service, GameMaker, and how it has helped youth sports associations schedule over 3,500 games last year.

Are You Making Yourself a Target? Chris Esser – South St. Paul Parks and Recreation What is your plan for sustaining or advancing your career in public parks and recreation? This session will explore strategies for making yourself a target – in a good way -through the decisions you make everyday regarding accountability, networking, and internal service. Learn how you can make yourself stand out while avoiding negative attention specific to the public parks and recreation field. You may be ready for the next step in your career more than you realize. This session will be interactive with group discussions. Presentation is based on principles presented in, “The Question Behind the Question” by John Miller, “Who are They Anyway” by BJ Gallagher and personal professional experience.

A New Way to Look at Playground Safety Surfacing Performance Adam Alix – Sof Surfaces Inc. Playground safety surfacing is often looked upon as something we have to include on our playgrounds – “something is better than nothing.” In many situations, the safety surfacing is included as part of a playground equipment package with emphasis based on the amount of play equipment, not the performance of the surfacing. Recent studies have shown almost 70% of reported playground injuries are falls to insufficient surfacing. It appears that the importance and relevance of ASTM F1292, the governing standard for regulating safety performance, is often overlooked. This course will provide insight into the key concepts of ASTM F1292; discuss the importance of providing suitable surfacing; give real world example of G-max and HIC ratings and more tests.

Innovative Programming Success Stories! Lessons from the MRPF New Initiative Grant Program Sponsored by Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation Come hear about the innovative and creative programming initiatives that were recipients of a 2011 Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation New Initiative Grant. Learn how these ideas could be implemented in your community. The following communities will provide you with their success stories! City of Chaska- Chaska Kids Marathon; City of Eden Prairie- Edible School Yard; City of Chanhassen - Pickleball for All; and City of Burnsville-Golden Summer Games.

10:00 AM – 11:15 Am

Thursday, September 20

Youth Sports: Creating a Field of Success!

Special Use Permits and Risk Prevention

Christine Nickels – Director of Community Tennis, USTA Northern

Jody Yungers – Ramsey County Parks and Recreation

For children to be attracted to and succeed in a sport, everything from the size of the equipment to the competitive structures in which playing the game is introduced must be tailored to fit the age and size of the child. Based on what we know about the needs, abilities, and characteristics of young players, this interactive session will focus on adapting your youth sports programs so the participants leave overjoyed-- not overwhelmed.

No matter how large or small the event, it is important that parks and recreation agencies protect the health and safety of their parks and facility users, while managing risk for its agency. Participants will receive legally vetted language templates of special use permits for events such as: group beach visits, baptisms, large community festivals, walks/races, water ski events, pig roasts, ski/lesson permits, amongst others.

3, 2, 1….Network! MRPA Membership Committee You’ve heard of speed dating? Welcome to speed networking – a whirlwind session offering students the opportunity to network with recreation professionals from a variety of backgrounds. In this interactive session students have a chance to sit down with professionals, one-onone and in small groups, to introduce yourself and get to know people in the recreation field. Students should be prepared to discuss career interests quickly and efficiently, show-off portfolios, get feedback on resumes/cover letters and ask questions. Professionals – this is a great way to meet those that are the future generation of parks and recreation professionals!

Issues in Higher Education for Recreation Roger Riley, Ph.D. – Professor Winona State University A series of four articles was written last year for the MRPA magazine regarding the professional choices of students within our field and additional issues confronting higher education. In this interactive session, data will be clarified and added to with recent national data about how recreation bachelor’s degree programs are faring around the country, which impacts the training and education of those that will be the future parks and recreation workforce.

A Higher Level of Inclusive Play: Emerging trends require a new approach to inclusive playground design John McConkey – Landscape Structures, Inc. The playground should be a place for laughter, friends and fun for all. Traditional universally accessible playgrounds tend to focus on accessible design and age or developmentally appropriate play activities. According to the CDC, one in 100 children has autism. Sensory Processing Disorder is prevalent among children with autism as well as children with and without disabilities, making it challenging for them to interpret sensory messages and to engage in play, interact and learn. All children learn through their senses. Sensory focused play activities develop functional skills, build confidence, imagination and social skills. Learn how new research is showing that intentionally designed sensory-rich playgrounds can foster social interactions and develop play skills among children of all abilities, thereby providing a higher level of inclusive play for all.

Liability for the Recreation Profession: Preparation and Documentation of Your Risk Management Practices Josh Fitch – Senior Loss Control Consultant, Berkley Risk Administrators Company, LLC In this session, you will learn the importance of applying risk management practices to your city’s pool operations to reduce potential liability. You will also learn what to do before and after a pool-related claim occurs.

Thursday, September 20

1:15 Pm – 2:30 PM

Creating More Revenue & Retention: Connecting with Your Community: From the Tour to Fitness Incentive Programs Holly Johnson-Labat – Executive Director of NIHCA Calling all fitness facilities that have memberships or classes! Don’t miss out on this session on how to capitalize on the fitness incentive programs that are out there, without having to create any deep discounting at your facility. Focus on connecting with your community - the simple how’s & why’s. From creating a process for your fitness tours to selling a membership or session of classes, this lecture will gain you access to a market of people that you currently haven’t approached before in this way. If you want to attract new revenue dollars while also retaining the members you have, then don’t miss out on some new ideas of how to better your facility as a whole.

MRPA for Students and Young Professionals MRPA Members This session will provide students and young professionals an opportunity to discover the benefits that MRPA can help you find, both personally and professionally. The presentation will include recreation professionals sharing their personal MRPA experiences and how enjoyable their involvement has been; specifically discussing how being an active member of MRPA has helped them advance their careers. Time will be available at the end of the session to ask the professionals questions and collect contact information.

Management Strategies that Improve Water Quality at Bush Lake Beach Jeff Luedeman – Environmental Health Coordinator, City of Bloomington

Tips and Tools When Working with Grieving Kids Jenny Simmonds – Youth Grief Services One in 20 kids will experience the death of a parent by the age of 18. Many more will lose someone close to them. Explore ways to support kids who have experienced a significant loss, and better understand how children and teens grieve differently than adults. This session will be informative, interactive, and reassuring to those who either know little about the grief process or have experienced grief first-hand.

Strategic Planning and Achieving Your Career Path Diane Evans – City of Plymouth Donna Tilsner – City of Edina Cindy Walsh – City of St. Louis Park If you are a current professional looking for a lateral move or upward movement, you will want to attend this session. You will learn what “they” are looking for, and how to present a professional resume, cover letter and thank you notes. Participants will also discover how you can be in the driver’s seat when preparing for the process, how to identify the agency’s priorities, receive advice on effective interviewing and gain insights from professionals who hire park and recreation professionals.

Since 2003, the City of Bloomington has used E. coli density as a water quality indicator for Bush Lake Beach. Staff have been challenged to manage the sources of this bacteria to protect health and prevent closing the beach to swimming unnecessarily. This session illustrates experiences at Bush Lake Beach since 2003 and describes the management strategies used to improve the water quality.

Engaging Boomers and Future Generations as Volunteers Minnesota Association for Volunteer Administration What volunteers are seeking is changing as the Boomers, Gen X and Millennials become the largest part of the volunteer force. To keep a vital volunteer core, organizations need to update how volunteers are involved, recruited and recognized. This session will address what today’s volunteers seek and present 12 best practices for updating volunteer engagement to catch the interest of Boomers and future generations of volunteers.

Thursday, September 20

New for 2012

Director’s Forum 1:15 PM – 2:30 pm Gather with your peers to discuss some of the hot topics that could positively impact the work your agency does on a daily basis. There will be three short presentations on potential new initiatives for your system, as well as dedicated time to ask further questions and network with other directors.

Playground Retrofit: A budget-conscious solution to extend the life of your playground John McConkey Landscape Structures, INC. Does your playground need some attention, but a complete replacement is out of the question? A retrofit can provide a fresh new look at a fraction of the cost. The benefits of a retrofit are numerous: Capitalize on the value of your existing structure. Extend the life of your current play structure. Reduce the impact on the environment. Or bring your playground up to compliance.

NRPA Agency Accreditation: What is it? Why do it? Bob Bierscheid – NRPA Share the in’s and out’s of becoming a nationally accredited agency. The discussion will focus on benefits, the specifics of how it can be accomplished and free consulting to make it happen.

Save 6.2 % on all Wages for Part-time, Seasonal and Temporary Employees Bruce Nelson Precision Retirement Group This presentation will explain how park and recreation departments can implement a FICA Alterative Plan for all part-time, seasonal and temporary employees and save 6.2% on your budget. Discuss how other agencies (including one in Minnesota) have implemented this program, thus saving 6.2% on all wages for eligible part-time, seasonal, and temporary employees!


Thursday, September 20 2:30 PM – 5:30 PM

More than 60 vendors are expected to attend the 75th Annual Conference Exhibit Hall. This is your opportunity to gain new ideas related to the newest technology, products, services, equipment and programs. Please take time to visit the exhibit hall vendors as their contributions are integral to the conference’s success. Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments.

Sponsored by:

Thursday, September 20


75th Anniversary Celebration Banquet 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM

Join us in the Main Lodge dining area for an evening of reminiscing through the years of MRPA. The evening will include networking opportunities and Minnesota Legend Don Shelby, speaking about the critical essence and preservation of nature. Members will be treated to video clips, photographs and member memories throughout the evening. Dinner, music and entertainment make this an event you don’t want to miss! Commemorate this conference by taking your picture with your colleagues in the photo booth presented by Bluebird Photobooth. (Please remember to make your dinner selection during registration. This is a business casual event.) sponsored by:

The Future of Nature Don Shelby Join us as we talk about the future of nature with Don Shelby. Don shares his thoughts and experiences on the current state of nature, including a discussion on the many forces that represent a threat. He will also share the science behind why the preservation of nature, and the introduction of children to nature, is critical. Don Shelby is well known to the profession, having a starring role in the Benefits of Parks and Recreation video. Before retiring from daily journalism in November of 2010, he worked for 32 years as anchor, investigative reporter and environmental correspondent for WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. Since his retirement, Don continues his work in environmental journalism, reporting for MinnPost, the on-line daily. You will often find Don somewhere in the BWCA, or on a mountain, sharing nature and its peace with members of his family.

MRPF SILENT AUCTION The Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation (MRPF) is conducting its famous silent auction again this year. Delegates are encouraged to participate in this year’s auction since the donations generated go right back to us as professionals in the parks and recreation field. For the first time ever, there will be a package of four Disney Parkhopper passes on the auction block. Pull out your wallets and open your purses while at the same time helping the profession of parks and recreation. (Additional donations for the auction can be made by contacting Erin Mayberry, erin.mayberry@ or at 607-664-3502.)

retiree social 3:30 PM – 5:30 PM We welcome the retirees to network in a relaxed environment at Cragun’s Resort. We have set aside this time for the retirees from our profession to gather, reconnect and reminisce with each other. Refreshments will be available.

8:30 Am – 9:45 aM

Friday, September 21

Mini Keynotes To further enhance your educational experience, we have a series of excellent mini keynote presentations on Friday. This allows us to provide sessions that cover a broader range of topics. These presenters, who have a wealth of information to share, include: Nancy Lyons and Meghan Wilker, who launched the Geek Girls Guide in January 2008 as a place to publish their perspective on the Interactive industry and demystify technology for non-technical audiences. Dr. Kristi Hoff is a psychologist, chiropractor, coach, and trainer. She has 17 years of practice and training and has assisted over 5,000 clients and patients of all ages. Erika Weymann is the coordinator of the State of Minnesota Predatory Offender Program in the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Erika possesses extensive knowledge in the area of predatory crimes and processes in the Predatory Offender Program. Michelle Kellogg is the coordinator of Volunteers & Community Partnerships who brings real world parks and recreation experience on a sensitive topic to our conference delegates.

Best Practices for Preventing Child Sexual Abuse in Park and Recreation Agencies Michelle Kellogg, Coordinator of Volunteers and Community Partnerships, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Sarah Roehl, Human Resources Specialist, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board Session participants will learn about the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board’s (MPRB) Interaction with Youth Code of Conduct which is based on the current Center for Disease Control and Prevention recommendations for prevention of child abuse with youth-serving organizations. The MPRB policy aims to educate and empower staff and volunteers to implement clear and concise guidelines – both for the safety of the youth and the safety of the organization. Session participants will learn about the statistics/rates of child sexual abuse in the US, “warning signs” in adult/youth behavior, and will take away a number of resources that can help their organization establish appropriate prevention guidelines.

Foundation Friday: The Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation is proud to present Foundation Friday. The mission of the Foundation is to promote excellence in the parks and recreation profession by supporting innovation, education and training. We feel that the following educational sessions and mini keynotes are dynamic and a great way to end a wonderful conference. Please remember that the Foundation is comprised of individuals like you who want to give back to our profession.

Don’t Talk Me Out of Hiring You Nancy Lyons & Meghan Wilker – Geek Girls Guide The New Rules of Professional Networking Social media is allowing unprecedented access to leadership inside of organizations. But what does this mean to young professionals? How can you use these digital tools to get noticed in the right way and what can you do once you have that attention? This session will help you think about your process and the wide array of opportunities to be noticed that social media affords. We’ll discuss starting and fostering engaging conversations with your targets. But we’ll also address transitioning to real world activities like networking, informational interviews and actual job interviews. We’ll review common mistakes and share tips and tricks that will get you noticed in the right ways. And we’ll share actual horror stories of interviews gone wrong (the names have been changed to protect the guilty).

Bully Proof Skills for Any Age Dr. Kristi Hoff – Mastery4life Bullying has become more lethal and has occurred more frequently than at any time in our recent past. In addition, adults in position of authority are having the increased responsibility to prevent and stop bullying. Bullying can crush a child’s self-esteem and the scars from bullying can last a lifetime. This seminar will provide effective techniques that can be used for any age to help in preventing and reducing bullying. Participants will learn: • The latest research on bullying and school violence • The sometimes conflicting and different approaches to handling bullying • The characteristics of bullies and the bullied • The psychology of bullying • How to empower the bullied • Simple and effective de-escalation techniques

Friday, September 21 10:00 Am – 11:15 aM

Minding & Managing Your Personal Brand Online: Social Media for Professionals Nancy Lyons & Meghan Wilker Geek Girls Guide When thinking about professional development it’s hard to ignore the impact of social media in business. Networking no longer only takes place on the golf course or during happy hour. It’s happening all the time and at the speed of light. So how do we think about and make use of social media tools in a strategic way? How do we make the right connections to support our business and our brand? This session is designed to illuminate the social media landscape in a way that’s accessible, strategic and fun.

Sex Offender Registration, Background Checks and More Erika Weymann – Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, Predatory Offender Registration Unit Attendees will gain insight on the history of the registration law. Those who are required to register and registration statistics. This session will cover profiles of the average registrant, how to access information related to registered offenders, juvenile sex offender issues and the difference between criminal and registered offender background checks for potential employees.

Mastering the Difficult Individual Dr. Kristi Hoff – Mastery4life Do you want to learn effective techniques in handling that difficult, upset, demanding, rude, and sometimes irrational parent or customer? Would you like to stay calm, present, and neutral in any situation? Session attendees will: • Increase their confidence level to deal with most individuals. • Decrease the common frustration and emotional harm when dealing with a difficult customer or parent. • Enhance interactions and communication with your partner, children, and friends. Participants will learn: • The brain chemistry behind an emotional, difficult individual. • A four step strategy to manage any difficult individual. • How to stay present, calm, and neutral in any situation. • How to handle any objection and pivot the interaction in a positive direction. • What emotional triggers there are when dealing with difficult customer or parent.

MRPA Conference Financial Assistance The Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation is offering a limited number of financial assistance packages for the 75th Anniversary Conference in September, 2012. Support of up to $200 is available toward your conference registration – a limited number of packages are available, so apply early. Requirements include: • A statement from your supervisor indicating that your training budget has been cut or reduced. • Choose the package that reflects your membership status, $200 for current MRPF members and $175 for conference support and new membership for one year. All requests for financial assistance must be submitted by August 10, 2012. Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation Attn: Conference Support 200 Charles Street NE Fridley, MN 55432 Email:

MRPA Conference Registration Form Early Bird Deadline: August 1, 2012 • Register online at

FIRST NAME________________________________________ LAST NAME________________________________________________ TITLE______________________________________________ ORGANIZATION_____________________________________________ ADDRESS_____________________________________________________________________________________________________ CITY_______________________________________________ STATE________________________ZIP___________________________ PHONE____________________________________________ FAX_______________________________________________________ EMAIL_____________________________________________ WEBSITE___________________________________________________ SPECIAL ACCOMMODATIONS____________________________________________________________________________________ PAYMENT METHOD:

CREDIT CARD (VISA/MASTERCARD)________________________________________ Exp___________


SIGNATURE__________________________________________________________________________ DELEGATES



Thru August 1

After August 1

Thru August 1

After August 1

Full Conference Package Tuesday Pre-Conference Institute - Friday





Pre-Conference Institute Only





Conference Package Wednesday - Friday





Daily - Wednesday





Daily - thursday





Daily - Friday





Continuing Education units (CEU)





Student Sponsorship





Retirees & Students

With Meal

Without Meal

Volunteer Package (Wednesday-Friday)





Non-Volunteer Package









Volunteer Daily





Total Enclosed Pre-conference institute Tuesday, September 18 - 4:00 PM - 6:15 PM

Kaizen Philosophy

Offsite Institute: Pre-registration Required Thursday, September 20 - 8:00 AM-11:00 AM

Cuyuna Lakes Mountain Bike System 75th Anniversary Banquet

Thursday, September 20 - 5:30 PM-8:00 PM Please Circle your meal selection


Beef Bourguignon

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations accepted through August 8, minus a $25 handling fee. No refunds will be given after this date. Alternate attendees are permitted. Registration fees are used toward educational sessions and meals.

Conference Food and Beverage

We hope you enjoy the menus we have selected for you. Cragun’s will provide special dietary accommodations if needed, please note any food allergies or dietary needs that we should be aware of. We have tried to incorporate healthy eating and ensure a variety of menu selections for everyone’s desired palates. Meals included for each day: Wednesday and Thursday: full breakfast, lunch, dinner; and Friday: full breakfast.

Mushroom Ravioli

Not Attending

Hotel Information

Reserve your hotel room or cabin at Cragun’s Resort and Conference Center by August 20. Attendees can download a room reservation form at The MRPA group rate is $127.18 per person per night.

Please submit payment to:

MRPA 200 Charles Street NE Fridley, MN 55432 Fax: 763.571.5204

Networking events Registration Form FIRST NAME_________________________ LAST NAME__________________________________ PHONE_____________________________ EMAIL ______________________________ TEAMMATE NAME (IF APPLICABLE)__________________________________________________ CREDIT CARD NUMBER ____________________________________________________________ CHECK OR CASH ENCLOSED Event


MRPF Golf Tournament Tuesday, September 18, 11:00 AM Shotgun Start sunset Cruise Tuesday, September 18, 5:30 PM - 7:30 PM

Number of Registration


$82 Per Person 5:30 PM Boarding 6:15 PM Boarding $10 Per Person $5 Per Person

Adventure Race Wednesday, September 19, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

$10 Per Person

Please send all payments to MRPA, 200 Charles Street NE, Fridley, MN 55432 or online at


Golf Tournament Tuesday, September 18 Dutch Legacy Holes 18 Par 72 6,879 Yards

Dutch Legacy

Cragunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Legacy Courses 11000 Craguns Drive Brainerd, MN 56401 Tel: 1-800-272-4867

Tournament Information Check In: 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Brainerd Lakes courses,

Shotgun Start: 11:00 AM

Golf Digest has rated the Dutch Legacy at 5 stars, making it one of only 24 five-star public courses in the U.S. for 2009.

B reathtaking y S cener

top - notch ama zing with v iews

Format: 4-person scramble Award Program: immediately following golf tournament Fee: $82 (rain or shine - no refunds) Fee includes: 18 holes with cart, range balls prior to event, goodie bag, one drink ticket (excludes mixed drinks), box lunch, prizes and FUN!


sponsored by Your Boat Club Tuesday, September 18

Boarding at 5:30 PM Second Boarding at 6:15 pm (post pre-conference) $10/person, all inclusive

MRPF Annual Golf Tournament

The crown jewel of

Sunset Cruise

Take advantage of the blue waters of the legendary South Shores of Gull Lake Chain for a sunset cruise, the Northwoodâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s top lake known for its fish, breath taking fall colors and distinctive wildlife sightings. Climb aboard a variety of luxury boats provided by Your Boat Club for a tour around the lake. If you are attending the Pre-Conference Institute, there will be an opportunity to board the cruise at the conclusion of your session. Please dress for the weather!

Challenge your mind and your body, while making lasting Cost: $10/participant connections with other professionals, students and Includes race shirt vendors by participating in the inaugural MRPA Adventure Race! You will run or walk, bike, and paddle, all while participating in new and classic recreation events and mental challenges! You can sign up as an individual or as a team. Each participant will receive a technical race tee provided by Taho Sportswear. Involvement in this race will provide you with ideas on how to replicate this program in your community and potentially generate revenue for your department. There are limited slots for this activity, so register early! Spectators are invited and encouraged! Observe the race from the Sun Deck. Snacks and beverages will be available.

Wednesday, September 19, 4:00 PM - 6:00 PM

Minnesota Rec & Park Magazine, Summer 2012  

Professional magazine of Minnesota Recreation & Park Association, Summer 2012

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