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MINNESOTA Official Publication of Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

Recreation and Parks Volume 12, Issue 3 • Summer 2017

The Herd’s the Word What Cities are Doing to Control Invasive Species

MRPA Facility Management Academy

Building Boom:

New Facilities & playgrounds Take Shape ACROSS THE STATe


MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks

Publisher Minnesota Recreation and Park Association 200 Charles Street NE, Fridley, MN 55432 www.mnrpa.org Tel: 763.571.1305 Editorial Staff Michelle J. Snider Bethani Gerhard Editorial Board Patty Anderson, Maple Grove Jan Ficken, Brooklyn Park Jennifer Fink, Ramsey County Lori Hokenson, New Brighton Tonya Love, Elk River Advertising & Design Pernsteiner Creative Group, pernsteiner.com MRPA Board of Directors 2017 President: Patty Anderson, Maple Grove President-Elect: Boe Carlson, Three Rivers Park District Past President: Mary Jo Knudson, Owatonna Secretary: Michelle Margo, Brooklyn Park Treasurer: Dale McCamish, Rochester RSC Chair: Jerry Ruegemer, Chanhassen East Metro: Garrett Beck, Burnsville East Metro: Andy Soltvedt, Anoka County East Metro: Jared Flewellen, Eagan Northeast Region: Jamie Cassidy, Becker Northwest Region: Dolf Moon, Hutchinson Southern Region: Kim Underwood, Austin West Metro: Jamie Polley, Shakopee West Metro: Kelly Mertes, Brooklyn Center West Metro: Sonya Rippe, Plymouth 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 Fall 2017 issue......................................... July 30 Winter 2018 issue....................... December 10 Spring 2018 Issue............................... March 10 Summer 2018 issue................................May 13

FROM THE BOARD PRESIDENT By Patty Anderson, MRPA President

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” This quote, from anthropologist Margret Mead, has been an inspiration throughout my career. This quote also seems to be at the root of this edition as we explore new facilities and roll out the annual conference brochure. As you read the articles on new facilities, you will see stories about thoughtful, committed people who changed their communities. As you read the annual conference brochure and ponder the concept of: “Telling Our Story, Leaving Our Legacy,” think about Mead’s quote. Are parks and recreation professionals changing the world? I say, YES! For 80 years parks and recreation professionals in Minnesota have been committed to making a positive impact on the quality of life in our communities and our commitment does have a ripple effect to the world. Featured facilities include a pool in Hutchinson, and inclusive playgrounds in Bemidji, New Ulm, Shakopee, and Woodbury. You will also be able to check out the nature center in Austin. Each of these facilities has an interesting story. Each facility exemplifies Mead’s understanding of what a few committed people can do. I’m also fascinated how the core values of MRPA, Engagement, Stewardship, Wellness and Inclusion were modeled by our professional peers involved with each of these facilities. When you read the annual conference brochure, consider it your official invitation to Cragun’s in Brainerd, October 10 through 13, for great learning, networking, and rejuvenation. This conference is another example of what can come from a committed, small group. The excitement for this year’s annual conference; “Telling Our Story, Leaving Our Legacy,” has been brewing for over a year with co-chairs, Jamie Cassidy from Becker and Chris Esser from South St. Paul. There has been a great team of members and staff committed to planning relevant training sessions, securing keynote speakers, and organizing the exhibit hall. A small group of members and staff have also been attentive to the site details for accommodations, food, and room set-ups, and of course planning a few recreational experiences for attendees as well. A huge thanks is offered to each member and each staff who went the extra mile to plan and organize this year’s conference. It seems like they are totally on track for new stories to be made. I hope you are inspired to attend, and feel moved to share exhibit hall information with your favorite suppliers and business connections. Commitment and thoughtfulness are at the heart of parks and recreational professionals and at the heart of each of our communities. Enjoy reading this edition, and I hope to see you in Brainerd in October.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” TABLE OF CONTENTS

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 info@pernsteiner.com.

From the Board President............................ 3

Facility Management Academy................. 12

Foundation Corner.....................................4-5

Building Boom........................................14-27

Keeping Up..................................................... 6

The Herd’s the Word................................... 28

MRPA in Action.............................................. 8

2017 MRPA Corporate Members............... 30

Meet Lori Hokenson...................................... 8

2017 Annual Conference Guide.........31-42

An affiliate of National Recreation and Park Association

MRPA Events Calendar................................. 8

MRPA Flashback........................................... 43

Did You Know............................................... 10

BACK PAGE: Members on the Road......... 43

Summer 2017 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 3


Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation Updates by John Stutzman, CPRP, Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation Vice President

Summer time = Parks and Recreation’s Busy Season! The MRPF Board of Trustees is excited to see all of the new and exciting recreational opportunities MRPF/MRPA members are offering this summer and wish everyone a safe and successful summer. The Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation is a non-profit organization guided by the Board of Trustees to provide direction for our educational and networking opportunities, programs, grants, student and continuing education scholarships, and the continued support of the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association. For more information regarding MRPF’s membership benefits, please contact MRPF President Nate Rosa at nrosa@stlouispark.org.

DID YOU KNOW…the Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation… • Awarded Joe Amundson from the City of Thief River Falls a $1,500 grant to help him attend the 2017 National Athletic Business Conference and Expo in Orlando, Florida as part of our National Professional Development Grant program? Congratulations Joe and thank you to our program sponsor, Webber Recreational Design! • Is holding a membership drawing for a free registration to attend MRPA’s new Facility Management Academy? To enter, MRPF members can email Nate Rosa, nrosa@stlouispark.org, a brief overview (150 words or less) of how the Academy would benefit you by Friday, July 28. (Please ensure the email’s subject is MRPF Facility Management Academy registration). • Membership is only $25 (retirees $20, students $10) and is a tax deductible donation? Contact Nicole Gorman at ngorman@edinamn.gov for more information on becoming a member. Through our partnership with Hiway Federal Credit Union, as an MRPF member you can take advantage of all the benefits of being a credit union member too! For more details, contact Hiway Federal Credit Union today!

• Is a proud financial supporter of the 2017 MRPA Annual Conference as the sponsor of the delegate gift and student luncheon? Additionally, the MRPF silent auction fundraiser, featured at the exhibit hall, will showcase great sports packages, golf packages, themed baskets and much more. Donations for auction items are currently being solicited. If you or your organization is able to donate item(s) please contact John Stutzman at jstutzman@goldenvalleymn.gov. • Awarded three New Initiative grants to the following member agencies this spring? - City of Brooklyn Center’s Mindful Teen programming - City of Brooklyn Park’s Walk in my Shoes art program - City of Thief River Falls’ Strider Bike Learn to Ride/Safety Camp program Congratulations! Apply today for the New Initiative grants to be awarded this fall. Applications are currently being accepted through November 3, 2017. Contact Lisa Abernathy at labernathy@stlouispark.org for more information.

• Will be hosting the annual golf and lawn bowling tournament at Brookview golf course in Golden Valley this fall? Mark your calendars and start picking your teammates. The date is on September 14, 2017. Registration and event details coming soon.

DONATING TO MRPF HAS NEVER BEEN EASIER! 1. Shop your Amazon purchases at: smile.amazon.com 2. Designate Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation as your beneficiary A portion of your online purchases will automatically go to MRPF!

4 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

MRPF Student Scholarship Recipients: The Future is Now? Laura Stigen and Scott Heitkamp: 2015 Recipients Many clichés are commonly used as advice for hopeful students preparing to enter the parks and recreation field such as: ‘Gain as much experience as you can’, ‘Network and make contacts in the field’ and ‘Be patient and find the right fit’. The 2015 MRPF Student Scholarship recipients, Scott Heitkamp and Laura Stigen have used their recognition as scholarship recipients to develop relationships in the field, and build their professional experience to help them find their fit in the parks and recreation field. While completing her recreation, park and leisure studies degree at the University of Minnesota, Laura Stigen received the MRPF Student Scholarship in January, 2016. During this time she was also working to build her experience by developing and teaching community art programs at the Zanewood Recreation Center in Brooklyn Park. After her graduation, she continued to work for Brooklyn Park in a seasonal role where she implemented the Rec on the Go pilot program that provides a free, mobile, drop-in program intended to eliminate barriers and provide youth with accessible opportunities. The program was an immense success which drastically exceeded participation goals and also received state-wide recognition and awards. Stigen’s leadership and success of seasonal programs showcased not only her abilities, but the community’s desire for youth art programs and the continuation of the Rec on the Go program. As a result, the City of Brooklyn Park created two regular part-time positions to supervise these community program initiatives. In the fall of 2016, Stigen was offered and accepted one of the new positions. Stigen’s passion and enthusiasm was obvious while working with local youth to develop new ideas and continue the success of the programs. In February 2017, Laura’s efforts were recognized again as her position was converted to full-time to engage the voice of local youth and provide the community with an impactful message. Rising to the challenge, Stigen worked with her Zanewood team, local artist Terrel Lewis, and 11 youth residents to express the future goals as showcased in a mural displaying their vision of Brooklyn Park in 2025.

u Join Scott Heitkamp was already working to build a strong resume as a high school student working for his hometown of Champlin, long before he made the choice to pursue a career in parks and recreation. While attending Minnesota State University – Mankato, he choose a recreation, parks, and leisure services with a leisure planning and management emphasis. With five years of experience as Champlin’s assistant program coordinator, Heitkamp continued his professional development in the summer of 2015, serving as an intern for the City of St. Louis Park. He was introduced to MRPA contacts and the MRPF Student Scholarship. In January 2016, with one semester of school and his practicum left to complete, Heitkamp was honored as a MRPF Student Scholarship recipient. Throughout the scholarship process, Heitkamp impressed many recreation professionals with his knowledge and strong work experience. He received an internship position with the City of Bloomington. Upon the competition of his second internship, Heitkamp entered the ‘real world’ and began his search for a ‘grown up job’. He continued to build his resume with several positions at the City of Bloomington and Three Rivers Park District. His strong professional background and vast professional network paid off. In December 2016, the City of Burnsville hired Heitkamp as their recreation programmer.


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KEEPING UP Jan Ficken Retires after 40 Years with Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks Jan Ficken, manager of recreation services for Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks, retired in June 2017 after serving the Brooklyn Park community for 40 years. “Parks and recreation was a secondary career path for me since I was training to become a physical education teacher,” states Ficken. “I knew I wanted to work with young people, but was not aware of careers in parks and recreation until I went to college at University of Wisconsin - La Crosse. Through my summer job experiences, I began to witness the impact that recreation and parks had on people, and it was way beyond just ‘sports.’ I wanted to be part of something that was rooted in service to others, which is what I saw in this field of work. My first jobs opened my eyes to a whole new career path that I could combine all my interests into one fantastic career.” Ficken began working her freshman year at Mounds View Parks and Recreation. It also happens to be the community where she grew up. She says her mom thought it would be a good job for her since she loved sports and outdoor activities. “I gained more experience running a playground program and coaching youth baseball during my summer jobs at Fridley Parks and Recreation,” adds Ficken. “After graduating from college with a degree in education, my husband and I moved ‘across the river’ from Saint Paul to the growing community of Brooklyn Park. First thing I did was walk into the Brooklyn Park Recreation and Parks office and inquire about a part-time job teaching tennis.” Ficken says she continued working there part-time while teaching at the junior high in Brooklyn Park. She was coordinating all the teen and summer programs. “Now it takes a small army to run the summer programs in Brooklyn Park,” says Ficken. “In the early 80s, there was a lot of competition for jobs and I was grateful for the opportunities available to me.” Ficken adds she would not be the professional she is today without the experiences she has had through MRPA, and the wonderful people who have influenced her along the way. “I was able to work alongside really talented professionals from whom I learned leadership skills, who exemplified high professional standards and

shared their passion and expertise with me,” says Ficken. “All this learning seeps into your soul and shapes you over the years. I have a deep respect for my MRPA colleagues. We are a dedicated group of people who work hard to improve the quality of life in our communities through the parks and recreation programs and facilities we provide. Thank you all for helping me along the way. I have cherished everything you have shared with me and I am sincerely grateful. It’s been a great ride!”

Maynard Johnson Retires After 28 Years as the Recreation Director for the City of Winona Maynard Johnson retired the end of May after being the recreation director for the City of Winona for 28 years. Johnson graduated from Southwest State University in 1976 with a degree in social work/sociology. After graduating, he worked several years as a social worker with at-risk juveniles in a group home. According to Johnson, he tried supporting and encouraging these youth towards a better path, but with an average success rate of 20-percent, he says he became burnt out. Johnson wanted to be where he could positively impact youth, adults, and his community, so he attended Winona State University and graduated with a second degree - recreation and leisure studies. “My background in high school and college sports seemed like a natural fit for recreation,” states Johnson. “I completed my internship at Winona Parks and Recreation under Dan Klinkhammer, who was also my officiating and umpiring partner. I then worked various parttime jobs and continued working for Winona Parks and Recreation as a supervisor, umpire, official, and a coach for nearly every youth and adult program offered.” Johnson took his first full-time job as the director of St. Charles Parks and Recreation, and worked there for three years. “I loved my job in St. Charles, but I always loved living and being a part of Winona’s community more, so when the opportunity to work as Winona’s recreation director opened, I went for it and have been working there ever since,” states Johnson. “The job evolved more than I could have imagined. I retired still loving my job, as well as the organizations, committees, special

6 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

events, and people. I imagine not many people can say that about their job.” Retiring has been an emotional time for Johnson, a man who’s been very committed to his job and the Winona community. Despite retiring, he will continue to be involved in his community through special events and committees. Johnson claims that building relationships is the key to growing great programs and communities. Johnson has been a member of MRPA since the beginning of his recreation career. He’s been involved with RSC for the past 10 years. Johnson was a member of the adult sports recreational task force which helped determine the direction of MRPA sports programming. Johnson has been directly involved with MRPA-NYSCA in supporting training programs for coaches and serving as the Southern Minnesota district NYSCA coordinator. “I also never missed a MRPA annual conference,” he states. “Opportunities through MRPA have been very valuable to my job. Southern Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (SMRPA) is where I was the most involved. It’s one of the most amazing groups of colleagues I’ve been involved with and has been the most beneficial to my profession.” Johnson served on numerous committees and rarely missed a monthly meeting. “These meetings helped me learn, network and grow, and were also fun and inspiring,” he adds. “I’ll continue my involvement with MPRA and SMRPA as a retiree, through the annual conference or fundraising opportunities.” Johnson says he feels blessed to have worked with so many wonderful staff members, colleagues, and committee members. “I will miss it all,” he says. “However, I will be less stressed and able to enjoy other aspects of life more. Perhaps even participate in some parks and recreation offerings.” During retirement, Johnson plans to spend more time with his wife Nancy, his elderly parents, additional family members, and especially his grandkids. “We own a log home on 30-acres,” states Johnson. “With our busy jobs, we haven’t been able to fully enjoy what we have and now we can. I will take time to travel, hunt, fish, golf, garden, help care for our many animals, and attempt to get myself back in shape so I continue to enjoy these hobbies and the people I love.” Lastly, Johnson would like to leave us with this message: “Building relationships is where it’s at—continue to build those and appreciate people and you will succeed.”

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< Meet Lori Hokenson Lori Hokenson, recreation supervisor for New Brighton Parks and Recreation, says she hadn’t yet declared a major at Winona State University when she took a recreation class during her second year. “I began meddling in a few different classes to figure out my passion in life when I stumbled across an outdoor recreation class,” states Hokenson. “I was hooked, and never looked back.”

Good Vibes Intercultural Confidence Workshop The MRPA Programming Section hosted the Good Vibes Intercultural Confidence Workshop on June 1 at Silverwood Park in Saint Anthony. The first session, Intercultural Confidence: Using What You Know to Support Your Staff, was open to all MRPA members, guests, and partners. The second session was designed to include part-time and seasonal staff. Forty-six people attended the workshop. This training replaced the traditional Summer Leadership Workshop with content for both supervisors and lead staff. The sessions were led by PINK Consulting (Pursuing Intercultural Needs Knowledge). MRPA would like to extend a special thank you to Janelle Crossfield with the City of Brooklyn Center. Janelle is this year’s Programming Section chairperson, and was instrumental in making this workshop possible for all participants. Thank you also to Three Rivers Park District, for their generous support of hosting the workshop at Silverwood Park.

She says that her career officially began when she accepted her first position with the Burnsville YMCA as a senior aquatics coordinator in 2011. “Within my first year at the YMCA I was promoted into the Aquatics Program Manager position,” Hokenson says. “Prior to then, I was working three jobs: City of Eagan, City of Shakopee, and Lifetime Fitness. I had an opportunity to gain a plethora of skills and work with a lot of amazing people who saw potential in me and helped guide my career path.” Shortly after she began her position with New Brighton Parks and Recreation, the MRPA staff reached out to her and asked her to be a part of the MRPA Editorial Board. “I was excited to step outside my comfort zone to try a new challenge and an opportunity to meet new people,” says Hokenson. “I look forward to being involved with MRPA and connecting with people throughout the organization, as well as learning more about…well, everything!” 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.

MRPA Events Calendar Pickleball Tournaments July 13, 2017; Maple Grove • July 30, 2017; Richfield September 23, 2017; Edina Sand Volleyball Tournaments July 16, 2017; Maple Grove July 23, 2017; Shoreview August 26, 2017; Woodbury


Minnesota Twins Parks and Recreation Days July 19; August 17 and 31 Target Field, Minneapolis

MRPA Athletic Management Institute

Greater & Greener Conference July 29-August 2 Minneapolis and Saint Paul

Coming December 2017 SESSION TOPICS INCLUDE: • Computer

Scheduling Software • Marketing • Officials • Risk Management • Park Maintenance and Programmer Communication • Conflict Resolution • Sports Roundtable • Therapeutic Recreation Program details available in August at mnrpa.org.

8 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

MRPA Facility Management Academy September 9 - December 14, 2017 Various locations NRPA Annual Conference September 26-28, 2017 New Orleans, Louisiana MRPA Annual Conference & Exhibit Hall October 10-13, 2017 Cragun’s Resort & Conference Center, Brainerd Parks and Recreation 2035 Seminar November 8, 2017 Data Relevancy and Innovation Workshop November 29, 2017 Location: TBD MRPA Athletic Management Institute - NEW! December 2017; Location: TBD

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Did You Know… Minnesota,



Enriching Life. Inspiring C ommunit y. Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Did You Know (DYK) program agencies continue to implement the initiative throughout the state. Each magazine issue will highlight how a participating agency is using the program to provide education and advocacy for the community.

The Road to a Value Added Partnership: Hiway Federal Credit Union’s Impact on the Profession By: Minnesota Recreation and Park Association and Foundation Did You Know . . . It’s been six years since Minnesota Recreation and Park Association (MRPA) and Hiway Federal Credit Union (Hiway) formed a partnership to benefit members. Shortly thereafter, Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation (MRPF) and Hiway aligned forces. From this time, MRPA and MRPF have seen the tremendous impact the Hiway partnership has provided for each agency and their members. In the six years of MRPA”s partnership with Hiway, the credit union has pledged more than $25,000 for the Association and its events. Since becoming a member in 2012, Hiway has annually sponsored the conference opening keynote presentation and an additional educational workshop for the last five years. This direct membership, conference, and workshop funding

has greatly aided the quality of educational offerings available to members, bringing valuable information to professionals and their agencies. Individual members may directly benefit from this partnership. As a MRPA and/or MRPF member, individuals qualify to become members of the credit union if they wish. This added value may mean more advantageous financial rates. Visit hiway.org to learn more. How Does This All Work? According to Bankrate.com: “Unlike banks that are open to anyone, laws require credit unions to have a defined field of membership, which means you’ll have to be a member of that group to access the credit union and its services . . . The not-forprofit financial institutions, which offer everything from savings accounts to automobile loans, are attractive to consumers because

they offer competitive rates on loans and have money to put to work. MRPF is one of Hiway’s defined fields of membership. Individuals wishing to access Hiway’s services may opt to join MRPF for $10. This $10 quickly accumulates as shown in the Foundation’s above narrative. Hiway’s History Hiway was founded in 1931 to serve employees of the Minnesota Department of Transportation. Hiway has since expanded its charter to invite individuals and select employees groups to join as members. Hiway’s offices are located in Saint Paul, Minn., and the agency now serves more than 65,000 members worldwide.

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• Shakopee

• Bemidji

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September through December 2017 • Apply today! Facility Management Academy Curriculum 2017

FA C I L I T Y Day One: Tuesday, September 19 MANAGEMENT ACADEMY

The new MRPA Facility Management Academy is a comprehensive professional development program designed to provide facility managers with best practice methods and the skills to develop and manage buildings and special use facilities, including diverse outdoor and indoor areas. Six one-day classes are held September through December. The program curriculum challenges facility managers to: (a) develop a business mindset and promote the facility value to the customer; and (b) be innovative in the use of technology, human capital, management practices, and other resources to enhance operational efficiencies. The core competencies incorporate the National Recreation and Park Association Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) best practice standards. Faculty speakers include topic experts from leading agencies, and four nationally-recognized presenters.

Sessions run in the fall of 2017 from September through December. Times are from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Registration includes Academy materials and lunches. The class is designed for a minimum of 20 and maximum of 40 participants.

Fees: MRPA member: $349 Non-MRPA member: $499 Application Deadline: August 11 or until filled To register: Complete application at mnrpa.org CEUs: 2.5

Presented by:

Theme: Business Development and Planning Class Location: Shakopee • Recreation Facilities as a Business • Needs Assessments • Business Plan Development • Project Management • Design and Public Engagement

Day Two: Thursday, October 5 Theme: Finance and Purchasing Class Location: Eden Prairie • Operating Budgets and Revenue Generation • Fees and Charges Policies and Revenue Generation • Capital Improvement Projects and Funding Options, Bonding • Development and Renovation Decisions • Enterprise Funds • Asset and Lifecycle Management • Purchasing Policies, Financial Reporting, and Analysis

Day Three: Thursday, October 26 Theme: Legal Policies and Maintenance Class Location: St. Louis Park • Workplace Safety • Americans with Disabilities Act • Maintenance Standards and Inspections • Labor Unions • Retention and Succession Planning

Day Four: Thursday, November 9 Theme: Operations Class Location: Anoka County • Documentation, Writing Policies, and Procedures • Risk Management • Emergency Preparedness • Operational Strategies • Communication Plans • Monitoring and Improving Productivity

Day Five: Thursday, November 30 Theme: Sustainability Class Location: Eagan • Energy Conservation and Utility Analysis • Data Relevancy • Innovation and Technology • Recycling • Environmental Stewardship

Day Six: Thursday, December 14 Theme: Building Your Network Class Location: Bloomington • Case Studies • Mock Council Presentations

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Building Boom: New Facilities & playgrounds Take Shape ACROSS THE STATE


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Shakopee Community Center and Fun for All Playground By Jamie Polley, Director, Shakopee Parks and Recreation

The City of Shakopee is currently undergoing a $30.4 million recreation improvement project that includes the community center, ice arena, and aquatic facility. The Shakopee Community Center remodeling project includes an expanded fitness center, senior lounge, indoor playground, meeting rooms, teen center, and drop-in child care. An off-site 89,590 square-foot ice arena has two sheets of ice. The aquatic facility is in the existing ice arena shell. Once complete, there will be a zero-depth family pool with waterslide and play features, as well as a four-lane, 25 yard lap pool, sauna, and a hot tub. Construction began in April, 2016. The ice arena was completed in December of 2016, and the Shakopee Community Center is scheduled for completion on June 30, 2017. The Grand Re-opening will be held on September 10, 2017.

The City of Shakopee also installed a new all-inclusive playground called “Fun for All Playground.” The Shakopee Lions Club initiated a renovation to the playground in Shakopee’s Lions Park, which is a 50.2acre park that is the home of SandVenture Aquatic Park, a disc golf course, the youth building, and park shelters. It is the City’s most highly used park. The playground was one of the oldest playgrounds in the city and was scheduled for an update in the park asset plan. The city had set aside $150,000 for the replacement. A committee of community members and professionals was formed to develop an all-inclusive playground for the community. The playground task force consisted of Lions Club members, parents, teachers, therapists, a school Board member, a city council member, and a park and recreation advisory board member. The task force worked very closely with Flagship

SHAKOPEE fun for all playground

Recreation to design a unique inclusive playground and organize a fundraising campaign with flyers, portfolios, a website (funforallplayground.com) and a video. The Lions Club committed $50,000 and the Shakopee Valley Lions committed $5,000 to get the project started. In addition, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community donated $50,000. The Shakopee Rotary Club added a musical area for $15,885. The task force raised the remaining amount of $142,966.76 through monetary and in-kind donations. The total cost of the playground was $413,851.76. The Shakopee Fun for All Playground was installed through a community build in October 2016, and fully completed in November 2016. More than 100 individuals and businesses donated to the project. The city will hold a donor appreciation event in July, 2017 to unveil the donor board.

The Shakopee Fun for All Playground was installed through a community build in October 2016 And was fully completed in November, 2016. more than 100 individuals and businesses donated to the project. Summer 2017 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 15

Jay C. Hormel Nature Center Interpretive Center By Luke Reese, Naturalist Director, Austin Parks and Recreation

The new interpretive building officially opened on Earth Day - April 22, 2017, oneyear following its ground-breaking ceremony on Earth Day 2016. It is the headquarters of the 518-acre Jay C. Hormel Nature Center which also features approximately 10 miles of hiking trails. The 14,907-square-foot new building adds a lot of capacity to do environmental education at the Hormel Nature Center. The building includes two new classrooms, $1 million of new exhibits, a refreshed library that can serve as a conference room, a bigger space to rent skis or have messy classes, quiet places for people to sit and

relax, and much more office and storage space. The nature center is under the Austin Parks and Recreation umbrella. Completely environmentally friendly, the nature center has a geothermal system that uses the soil to help heat and cool the building. It has a nearly 80 kW photovoltaic array to produce power. It uses low flow faucets and toilets to reduce water use. Lights turn on and off automatically and dim when there is plenty of light in the room. The windows have dots etched into the glass to reduce bird strikes. Water is shed from the building to several rain gardens.

The building is the result of former parks and recreation director Larry Dolphin’s vision. “If we build it, they will come; for the wild ones and the little ones,” Larry always stated. Larry brought together the Hormel Foundation, Hormel Corporate Charitable Trust, and the city of Austin to get the $5.8 million building built. He charged the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center with raising money for the exhibits and they came through with the community’s support. Together, the park and recreation director, staff, the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center, and the park and recreation board selected three wonderful organizations to complete this project. I&S Group was selected to design and engineer the building. Met-Con was selected as the general contractor. Split Rock Studios was selected to design and install the exhibits. The building and exhibits were completed on schedule. Staff moved from the old interpretive center to the new building at the end of March. After a few weeks to unpack and setup the building, staff unveiled the new building on Earth Day weekend.

jay c. hormel nature center interpretive center, austin

That weekend, nature center staff and volunteers hosted three events over two days to open up the facility. Friday, April 21, they invited major contributors to this project to celebrate its success. Attendees included over 40 members of Jay C. Hormel’s family, the Hormel Foundation board, the Friends of the Hormel Nature Center Board, Hormel Foods leadership, and city of Austin leadership. Saturday morning, April 22, anyone that donated to this project was invited in for an early look at the facility. At 1 p.m., the ribbon was cut on the new interpretive center and the general public was invited in for the first time. We estimate that over 700 people joined us as we celebrated opening up the new interpretive center on Earth Day. The interpretive center has experienced greater than normal visitation during its first few open weeks. Kids are using the classrooms and then returning with their families after school and on weekends. Based on the most common comment upon entering the building - “Oh wow!” - it is clear that the community is proud of this new asset.

16 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

Madison’s Place Universal Playground By Bethani Gerhard, Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

Madison’s Place is a completely handicapped accessible inclusive playground that opened on June 4, 2016. This 16,000-square-foot structure, located by the Bielenberg Sports Center, is a place where children of all abilities can play together. “Madison’s Place had an incredible first year, attracting families from Woodbury and the surrounding communities,” states Bob Klatt, director of Woodbury Parks and Recreation. “It’s become a destination park for not only school field trips and daycares to visit, but for specialized therapies to take place.” Madison’s Place features rubber flooring and ramps for children to access the sensory play equipment. There are multiple swings and therapeutic play pieces. “During the summer months, children can run back and forth from the splash pad to the playground,” adds Klatt. “We’ve even added some shade features and picnic tables so families can spend the day playing and making memories.”

The project began in 2009, five years after Woodbury residents Dana and Dave Millington lost their two-year-old daughter, Madison, to spinal muscular atrophy. They founded the Madison Claire Foundation. The Foundation partnered with business and community leaders to build the Twin Cities’ east metro’s first completely handicapped accessible, inclusive playground. Some of the key partners and donors included the Minnesota Twins “Fans Choose” all-star Legacy Giving Grant, and special partnership with Special Olympics, Minnesota. At this time, Minnesota did not have many fully accessible playgrounds. Madison’s Place sets a new standard of accessibility and innovation to change the way people think about play. Dana Millington consulted with the University of Minnesota Children’s Hospital physical therapists who helped identify playground pieces that are fully accessible for both children and adults.

Madison’s Place Universal Playground, WOODBURY

The Madison Claire Foundation helped raise $830,000 to cover the costs of the playground equipment, surfacing and installation. The land for the site was donated by the City of Woodbury. In 2013, the original 18-year-old playground was removed during the field house expansion. The construction of Madison’s Place included 41,456-pounds of equipment and 638-cubic-gett of concrete. The Foundation partnered with Habitat for Humanity to organize a community build of the playground. More than 100 volunteers from the Woodbury community came together to install the playground structure, which was supervised by Flagship Recreation. The community build included 1,000 volunteer hours. Klatt adds, “Woodbury is growing as a city, but we strive to keep that smaller community feel. We’re doing this by connecting our friends, neighbors and schools with great amenities like Madison’s Place.”

ThE Madison Claire Foundation partnered with business and community leaders to build the Twin Cities’ east metro’s first completely handicapped accessible, inclusive playground. Summer 2017 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 17

Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground By Bethani Gerhard, Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

The Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground opened in the fall of 2016 in the City of Bemidji. This playground, located behind the statues of Paul Bunyan and Babe the Blue Ox, is the first of its kind in Bemidji and the largest of its kind in northern Minnesota. “The impact of the Paul Bunyan Park Inclusive Playground has been truly amazing for our community,” says Marcia Larson, parks and recreation director for the City of Bemidji. Before the Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground opened, she received several phone calls from parents and caregivers of children with disabilities requesting more accessible play equipment. The City then contacted Shane’s Inspiration for assistance on designing and building the playground. The play area was custom-designed for Bemidji, based on the community design meeting. In addition to multiple oodleswings, a senory wall, and omni-spinner, the inclusive playground has a ‘north woods theme.’ The City of Bemidji, in partnership with Shane’s Inspiration and the Bemidji Rotary Club, worked to design, garner

support, and fundraise for an all-inclusive playground. The playground was about $440,000 – most of which was funded by local foundations and organizations, as well as $85,000 from the City of Bemidji and $30,000 from Beltrami County. The Rotary Club pledged to raise $100,000 internally through club members and special events. The Neilson Foundation also contributed $100,000 and the First National Bank Foundation donated $10,000. There were many individual donations, including one larger anonymous donation of $25,000.

The ribbon-cutting celebration was held in conjunction with the special event: City’s World Wide Day of Play. The Tourist Information Center in Bemidji reported they had never seen this massive number of people use a park or playground before.

There were approximately 75 volunteers who were part of the community build. Volunteers as well as Rotarians from both Bemidji clubs and surrounding areas, helped install the playground with the support of Kraus Anderson Construction Company, Flagship Recreation, and Landscape Structures. Local restaurants and grocery stores donated food for the four-day build. “It was overwhelming how this project pulled the entire community together to support building a playground where all children can play together,” says Larson.

This summer kicks-off “My Play Club” where families join together at the Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground to participate in fun-filled, free, inclusive play. Every Tuesday during the summer there are crafts, activities, and face painting. Jamie Anderson, recreation coordinator for the City of Bemidji is running this program. The overall goal is to encourage children of all abilities to play together.

18 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

Since the opening day, community response and support for this project has surpassed all expectations. “We see children and adults of all ages on the playground interacting and playing together,” says Larson. “It is truly a community project.”

Paul Bunyan Inclusive Playground

“It was overwhelming how this project pulled the entire community together to support building a playground where all children can play together,” says Larson.

Summer 2017 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 19

Hermann Heights Inclusive Playground Project By Cheryl Kormann, New Ulm Parks and Recreation

Hermann Heights Park, located in the center of New Ulm, is home to Hermann the German, a 102-foot monument. Each year, tens of thousands of visitors climb a spiral staircase to the base of the statue for a stunning, panoramic view of New Ulm and the Minnesota River Valley. The park also has an interpretive center, two seasonal shelters, restrooms, and is home to southern Minnesota’s first inclusive playground. The playground in the park was aged, scattered, and had non-compliant surfacing. It was one of the poorest-looking playgrounds in New Ulm’s most visited park and in need of replacement. The City initially budgeted $75,000 for replacement. Allina Health and the New Ulm Medical Center Foundation approached the park and recreation department with a proposal to partner with the City on a project that would fit into their Courage Kenny Rehabilitation fundraising project, focusing on an outlet for youth and adults to continue rehabilitation outside of

the walls of the New Ulm Medical Center. The two groups met to discuss a project the two entities could join forces to meet this need and agreed the playground at Hermann Heights Park was a logical and good fit. They decided to embark on this journey of designing and creating an inclusive playground in New Ulm that is welcoming to all individuals of all abilities and all ages to come and enjoy together. It would be a destination playground and the first of its kind in Southern Minnesota (since we completed our design, cities of Hutchinson, Mankato and Owatonna are in the process of either planning, designing or fundraising for inclusive playgrounds in their communities). In speaking to various playground vendors, it was determined that to do this project, the anticipated cost would be approximately $250,000. The department requested an additional $125,000 out of their fund balance, which the City Council unanimously approved. Allina Health and the New Ulm

Medical Center Foundation made a significant commitment of up to $50,000 for this project. Landscape Structures, a leader in the industry for designing and manufacturing inclusive play equipment and Flagship Recreation, which has extensive experience in creating inclusive parks, joined the City of New Ulm and a panel of parents of children with different abilities and disabilities to help create a space accessible to those with mobility issues. The group discussed various needs of their children, in addition to what they find challenging about going to park facilities. After many meetings of several conceptual drawings, a final plan was made that included features not found in other New Ulm parks; components specifically designed to be used together and had features that stimulated play for those with autism and other behavioral disorders. All equipment was nature-based, including donated log benches. continued on page 22…

Hermann Heights Inclusive Playground Project, new ulm

20 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

Flagship Recreation

Make a statement in your community

Design - Build - Maintain

Hermann Heights continued... City departments worked together on this project to keep costs within budget. The park and recreation department staff removed old play equipment. Engineering provided survey work, and public works performed all site excavation and a built a trail from the street to the playground. The momentum continued with local businesses climbing on board. MR Paving and Excavating, Inc. donated the playground base, which included 300-plus tons of crushed concrete, installation, and compaction. Fastenal donated transportation to transport the equipment to the site. Flagship Recreation staff and contractors arranged equipment within the container in preparation for a community build. There was outpouring of community support from businesses and people! Two shifts were coordinated and scheduled by New Ulm Medical Center Foundation and filled for two consecutive days. Professionals led volunteer work crews through the installation process. The poured in place surfacing was laid, and

volunteers braved undesirable weather conditions to watch over the site and protect from foot and animal traffic. The project received all sorts of media coverage. Smaller cities are constantly looking for creative ways or alternative funding sources and partnerships to fund L to R: Sara Schauer and Melissa Dreckman, New Ulm Medical Center Foundation, Michelle Snider, Executive Director MRPA, Cheryl Kormann, Assistant Director, City larger projects without of New Ulm Park and Recreation Department and Tom Schmitz, Director, City of New having to wait years Ulm Park and Recreation Department. through the budgeting of Allina Health and the New Ulm Medical process; allocating Center Foundation, local businesses and funds each year to “save up“ to complete of course, many volunteers to build the projects. Without donations and collaboration playground. This project showcases New of everyone involved, this project would Ulm’s small town pride and commitment of have taken years to complete or would have those working together to make New Ulm a required significant downsizing. We are great place to live and play! extremely fortunate to have the support



22 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

Madison’s Place Woodbury, Minn.

Your inspiration. Your playground. When it comes to playgrounds, we encourage you to make your mark. Wherever your ideas come from, whatever your vision, we can bring it to life with our unparalleled design capabilities. From inclusive spaces to epic destination playgrounds, we’re here to help you create the playground of your dreams. Learn more at playlsi.com or call 888.438.6574.

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Renewing Roseville’s Parks - Roseville Parks and Recreation Master Plan and Renewal Program By Lydia Major, LHB, Inc. With over 30 parks, 679 acres of parkland and open space, and 37 miles of trails and walkways, Roseville Parks and Recreation manages a variety of recreation, leisure and sport facilities, and offers countless programs and special events annually. In 2006, inspired by this abundance of space, resources, and invested users including over 3,000 volunteers annually - the community set a goal of creating a “world renowned park system” as part of the Imagine Roseville 2025 plan. The City hired landscape architects from LHB, Inc. to develop and facilitate a master planning process that would set the stage for just such a system and then began to implement it.

The process was guided by a large Citizen Advisory Team (CAT) that met over a dozen times. They guided and shaped the conversation that was then supplemented with input from a Technical Advisory Committee consisting of professionals from related agencies and organizations. The LHB team also conducted multiple community meetings and workshops, listening sessions, questionnaires and surveys, and more than 100 “meetings in a box” that allowed staff and CAT members to engage in authentic conversation directly with members of their community. Those conversations generated momentum to invest in the concrete recommendations made in the master plan.

Because the City had not conducted a master plan for almost 50 years, staff understood that the master planning process needed to be rooted in a robust community engagement process that would reach out to users, prospective users, businesses, community organizations, and other stakeholders and agencies. City of Roseville staff set the goal of reaching every single citizen - 33,690 at the time - to truly understand their vision for the community’s parks.

The Roseville Parks and Recreation Renewal Program (PRRP) invested over $16 million in the park system, including new community buildings, playground and recreational facilities, and natural resource restoration projects. It also included renovations and reinvestment in some of Roseville’s unique recreation assets, such as the Roseville Skating Center, the Harriet Alexander Nature Center, the Central Park Muriel Sahlin Arboretum, and the disc golf course at Acorn Park. The team of City staff, designers from

LHB, SRF Consulting, and HCM Architects, and multiple contractors led by Knutson Construction built boardwalks, renovated buildings, planted hundreds of trees, made important trail connections, solved stormwater drainage issues, created new habitat, repaired courts and fields, and more. In its entirety, the PRRP invested in nearly every park in Roseville in significant ways. Just over ten years after the master planning process was initiated, the Roseville Parks and Recreation system has truly been transformed. Surveys and anecdotal feedback from the community following completion of the main projects is overwhelmingly positive about the park system improvements and the impact they’ve had on the neighborhoods they serve. The system of interconnected parks and trails has begun to be evident in the community, enhancing and building on the system’s historic strength. More importantly, the vision of the community to provide meaningful opportunities for play, learning, engagement, and environmental stewardship have begun to have an impact on the daily lives of every Roseville resident.

ROSEVILLE PARKS MASTER PLAN PHOTO BY Dana Wheelock Photography. BUILDING DESIGN BY Hagen, Christensen & McIlwain Architects

24 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

Just over ten years after the master planning process was initiated, the Roseville Parks and Recreation system has truly been transformed. …feedback from the community following completion of the main projects is overwhelmingly positive about the park system improvements and the impact they’ve had on the neighborhoods they serve.

Firemen’s Park; Chaska, MN

Summer 2017 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 25

hutchinson family aquatic center

Hutchinson Family Aquatic Center By Dolf Moon, Director PRCE, Hutchinson Parks and Recreation

The Hutchinson Family Aquatic Center opened on June 3, 2017. The original outdoor pool/recreation center opened in 1986 at a cost of $1.1 million dollars through a voter referendum. At its peak 40,000 swimmers visited the pool in a given summer. In the spring of 2013, the City Council authorized a pool study to help lead the discussion on the long-term future of the outdoor pool. USAquatics located in Delano was selected to conduct the study. The 2013 study provided a wide range of solutions. The repair only option would cost $1.275 million and the replace option was estimated at $5.5 million. An indoor pool/ community center option was also floated out at $15.5 million. In September, the Council decided to not pursue a project due to other community needs.

In early May of 2015, the City Council again authorized staff to pursue options for construction of a new facility on the existing site. The proposed plan would include improvements and renovations to the concession, bathhouse, and construction of a new pool. The Council established a $5 million dollar budget. Initial facility design costs had a range of $6.2 to $6.6 million. Through discussions the Council ultimately established a budget of $6 million. Construction began in May of 2016. Who knew a 250,000 pound lap pool could float? On August 17, 2016 over eight inches of rainfall fell overnight on the Hutchinson Family Aquatic Center site causing the lap pool to float. Fortunately the project insurance covered the $565,000 loss to rebuild the lap pool. The insurance claim also provided for no delays in the targeted May 27, 2017 substantial completion date.

26 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks â&#x20AC;˘ www.mnrpa.org

The entire cost of the facility was built without a tax levy increase or bond referendum. Funding for the project came from a variety of city sources. The facility includes a six-lane, 25-yard by five-lane 25-meter lap pool. This pool contains a one and three-meter diving board, climbing wall, and zip line. Our second pool features a zero-depth entry with multiple play features. This area is connected to the plunge pool by a lazy river. Three slides including an enclosed speed slide, enclosed tube slide, and open slide dump into the plunge pool. There are outdoor lockers combined with a new locker room. Family changing rooms are also available. A new concession stand with party tents can serve our 730 bather capacity. We are looking forward to serving area residents and visitors this summer.

The entire cost of the facility was built without a tax levy increase or bond referendum. Funding for the project came from a variety of city sources. hutchinson family aquatic center

Summer 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 27

The herd’s THE WORD WHAT CITIES ARE DOING to control invasive species Goats Tackle Invasive Species By Clare Cloyd, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation

To control the spread of invasive species along the Mississippi River, Saint Paul Parks and Recreation’s Great River Passage and Natural Resources teams are working together to introduce grazing goats to select Saint Paul parks. These hungry goats will eat unwanted vegetation like buckthorn and garlic mustard inside fenced-in areas of Indian Mounds Regional Park, Crosby Farm Regional Park, and Hidden Falls Regional Park. Removing invasive plants is a part of the city’s routine park maintenance efforts, but using goats is a new, ecologically sensitive approach. Goats are ideal for this job because they are light on the land and can easily navigate steep bluff terrain. They can also eat plants that are hazardous to other animals. If you see the goats at work, you are welcome to watch but please do not interact with them. The goats will be enclosed in a fence to keep them safe and will be routinely monitored by caretakers. This effort is a part of an environmentally friendly, multi-year approach to ensure natural plants are able to flourish along the Mississippi River. Plus, having “kids” as co-workers is fun for everyone involved! Learn more about this initiative by visiting us at greatriverpassage.org/projects/.

28 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

Owatonna Parks and Recreation also used goats to control invasive species. The Owatonna City Council approved a contract with a local company, Goat Dispatch, to release their goats in a section of Kriesel Park in June 2016. The invasive species were choking out native plants and flowers. The goats helped with vegetation management and getting rid of undesirable invasive species. Goat Dispatch had set-up temporary electric fencing around the grazing area at Kriesel Park in Owatonna. Since goats prefer eating brush and not grass, they provide an alternative to controlling invasive species. Goats are also an ideal option instead of harsh chemicals, which can be time consuming and not very friendly to the environment. They can graze in places that mowers can’t reach.

We turn your big ideas into unique play solutions that will make your park the envy of communities everywhere. Create beautiful landscape designs and bring families together for fun, stress-free play. All through the wonder of water.

R E P R E S E N T E D I N M I N N E S O TA B Y :

Reach Hundreds of Minnesota Park & Recreation Professionals Advertise in MINNESOTA magazine! Rates start at just $225 per issue! Fall issue deadline: August 5, 2017 To reserve ad space contact Todd Pernsteiner: todd@pernsteiner.com or (952) 841-1111.

Summer 2017 â&#x20AC;˘ MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 29

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ISG is-grp.com LHB, Inc. lhbcorp.com Midwest Playscapes Inc midwestplayscapes.com Minneapolis Northwest Convention and Visitors Bureau mplsnw.com Minnesota Wisconsin Playground Inc. mnwiplay.com

30 MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks • www.mnrpa.org

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Ultimate Playgrounds ultimateplaygrounds.com USTA Northern northern.usta.com Webber Recreational Design webberrec.com WSB & Associates, Inc. wsbeng.com

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Minnesota Twins twinsbaseball.com Musco Sports - Lighting musco.com Safety First Playground Surfacing LLC safetyfirstplayground.com Sports Technology Inc. sportstechnologyinc.com TKDA tkda.com USAquatics Inc. usaquaticsinc.com Valleyfair valleyfair.com Walker Area Community Center walkerwacc.com Wild Mountain wildmountain.com







M R P A 80





OCTOBER 10-13 C R A G U N â&#x20AC;&#x2122; S R E S O R T & C O N F E R E N C E C E N T E R BRAINERD, MINNESOTA


LEAVING OUR LEGACY Welcome to the 2017 Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference, Telling Our Story: Leaving Our Legacy. For our 80th Anniversary gathering, we are so pleased to be returning to the perfect setting of the newly remodeled Cragunâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Resort. The conference committee has been hard at work to provide delegates, students, retirees and associates engaging education opportunities, valuable networking events, and the chance to meet with over 70 informative and innovative vendors during the exhibit hall. We extend sincere gratitude to our amazing sponsors and conference partners, as well as the Annual Conference Committee for helping make the 2017 MRPA conference a great success. Thank you for joining us to celebrate our profession through stories, experiences, and the continuing quest to build lasting legacies throughout the great state of Minnesota. This conference is an exceptional learning opportunity and we encourage all delegates to be active, participate and enjoy all the resources this conference has to offer. Chris Esser, City of South Saint Paul Jamie Cassidy, City of Becker 2017 Annual Conference Co-Chairs

M I NNES OT A R ECREATI O N AND PAR K AS S O C I A T I O N Our Mission: To improve the quality of life in Minnesota by enhancing the profession of parks, open space, recreation and leisure services



Providing professional development, networking, best practices and informational support for our customers


Proactively advocating for preserving our parks, conserving our natural resources and advancing the values of recreation and leisure services



Building relationships and seeking collaborative partnerships with community members and organizations


Serving fairly and professionally while building trust through our interactions


Respecting our differences and supporting opportunities for everyone

Impacting health and active living through educational and social opportunities

MRPA CONTACT INFO 200 CHARLES STREET NE FRIDLEY, MN 55432 T : 763-571-1305, EXT. 100 F : 763-571-5204

Michelle Snider Executive Director snider@mnrpa.org

The Conference Committee Chairs and their committees have organized an excellent education opportunity for all of the delegates. This conference would not be possible without their time and dedication.


Off-site Institutes: Scott Zlotnik

Exhibit Hall: Ross Demant & Mike Bauer

Programming: Jared Flewellen

Food/Beverage: Roxann Maxey

Sponsorships: Michelle Margo

Logistics: J.J. Ryan

Volunteer: Tonya Love

Marketing: Andy Soltvedt

TUESDAY OCTOBER 10 Pre-Conference Institute 4:00 - 6:30 p.m.

CONFERENCE AT A GLANCE TUESDAY, OCTOBER 10 Registration Check-In Pre-Conference Institute

3:00 – 6:00 p.m. 4:00 – 6:30 p.m.


THE CARE AND FEEDING OF MILLENNIALS Bill Lewis Leaders must increasingly turn their attention to the millennial generation, whose attitudes and preferences will profoundly reshape workplaces and society. The Gallup organization has recently published research defining a gap between the expectations of this important workforce generation and what leaders currently ascribe to provide. Millennials are a politically independent generation, use the Internet as their primary news source and strive for a life well-lived. They want good jobs -- ones with 30-plus hours of work a week and regular paychecks and want to be engaged in those jobs, emotionally and behaviorally connected to them. Millennials also have high expectations for these areas: well-being; career, physical fitness; purposeful living; active community; strong social ties, and financial stability. It’s time to talk and “meet in the middle”. Bill Lewis is currently the senior consultant for KnowledgePath Consulting. Previously, Bill was a business unit lead coach for Cargill, and also co-owner for OPEX Realization Group, LLC.

Registration Check-In & Breakfast Welcome and Opening Remarks Opening Keynote Presentation Educational Sessions Lunch Off-Site Institutes Educational Sessions Educational Sessions Adventure Race Playtoberfest Wilkommen Welcome Party

8:00 – 8:45 a.m. 8:45 – 9:15 a.m. 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. 10:45 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. 12:30 – 3:30 p.m. 1:00 – 2:15 p.m. 2:30 – 3:45 p.m. 4:15 - 6:15 p.m. 6:30 - 8:30 p.m.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 12 Registration Check-In & Breakfast Off-Site Institutes Directors’ Forum Educational Sessions Educational Sessions Lunch & Keynote Presentation Exhibit Hall Knowledge on Tap 80th Anniversary Banquet

8:00 – 8:30 a.m. 8:15 – 11:45 a.m. 8:30 - 11:15 a.m. 8:30 – 9:45 a.m. 10:00 – 11:15 a.m. 11:30 a.m. – 12:45 p.m. 1:00 - 4:00 p.m. 4:15 - 5:30 p.m. 6:00 - 8:30 p.m.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 13 Registration Check-In & Breakfast 8:00 – 8:30 a.m. Educational Sessions 8:30 – 9:45 a.m. Keynote Presentation 10:00 – 11:15 a.m.







Dan Meers

Alisha Perkins

Wednesday, 9:15 - 10:30 a.m.

Thursday, 11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m.

Friday, 10:00 - 11:15 a.m.




Storyteller and writer Kevin Kling grew up outdoors, coming inside only to eat and sleep. Influenced by the writings of John O’Donohue, John Muir and Jack London, he feels there are no greater stories than those found in our connection with the wilderness. Following a near-fatal motorcycle accident in 2001 that left him with a paralyzed arm, Kevin finds the most crucial aspect to his recovery has been the return to the woods, lakes, canoes and campfires of his Eagle Scout days. Kevin’s fervent insights about recovery, disability and resiliency combine wisdom, inspiration and a unique sense of humor.


On November 23, 2013, Dan Meers came within inches of losing his life while practicing a bungee jump and zip line stunt at Arrowhead Stadium, home of the Kansas City Chiefs. What Dan anticipated being the thrill of a lifetime ended up being the spill of a lifetime. The stunt went terribly wrong and Dan plummeted 75 feet before crashing into the stadium seats. Miraculously, Dan survived. He spent nine days in the hospital and was released with some really big scars. Dan smiles when he says, “Scars are just tattoos that come with a cool story”. During this powerful presentation Dan shares his incredible story and the important lessons he learned during his long road to recovery about leadership and life.


That one in five Americans experience a mental health issue? That means that nearly 60 of your colleagues in attendance at the conference are in the same boat as this year’s closing keynote speaker. Alisha Perkins, who calls herself an author, runner, mother and Major League Baseball wife, is married to Glen Perkins, pitcher for the Minnesota Twins and they have two children. Alisha will use her humor and down-to-earth demeanor to share her battle with anxiety and how running became a way to cope. She will challenge your ideas about mental health and wellness and the stigma surrounding it. She will celebrate what we do for the community and challenge us to do more for adults who need help! Alisha’s first book, “Running Home,” was released in May, 2016, and will be available for purchase after the presentation.

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11 My grandfather ran the local Labor Day softball tournament for 20 years and it was some of my best memories of my youth. I hope that some of the things I help provide gives people their best memories too.

Jared Flewellen City of Eagan

10:45 A.M. - 12:00 P.M. PLYMOUTH NORTHWEST GREENWAY - PLANNING AND IMPLEMENTING A RECREATION AND CONSERVATION CORRIDOR Diane Evans, Director, Plymouth Parks and Recreation; Stewart Crosby, SRF Consulting Group Nichole Schlepp, SRF Consulting Group

The Northwest Greenway in the City of Plymouth will establish key connections to existing parks, wetland buffer easements, and dedicated right-of-way to create a high value recreational trail and greenway corridor within the last remaining rural portion of the city. The acquisition of open space involved both a short- and long-term strategy to keep the project on track and stay a step ahead of developers and private land owners. Learn how existing trailhead support facilities and connections are all being integrated together for making the Northwest Greenway a highly valued recreational amenity in the community.

3-2-1 NETWORK! Rachelle Fuller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Kristi Montandon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Brooke Burk, Ph.D., Assistant Director, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Calling all students! Come and present your personal best to experienced recreation professionals. In this session, students and professionals will engage in a multi-round “speed-networking” session.

BRING COMMUNITIES TOGETHER WITH SPLASHPADS AND INCLUSIVE PLAY Ron Romens, Owner and President, Commercial Recreation Specialists

Play is where it all begins at a young age; playing with friends, learning to socialize, building physical skills and discovering the world around us. Water adds an extra dimension to that play: it has a universal appeal that transcends generations and cultures. We’ll discuss how to design a community play space that incorporates a spectrum of water play. These experiences will truly define a place, bring people together and support its ongoing evolution.


The City of Hastings envisioned revitalizing and reconnecting their downtown to the Mississippi River. Bolton & Menk collaborated with city staff, stakeholder groups, and the general public to develop a three phase riverfront renaissance project. Phases one and three focused primarily on the downtown infrastructure, including pedestrian improvements and ADA accessibility. The second phase focused on Levee Park, a prominent park straddling the Mississippi River and the downtown business district. Come learn more about this impressive project.

WELCOME TO NET GENERATION Christine Nickels, Director of Community Tennis, United States Tennis Association Northern

The United States Tennis Association’s new youth tennis brand for ages 5-18 is dedicated to welcoming millions of new players to the game by focusing on empowerment, unity and play! Through a comprehensive program of adaptable curriculum, coaching resources, communication materials, and player and provider incentives, Net Generation aims to capture the imagination of kids of all ages, backgrounds, and skill levels while bringing together and supporting tennis program coordinators throughout the country.

BEYOND BINGO & BRIDGE: TRENDS IN PROGRAMS FOR OLDER ADULTS Loudi Rivamonte, Recreation Supervisor, City of Eagan; Sue Bohnsack, Recreation Supervisor, Eden Prairie Parks & Recreation

Members from Minnesota Association of Senior Services (MASS) will share current programming trends for older adults. Trends will include programs from traditional and non-traditional “senior” facilities and collaborative programming.

WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 11 12:30 P.M. - 3:30 P.M.

Off-Site Institutes CUYUNA COUNTRY STATE RECREATION AREA (CCSRA), IRONTON, MN Ron and LeAnn Plinske from the Cuyuna Lakes MTB Crew, will host this active mountain biking off-site institute. After attendees acquire their rental bike and helmet, a CCSRA history lesson will be provided along with a safety briefing. Biking groups will be formed based on skill levels and then we will hit the trails! All attendees will have special access to the Croft Mine Museum and additional trail riding. Space is limited to 25 people. In order to have a mountain bike sized appropriately for you, please let us know gender and height on your registration form. Transportation will be provided and depart and return to the Cragun’s main lobby.


CAMP CONFIDENCE BRAINERD, MN Located in the beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area, Confidence Learning Center, otherwise known as Camp Confidence is an outdoor center for persons with developmental and cognitive disabilities, along with the deaf and hard of hearing communities. This off-site institute is designed to be a guided walking tour of the campgrounds and performing activities such as: low ropes course, archery, nature center, multi-lane slipper slide, 55-ft tree climbing element and paddle boat race on the lake. Participants should be ready for handson and interactive activities. The tour culminates on a 35-ft glass bottom boat. The end of the tour also includes sharing Camp Confidence favorite camp treat, hand-cranked snow cones. Space is limited to 25 people. Transportation will be provided and depart and return to the Cragun’s main lobby.

1:00 P.M. - 2:15 P.M. LOG ROLLING: THE NEXT BIG WAVE Abby Hoeschler, President and CEO, Key Log Rolling

Log rolling offers a multitude of aquatic programming options. It has a fascinating 125-year history, much of it based here in Minnesota! Participants of all ages are intrigued by this exciting balance challenge, and with the portable, easy to use equipment and training materials. Log rolling has grown to include over 400 programs in 48 states. Your staff does not need to be experts to lead and facilitate the activities. The concepts are easy to share and teach to beginners. Learn how to add log rolling indoors and outdoors through classes, clubs, open recreation, events, and more. Discover why log rolling is a safe, low risk activity that can increase participation and revenue with minimal expense.

REC ON THE GO: AN OUTREACH STRATEGY BRINGING RECREATION TO COMMUNITY Paul Vang, Recreation Program Specialist; Michelle Margo, Manager of Recreation Programs and Services; Laura Stigen, Rec on the Go Youth Worker, Brooklyn Park Recreation & Parks

Do you want to know how to engage young people and community members that are not currently in your recreation programming? Checkout Rec on the Go! Find out how you can make these connections and get their insight. Rec on the Go programming is built on the spot and connects with multiple age groups and multiple interests in a focused period of time. Find out how you can measure your impact while having fun!


Numerous trail systems and hundreds of off-road miles exist throughout Minnesota. Partnering with off-road cycling associations is a key component to developing a successful and sustainable trail system. Join us for this session to learn more about off-road trail development, and partnering with these nonprofit associations.

HIRING BOOTCAMP Joyce P. Hottinger, SPHR, SHRM-CP, Assistant HR Director, League of Minnesota Cities

Join us to learn best practices for your recruitment process with a special focus on your seasonal staff. In this session we will review laws for seasonal hiring (child labor laws, background checks, minimum wage rates, PERA eligibility and others) as well as provide best practice ideas to take back and apply to your own organization’s hiring process.

EXCEPTIONAL CUSTOMER EXPERIENCES Annie Olson, Director of Customer Service; Iris Pahlberg Peterson, Customer Service Team Lead, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

“Memories light the corners of my mind, misty water-colored memories of the way we were...” Written beautifully by the songwriter team of Bergman and Hamlisch and forever immortalized by Barbra Streisand, these lyrics reflect the importance of memories. We, in the park and recreation business, are entrusted with leaving a legacy, the heart of which is treasured memories held by park patrons all over Minnesota. How do we do this? By providing exceptional customer experiences - EVERY time!

“CREATING A WORLD IN WHICH EVERY CHILD CAN PLAY, LEARN AND GROW WITH NATURE” Jody Yungers, Brooklyn Park Recreation & Parks; MaryLynn Pulscher, Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board; Amanda Lovelee, Designer and Artist, FernFirm

Discover what’s happening on the national level with the Children & Nature Network, and then dig into local Minnesota efforts that connect children and families to nature. Learn from the agencies that created successful strategies and replicable examples from pop-up nature play, pilot projects and permanent installations, all located on urban, suburban, and public park land. Learn from the opportunities, challenges, and solutions in nature play spaces for communities in Ramsey County, Brooklyn Park, Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, Three Rivers Park District, and the Minnesota Valley Wildlife Refuge.

4:15 P.M. - 6:15 P.M.



Joyce P. Hottinger, SPHR, SHRM-CP, Assistant HR Director, League of Minnesota Cities

Athelgra Wiliams & Kate Lamers Minneapolis Park & Recreation Board

In this session we will review several challenging supervisory issues and consider the associated risks. We will also discuss some good practices to consider when working through these challenges.

This session will feature how to foster relationships with underserved communities by using the many dimensions of a racial equity lens. Examples of how the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has developed partnerships to expand its reach, while supporting diverse programming and initiatives. This session will provide best practices on how to work with diverse communities and focus on possibilities instead of limitations, while valuing communities as assets.

TELLING YOUR STORY THROUGH DATA Pam McBride, Youth Services Coordinator, Brooklyn Park Recreation & Parks

How are you telling your program impact story? Learn the importance of designing your evaluation plan in order to collect valuable data that informs stakeholders of the great impact of programming. Find out creative ways to collect this critical information, ask the right questions and share your impact stories with policy makers, elected officials, and other stakeholders.

“BUT.BUT.BUT.ISN’T IT DANGEROUS? RISK AND REWARDS IN NATURE PLAY” Anne Walthers, Rice, Michels &Walther, LLP; Christopher Smith, League of Minnesota Cities Risk Manager Division Representative

With our “risk paranoid” society it is no surprise it exists when considering nature play. Risk is an often sensitive topic and a frequent roadblock for parks and recreation professionals as they consider nature-based play areas. Learn how to overcome two common roadblocks – risk and ADA compliance. Learn what parks and recreation professionals have done to work with their city’s risk managers to balance the rewards with the risk. Hear from attorneys about laws to be considered when weighing the risk/ benefit analysis in community parks. Learn from Fern Firm, the designers for the nature play spaces at the Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge and how they made it ADA compliant.

HEALTH & FITNESS IN THE PARKS Antonio Rodriguez, Area Supervisor, Saint Paul Parks & Recreation

Fitness in the Parks is a free outdoor exercise program developed to increase resident access to classes and bring various types of fitness activity to Saint Paul’s beautiful parks. Developing relationships with local exercise and fitness businesses who share similar missions and goals has allowed Saint Paul to build a program that engages a significant number of residents throughout the city over the course of the summer. Join us to learn how leveraging relationships with local businesses can assist in building a strong foundation for fitness initiatives throughout your city, while also encouraging and promoting communities to become more active.

RACE Join us for the Adventure Race at Cragun’s. Challenge your mind and body, while making lasting connections by participating in the second MRPA Adventure Race! Sign up as an individual or as a team of two. Each person will receive a race shirt provided by USA Inflatables. Involvement in this race will provide ideas on how to replicate this program in your community and potentially generate revenue in your department. There are limited participant slots for this event, so register early! Spectators are invited and encouraged! Observe the race from the sun deck. $15 per participant Includes race shirt (Shirts are unisex sizing)


Saint Paul Parks and Recreation believes diversity is a strength to the workforce, enabling employees to work more effectively and authentically while providing services to its residents, businesses, and visitors. Saint Paul believes inclusion, work engagement, transparency, and continuous learning from each other are keys to creating racial equity within park agencies and our own communities.


6:30 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.

Playtoberfest Wilkommen (Welcome) Party Celebrate with music and German food and drink in the true tradition of Munich’s famed festival, Oktoberfest. Step up the level of fun with Lederhosen for a best dressed competition or experience Hammerschlagen, art stations, and challenges. Ideas will be showcased that can be brought back for your next community event.


THURSDAY OCTOBER 12 My greatest joy is seeing smiles on people’s faces while providing quality green spaces, facilities and services to improve the quality of life for the citizens in our community. Cheryl Kormann

City of New Ulm

8:15 A.M. - 11:45 A.M.


Off-Site Institutes ROTARY RIVERSIDE PARK BRAINERD, MN Enjoy a guided tour to learn how this 38-acre natural park, including 1,400 feet of Mississippi River frontage, is becoming a popular destination for bird watchers, hikers and nature enthusiasts. The park recently acquired funds through the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ Natural & Scenic Grant Program and has many partners leading to its future success, including: Brainerd Rotary Club, Crow Wing Soil/Water Conservation District, Brainerd Lakes General Fund and the Central Minnesota Community Foundation.

NORTHLAND ARBORETUM & PAUL BUNYAN CONSERVATION AREA; BAXTER, MN Experience a guided tour of the Northland Arboretum. The park is a 583acre non-profit arboretum and nature reserve. The arboretum was founded in 1972 when the Brainerd landfill closed. The Arboretum now contains a red pine plantation and jack pine savanna, with nearly 20 kilometers of trails for hiking and cross-country skiing. Nearly five kilometers can be lit for evening skiing. Other areas include a native tree trail, youth gardens, a wildflower trail, and a pond with arched bridge. The Nature Conservancy owns nearly 200 acres within the arboretum. Space is limited to 25 people.



Bruce H. Miles, Ed.D, Big River Group

Conflict and dealing with difficult people takes valuable leadership time and resources. This session will demonstrate strategies and resources that are currently used to reduce organizational conflict and make working with difficult people easier. Participants will benefit from a greater understanding of current applied research, macro- and microtechniques that are quick, effective and easy to use. Actual cases will be presented with an emphasis on the reduction of conflict with difficult and resistant employees. Examples of research results, assessment tools and management strategies will be distributed to participants.

8:30 A.M. - 11:15 A.M.

Directors’ Forum FOR AGENCY DIRECTORS Gather with fellow directors from across the state to discuss topic areas impacting your work as agency leaders. Discussion areas will include: community engagement, social equity, sustainable design, natural resources, and performance measurements.




Jason Amberg, Landscape Architecture Group Manager, WSB & Associates; Jay Lotthammer, Director, Eden Prairie Parks & Recreation

Drew Wurst, M.Ed., 2nd Wind Exercise

Come listen to past experiences, current responsibilities, and future goals of recreation professionals from throughout Minnesota! Get answers to what YOU want to know based on YOUR interests! Areas of expertise will include: • Administration • Facility management • Aquatics, athletics, and youth programming • Therapeutic and inclusive programming • County park management

Participants will discuss the planning and design process necessary to allow consultants to engage with the general public within a stated timeframe. The session will highlight the project process typically used for new or redeveloped park spaces. A mini design charrette will be facilitated to allow participants a hands-on opportunity to collaborate with professionals.


Inclusive play is not solely about physically accessing an environment, but what experiences happen once an individual gets there. Learn design principles that go beyond the minimum accessibility standards and advocate for quality outdoor play destinations for people of all ages and abilities.

TELLING OUR STORY: OUR PATH TO A NEW LEGACY Brooke Burk, Ph.D., Assistant Director; Rachelle Fuller, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Kristi Montandon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor; Jonathan Hicks, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Minnesota State University, Mankato

Join us in an engaging roundtable discussion exploring topics related to our role as professionals. Attendees will discuss how to address the “isms” that occur in our youth programs, and the programmatic benefits of inclusion.



The objective in every city is building sustainable parks that the community will utilize and last the test of time. Learn different design/building techniques through past projects to minimize the overall cost and still maximize the park initiative.

To accommodate the growth and changes in exercise science, modalities, and trends the fitness facility itself must change its design to ensure appeal to wide-ranging demographics and fitness levels. We will discuss the requirements for new technologies into fitness equipment (online content/ Apps, workout programs and tracking, entertainment features, etc). The need for these features will be discussed in comparison to the movement patterns of the equipment. We will highlight facility needs for WiFi/Ethernet connections, electrical outlet planning, TV signal options, and more. We will discuss “functional/cross-training/ boot-camp” trends, space planning and how to maximize spaces for generating class revenue and retaining members. Space planning, equipment design/ customization, wall-mounting and floor anchoring will all be addressed.

10:00 A.M. - 11:15 A.M. VISUALIZATIONS TECHNIQUES: APPLYING INNOVATIVE TECHNOLOGY IN THE REAL SS WORLD Samantha McKinney, Visualization Specialist, WSB & Associates; Jordan Gedrose, Visualization Specialist, WSB & Associates,

Visualizations are a powerful tool that can be used to communicate a message, help aid the decision making process and foster stakeholder consensus, if done properly. This session will cover visualization techniques that are currently being used in various park and recreational projects, and how they have impacted the design and approvals process. We will look at future technologies and trends in this field. Participants will be allowed an opportunity for a hands-on experience with virtual reality viewers.

RECRUITING, TRAINING, AND RETAINING SPORTS OFFICIALS Kevin Merkle, Associate Director, Minnesota State High School League; Jason Nickleby, Coordinator of Officials

This session will provide the opportunity to develop and use specific techniques to assist in the recruitment, training, and retention of sports officials for both youth and adult sports. Special attention will be given to possible collaboration with local officials associations and other groups in an effort to recruit and train officials. Specific training resources and materials will be provided. Part of the presentation will include “Why We Officiate:” - information that will be helpful in the recruitment and training of officials.

EVERYTHING ASPHALT Jason Krause, Bituminous Roadways, Inc.


Managing outdoor facilities in Minnesota can be frustrating. Freezing, thawing and refreezing can cause major issues with your asphalt parking lots, trails and outdoor courts. Learn some tips on how to maintain your existing asphalt, as well as gain insight into the bidding process for new asphalt projects. Bring any questions you may have on asphalt issues.

NEW THIS YEAR - SPEED SESSIONS MRPA speed sessions offer information in quick and innovative 30-minute time periods. These sessions are designed to fulfill attendees’ diverse educational needs related to today’s relevant topics.


THURSDAY OCTOBER 12 10:00 A.M. - 11:15 A.M.

1:00 P.M. - 4:00 P.M.

CREATING NATURALIZED PLAYGROUNDS Dan Lane, Associate, Minnesota Wisconsin Playground

Attendees will discuss best practices for creating naturalized playgrounds during this interactive session. NatureGrounds is a program that brings nature to the play environment. This program helps to create a shift in the standard playground development process and encourages unstructured, free play in nature for all ages.


Join the Aquatics Section in a demonstration of popular aquatic fitness techniques! Attendees are invited to participate in a short series of exercises at Cragun’s indoor pool. Demonstrations will include Aqua Zumba, Aqua Tabata, Stand Up Paddle Board Yoga and more! Instructors will share the unique benefits of each exercise in an effort to take ideas back to your community. You are not required to be in the pool, and should you choose to participate, your hair will not get wet!


This session will present strategies that can be easily applied to assist employees in their professional and personal growth, and job-related motivation. Specific attention will be placed on goal-setting, increasing intrinsic motivation, reward selection, and related leadership strategies. Participants will also receive information on how to make coaching sessions shorter and results-focused. Ideas will be shared regarding coaching “homework” and the determination of “will vs. skill” for the less than successful employee. Examples of research results, assessment tools and management strategies will be distributed.


• More than 70 vendors are expected to attend the 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 • Participate in the new laser tag tournament • Hors d’oeuvres and refreshments


• Prizes

4:15 P.M. - 5:30 P.M.

Knowledge On Tap Come and participate in an interactive discussion with some of the most seasoned veterans in our industry. This moderated panel will describe the following factors impacting their lives and careers: • Significant early life experiences that led to a parks and recreation career; • Influential mentors; • Professional accomplishments; and • Commentary of parks and recreation as an area of human service.

6:00 P.M. - 8:30 P.M.

80th Anniversary Banquet Join us for the evening as selected members tell their stories about MRPA’s 80 years, and the impact the Association and its members has had on them and the parks and recreation industry in Minnesota. The evening will include networking opportunities, dinner, and music to make this an event you won’t want to miss. This is a business casual event.


Don’t underestimate the importance of what you do. For what you do today may seem unsubstantial, but to some, it may be the most impactful experience in their life. Jason Eisold City of St. Louis Park

8:30 A.M. - 9:45 A.M. CREATING IMPLEMENTABLE AND LASTING CHANGE THROUGH COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT Antonio Rosell & Kadence Hampton, Community Design Group Inc.

How is community engagement useful for project development and implementation? How can we expand stakeholder participation in order to enrich the solutions that will improve our communities? How can we build participation frameworks that provide continuing engagement beyond a project’s conclusion? Robust community engagement harnesses the imagination of all participants and provides a solid foundation for a project’s success. Join our noted planning and design professionals for a hands-on experience to learn some fun and interesting community engagement strategies to aid you in your future project.

INCLUSIVE AND COLLABORATIVE APPROACH TO DESIGN Lydia Major, Principal Landscape Architect, LHB, Inc.

Participants will discuss approaches to community engagement that are both inclusive and collaborative. These approaches can positively impact design and decision making. Join us to learn more about this effective philosophy and how to utilize sets of tools that will work well in a variety of settings.


KIDS RACE SERIES Molly Pietruszewski, Recreation Supervisor, City of Cottage Grove; Elizabeth Owens, Recreation Specialist, Woodbury Parks & Recreation

Just add MUD! Cottage Grove and Woodbury Parks and Recreation have successfully run a kids race series the last two years. We want to share with you what we’ve learned. The Mud Run is our most popular event; not to be understated by a Night Glo Run and a Duathlon (run and bike). Add a local sponsor with great advertising by two neighboring communities, and a rec staff with a passion for GOING BIG and we have a winner.

Jamie Cassidy, Director, City of Becker; Jamie Polley, Director, Shakopee Parks & Recreation; Chris Esser, Director, City of South Saint Paul; Eric Anderson, Assistant Recreation DirectorFacilities, Owatonna Parks & Recreation


Join us for a panel presentation to learn more about the Did You Know (DYK) program. The panel will lead a discussion highlighting success stories on what is working. We will highlight best practices for creating informative and meaningful fact statements; finding time to effectively implement and unleash this program, and discovering opportunities for collaboration and growth. The panel will also introduce DYK icons related to the different areas of interest facts are placed in. These icons are designed to aid in telling our stories.

New programs can give your community members new experiences and memories. Come hear how the City of Brooklyn Park Zanewood Recreation Center’s Build Your Own Skateboard program not only had teens building their own mode of transportation, but also taught them lifelong lessons along the way! New Initiative Grant information will also be available. Start thinking of programs you may want to try and take advantage of this grant opportunity through the Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation.

Brooklyn Park Recreation & Parks

MRPA CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FORM EARLY BIRD DEADLINE: AUGUST 15, 2017 • REGISTER ONLINE AT MNRPA.ORG First Name_________________________________________ Last Name_________________________________________________________ Title______________________________________________ Organization_______________________________________________________ Address___________________________________________ City______________________________ State______________ Zip____________ Phone____________________________________________ Fax_______________________________________________________________ Email_____________________________________________ Website___________________________________________________________ Special Accommodations_______________________________________________________________________________________________ Payment Method:

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Until Aug. 15

After Aug. 15

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Wednesday - Friday


































Tuesday Pre-Conference Institute - Friday



2-Person Team

Shirt Size

































Please note any food allergies or dietary needs. We have tried to incorporate healthy eating throughout the menu selections. Meals included for each day: Wednesday and Thursday - continental breakfast, lunch, and dinner; and Friday - full breakfast.


Cancellations accepted through August 28, 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.

PLEASE SUBMIT PAYMENT TO: MRPA 200 Charles Street NE Fridley, MN 55432 Fax: 763.571.5204


Cragun’s Resort and Conference Center 11000 Craguns Drive Brainerd, MN 56401 MRPA has reserved room blocks available. Ask for the MRPA rate when making your reservation. Room Rate: $117.04/night plus tax


MRPA Members on the Road By Gretchen Blank

The MRPA Editorial Board recently suggested adding a “human interest” article to the back page of the magazine. In each issue, we will feature an article from a member that tells a parks and recreation story from his or her life. We hope you enjoy this newest addition to the magazine! Denali, Alaska, July 2015

Long time MRPA member, Eric Blank, has been taking motorcycle trips on his Harley for over 15 years. His wife, Gretchen, and/or good friend Mark Peterson (also MRPA members), have accompanied him on many of those trips. In February 2016, Eric fulfilled his dream of riding in all 50 states with a ride on the big island of Hawaii. He has also ridden in eight Canadian Provinces.

More recently, they have gone on two memorable longer trips. The first was to Acadia National Park on the northern Maine coastline. That trip included stops at Mackinac Island, Ottawa, Montreal, Quebec City, and St. John, camping most nights. The highlight of that trip for Eric was a ride up Mt. Washington in New Hampshire with 20-percent grades, including the last couple miles on gravel.

In the early years, Gretchen and Eric made short weekend trips to Amana Colonies, Viroqua, Galena, Milwaukee, Ely, and Sturgis, for Bike Week (nine times).

The second memorable trip was to Alaska in 2015. They rode to Seattle to put the Harley on a barge to Seward. They took a train to Vancouver, then cruised the Inland Passage to pick up the bike. From Seward they rode to

Anchorage, Denali National Park, Fairbanks and North Pole, Alaska with several side trips to see glaciers, elk, grizzlies, salmon runs, bald eagles, whales and more. From there they headed through the Yukon traveling 100 miles of road construction on a cold rainy day before hitting blacktop. All told, the ride was 7,114 miles. Eric has also ridden to Santa Rosa, Calif. and Tampa, Fla., to play in hockey tournaments and to Texas and New York with Mark Peterson for the fun of it. They also rode Route 66 from St. Louis, Mo., to Santa Monica Pier, Calif.

MRPA FLASHBACK From an issue of the 1994 Keeping Up Anyone remember buying the Kirby Puckett Bar?

Summer 2017 • MINNESOTA Recreation and Parks 43


• Inclusive/Accessible Playgrounds • Play Surfacing • Inspections by CPSI • Relocation/Repair • Exercise/Strength Training • Sport Courts • Shade/Shelter/ Site Furnishings

www.UltimatePlaygrounds.com (612) 460-PLAY • Andrew@UltimatePlaygrounds.com Based in Eden Prairie

Profile for Pernsteiner Creative Group, Inc.

Minnesota Recreation & Park Magazine - Summer 2017  

Minnesota, recreation, park, parks, playgrounds, play, facilities, sports, athletics, conference, nature, aquatics, water, accessibility

Minnesota Recreation & Park Magazine - Summer 2017  

Minnesota, recreation, park, parks, playgrounds, play, facilities, sports, athletics, conference, nature, aquatics, water, accessibility