Indiana Park & Recreation Association the Fall/Winter 2015
Inside this Issue
2016 IPRA Conference Preview Edition Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Indiana Park & Recreation Association 1235 Central Park Drive East Carmel, Indiana 46032 P.O. Box 3906 Carmel, Indiana 46082 317.573.4035 ph www.inpra.org web
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Advertisers 2 Rundell Ernstberger Associates 3 Miracle Midwest
5 Lester Recreation Designs, LLC
Inside this issue 5 Leadership Team 7 From the Executive Director 9 From the President
Articles and Photographs to: IPRA, The Profile P.O. Box 3906 Carmel, Indiana 46082 317.573.4035 ph firstname.lastname@example.org email
6 Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf
10 RJ Thomas Manufacturing
18 2016 IPRA Conference
13 Ratio Architects
24 Golf Courses Under the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department Umbrella
Spring Content Deadline - February 2 March Distribution Summer Content Deadline - June 1 July Distribution Fall/Winter Content Deadline - September 1 October Distribution
Lisa Nye Ford email@example.com
Lisa Nye Ford firstname.lastname@example.org
7 IU Executive Dev. Program 8 Context
8 Norwalk Concrete Industries 9 Lehman & Lehman
12 Playworld Midstates
16 Butler, Fairman, Seufer
16 Countryside Play Structures
17 PEN - Career Focused Reentry 28 Spear Corporation 29 Renosys
34 Cornerstone 35 Parkreation
13 Fall Membership Retreat 14 From LIttle-Used to Most-Used
and Community Asset Central Park, Downtown Mishawaka
20 Conference Education Sessions
26 Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN) Introduces Nature Play Days 2016 27 2016 IPRA Conference Update
32 Leisure Pool & Spa Supply Inc. 34 The Arsh Group, Inc.
11 Where Are They Now
30 The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department 33 District and Section News 34 2016 IPRA Event Calendar
36 Musco Sports Lighting
PEN - Career Focused Reentry 317.955.6800 penproducts.com Photos used from: Bing.com stock photo, Columbus.org & Carmel Clay Parks and Recreation
The Profile was printed by PEN - Career Focused Reentry
A Division of the Indiana Department of Correction.
The Indiana Park & Recreation Association advances healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship by providing education, professional development, resources and advocacy. follow us on facebook at: Indiana Park & Recreation Association follow us on twitter at: INParkandRec 4 theProfile
The Indiana Park & Recreation Association is the premier source of support and advancement for parks and recreation providers.
2015 IPRA Board of Directors and Executive Committee Board of Directors President Mike Hoffmeister Noblesville Parks & Recreation MHoffmeister@noblesville.in.us
Central District Nikki Montembeault Washington Township Parks email@example.com
President-Elect Becky Barrick-Higgins Bloomington Parks & Recreation firstname.lastname@example.org
Southern District Jim Lemke Columbus Parks & Recreation email@example.com
Past President Philip Parnin Brownsburg Parks & Recreation firstname.lastname@example.org
NRTG Board Representative Adam Grossman Vigo County Parks & Recreation email@example.com
Northern District Mark Heintz Town of Dyer firstname.lastname@example.org
Aquatics Board Representative Mike Clendenen New Haven-Adams Township Park & Recreation email@example.com
Recreation & Programming Representative Jessica Costello Munster Parks & Recreation firstname.lastname@example.org Vendor Representative Ryan Cambridge Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf email@example.com Ex-Offico Member Lisa Nye Ford Indiana Park & Recreation Association firstname.lastname@example.org Young Professional Travis Tranbarger, Brownsburg Parks & Recreation email@example.com
Executive Committee Chair Mike Hoffmeister, President Noblesville Parks & Recreation Members Becky Barrick-Higgins Bloomington Parks & Recreation Philip Parnin Brownsburg Parks & Recreation Will Lacey Danville Parks & Recreation Amber Mink Fishers Parks & Recreation Ryan Cambridge Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf Ex-Offico Lisa Nye Ford Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
From the Executive Director It’s hard to believe that summer is behind us and the IPRA conference is approaching much more quickly than we’d like to admit.
As I approach my one year anniversary as your executive director I smile, because it’s an exciting time to be a part of this organization. We embark upon our 100th anniversary year in 2016 and change continues to be the theme. We’re fortunate to have many people freely sharing their ideas and vision of the path that IPRA needs to take to become more dynamic and vibrant, both to members and the community. We have enthusiastic and motivated leaders who are focused on creating better ways to be relevant to members. Some of the changes in progress are: The IPRA website and member directory - By the time this magazine reaches you we will have launched our
new website. As we assessed some of the challenges the organization faces, the website was certainly a big one as it was stagnant and not appealing for users. The new site is much more dynamic. Each of the photos on the site is from an IPRA member agency, so the site really is representative of who we are. The old site didn’t allow facilitated discussions among members, blogs on the new site have changed this. If you are facing a dilemma and could use feedback from the group, simply post your question in the blog and allow other members to lend advice. The member directory is much easier to use as well. Don’t forget to go update your profile in the new system. What’s Up Wednesday - our weekly e-newsletter gets both a facelift AND a new name. Check out IPRA Insights for timely information, news and articles, or the week’s member spotlight. Professional Development • We have completed the first in our monthly webinar series and have another right around the corner. The webinar series will be archived,
available on-demand and accessible from our website for IPRA members. • District and section events will see changes in 2016 as well. A Professional Development Committee will be assembled, and they will be tasked with utilizing training requests and suggestions to create a comprehensive and balanced calendar of educational offerings that will be delivered statewide to facilitate both learning and networking. • And, watch for the new 6-part leadership series on target to begin in late March. If you are interested in giving your thoughts on the curriculum, please drop me an email. • Annual Conference – WOW, is it going to be great! I don’t want to spoil the many surprises that the Committee has planned, but I am confident in saying that you will like the new format and activities. And, you will see plenty of new faces, particularly in the expo hall where we have many new vendors who haven’t been to the IPRA event in the past. Don’t forget that professional development scholarships are available to cover the registration fees – you can apply online from our website. Membership - 2016 will be IPRA’s centennial year. What better way to celebrate than by looking back at all the incredible people who built this organization and honoring them by focusing on strong member benefits that enable you to continue promoting the critical importance of healthy life styles and environmental stewardship.
EXECUTIVE DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM INDIANA UNIVERSITY
School of Public Health Bloomington
I look forward to seeing each of you at the IPRA conference in January, and kicking off the next 100 years! Lisa Nye Ford, Executive Director Indiana Park & Recreation Association
April 17-20, 2016 Register Today. For more information: www.iuedp.org or (812) 856-1068 Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Norwalk Concrete Industries
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From the President Hello IPRA! 2015 is slowly coming to an end as is my time as your president. IPRA staff, your Board of Directors, Executive Committee, Foundation and Conference Committee have been working hard to continue moving IPRA forward. We have a very progressive group of leaders and we hope that all membership notices this. The Fall Membership Retreat was held at Bradford Woods on September 23-24. Thank you to those that came out! A new format to this program allowed members to feel refreshed with the change; a true retreat atmosphere. Participants were educated on the topics of PCI compliance, the American with Disabilities Act and The Affordable Care Act. All topics that we deal with on a regular basis. IPRA leadership also presented upcoming changes to the association (more on this later). Check the IPRA Facebook page for pictures and videos of some of our members zip-lining!
Be sure to check out the information about our 2016 Annual Conference and Expo Hall later in this issue.
also to non-members. IPRA attendance at section and district meetings has been disappointing at times, conference has been run the same way for years and members should also not have the same programs or events to choose from. For years, we’ve had the same events; Conference, Carb Day, Fall Retreat, Conference, Carb Day, Fall Retreat, etc. In order to become more relevant, we have to increase member benefits. Members should get MORE for their money. We plan on introducing a new leadership series, a comprehensive professional development calendar, continue the Eppley/IPRA webinar series, shore up our existing publication, the Profile, and introduce new digital and print guides such as a Buyer’s Guide and Park Guide. IPRA Staff have also been working diligently to provide a more usable and better looking website with better member features such as a database, blogs and forums.
Committee and Board of Directors about some proposed By-Law changes. The bylaws state that if they’re passed by the Executive Committee and Board of Directors, membership must be given 10-days’ notice prior to the annual meeting (at conference). We hope to give more than that. Our plan is to provide membership with a review period that will allow for comments, concerns and questions. You will see emails about this coming out in late November/ early December. We want to hear from YOU, the members! This is not ME, Mr. President making change because I want to. This is IPRA LEADERSHIP trying to make IPRA the formidable organization that it once was, and we need your help.
Additionally, the Executive Board presented at the Fall Retreat to membership and the Executive
Mike Hoffmeister, 2015 IPRA President firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope that you’ll all participate in upcoming IPRA events, attend the conference and participate in discussion with IPRA leadership about the proposed changes. I am very excited about where IPRA is going and the potential we have to make IPRA great.
Award submissions are open and will be through November 15th. If you’re interested in submitting, visit the website for information and the submission form. But, please pay close attention as the awards have changed for 2016! And, award recipients must be present to win! Registration for delegates will also be open very soon. Becky Barrick-Higgins, IPRA President Elect and Conference Committee Chair and her conference committee team have done a great job and plans to “shake things up” at this conference. We hope you’ll join us. Finally the Executive Board of IPRA (President, President-Elect and Past President) along with the IPRA staff, have presented some changes to membership at the Fall Retreat as well as to the Executive Committee and Board of Directors. These changes include increased member benefits and professional development opportunities. IPRA has to become more relevant within the state to its own members but Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Where Are They Now By Vicki J. Mayes
What do you want to be when you grow up? Not many of us knew about parks and recreation as a profession when we were kids. I was interested in theater, business and finance, biology, education and history. But parks and recreation?! In the early 70’s I became the County-wide 4-H Leader in Brown County. At a 4-H Roundup at Purdue during that time, I met Dr. Gordon Jones who was an inspiring presenter AND who had a PhD in Parks and Recreation. I had found my path. What is great is that all of those early interests have been extremely useful as a parks and recreation professional. I have worked at every level of government (town, county, city, special district, state) except the federal level. With an undergraduate degree from Indiana University in Parks and Recreation Administration and having completed an internship with Indiana State Parks, I started my first professional level position with Bloomington Parks and Recreation as Special Programs Coordinator. It was a dream job for me because of the variety of programming - outdoor recreation, special events, cultural arts and special populations. Then I moved up as Recreation Director and eventually as Assistant Director. I was with Bloomington Parks from 1984 to 1995. It was an awesome experience with an outstanding parks and recreation system, professionals who were leaders in the field, with university connections and in a progressive community. Before I left Bloomington, I completed a Masters degree from IU SPEA in Public Administration. In 1995, I had the opportunity to go to Indy Parks during a period of rapid growth and renewal. My initial job there was as Magnet Parks Manager with responsibility for all the parks and recreation facilities that were revenue producing. Soon after, I moved into the position of Assistant Director with responsibility for regional parks, magnet parks, golf, recreation and marketing. Indy Parks was working in some cutting edge areas during that exciting time. Then it was on to another university community in 1997 as the Superintendent of the Lafayette Parks and Recreation Department. Lafayette Parks was also in a period of change and renewal. During my time there we made improvements
to every park in the system, built trails, renovated the city’s recreation center, began plans to renovate the Columbian Park Zoo, added additional park land and built a signature family aquatic center Tropicanoe Cove. Jumping across state lines, I went to the Urbana Park District in 2004 as the Executive Director of the district. Urbana is home to the University of Illinois another wonderful university community. The district was one with capped property taxes. In 2009 and in 2011, with overwhelming support of the voters, the district passed two rate increase referenda. The first one in 2009 was for 15 cents and was dedicated to renewing parks, maintaining current levels of service and constructing a new operations and maintenance facility. The second one in 2011 was for 11 cents and was dedicated to designing, constructing and maintaining a new family aquatic center in Crystal Lake Park.
Professional Award in 1994 and a Distinguished Life Member in 2014. Now I have an occasional opportunity to work with park systems on special projects.
My advice to current professionals is stay current with trends, be involved in professional associations, read the newspaper cover to cover every day and care about people. Every day I worked with remarkable professionals and committed citizen advocates. Every day I was able to get up and know that I would help someone have the best day of their life - a memory day. That is what gives me the passion for parks and recreation.
During my career, I have been involved with more than $75,000,000 of improvements to parks and recreation facilities. This has included renovation of 7 pools, development of 6 family aquatic centers well as an operations and maintenance facility and dozens of playgrounds. Some of the recreation programs that I am proudest of are implementing the Brown County 4-H Fair, The Enchanted Forest, Kid City Day Camp, a youth leadership training and employment program, SPLASH (Students Playing and Learning After School Hours), Workreation, Jazz Walk and Urbana’s 100th Anniversary Chautauqua. A very important component of all of these projects and programs was active citizen involvement - one of the things that I enjoy the most about being in this field. In April of 2014, I retired and moved back to Indiana to be close to family. The opportunity to serve as interim director of IPRA came about and I am pleased to have served the association in this important manner. I was a member of IPRA throughout my professional time in Indiana. I was active on with legislation and trails committees, instrumental in passing Indiana’s Recreational Users Act and served on the Board. I was President in 1996, received the IPRA Outstanding Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Fall Membership Retreat IPRA was excited to host another Fall Membership Retreat on September 23 & 24, 2015. The location of the event was held at Bradford Woods in Bloomington Indiana. We learned about risk management and compliance with federal and state regulations. The topics that were covered were; • The Affordable Care Act • The Americans with Disabilities Act updates • PCI Compliance • EMV compliance Along with the many education sessions we hosted: there was time to participate in zip lining, grilling out and having a campfire. Thank you to Miracle Midwest and Snider Recreation for sponsoring the event. We hope everyone had fun at look forward to next year’s retreat!
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
From Little-Used to Most-Used Park and Community Asset Central Park, Downtown Mishawaka Submitted By: Lehman & Lehman and Recreation inSites
If you’ve been to downtown Mishawaka, Indiana recently, you probably noticed quite a bit of buzz around the revitalized Central Park. There is a new energy in the air, children’s laughter and beautiful green spaces have now replaced what has historically been a place that many have avoided for years. The Mayor of Mishawaka, Dave Wood, described the former Central Park as being a place his grandparents forbid him to go when he was younger due to safety reasons. This past summer, the City of Mishawaka, along with Mayor Dave Wood, welcomed excited citizens for a community ribboncutting at the newly re-designed Central Park. Located in close proximity to the downtown and adjacent to the St. Joseph River and the Mishawaka RiverWalk, Central Park encompasses diverse activity areas including active athletics (tennis and basketball courts), three (3) play areas, a new splash pad with a programmable interactive and illuminated fountain, climbing tower, large open event lawn surrounded by a multipurpose walk, comfort station, and five (5) rental pavilions. This $5 million renovation was financed by Tax Incremental Funding (TIF) and is becoming an economic catalyst for the City and providing the citizens of Mishawaka with a community park, in which all would feel safe. As one of the City of Mishawaka’s oldest parks, (Est. 1937), the initial infrastructure was completed between 1939-1941 (and was part of the WPA program). The park was left unchanged until 1976 when a $140,000 renovation was completed with the addition of three (3) lighted tennis courts and a renovated drive. In 2005 new playground equipment was added, but use of the park had declined. In planning for the recent re-design, Mayor Wood stated his desire for this park to be designed as a “city-wide destination family park,” adding, “We view each one of our parks as unique. 14 theProfile
Central Park, with its location adjacent to the river, history as a company picnic area, connection to the RiverWalk system and close proximity to the downtown, dictated a more significant investment than just replacing the play equipment. We look at our parks along the river and the RiverWalk as a string of pearls…each one different, but contributing to the greater system.”
One of the more significant elements was the Central Park Playground. The design team at Lehman & Lehman knew that a playground of this magnitude had to be innovative and out of the norm. They chose to work with a company named KOMPAN, represented by Recreation inSites, LLC. KOMPAN is known for leading the world in innovation and providing equipment that is designed appropriately for each age group.
In 2014 the City of Mishawaka commissioned Lehman & Lehman with a limited work scope to locate a new playground structure that had been purchased but was in storage for over a year. Through the planning process Lehman encouraged the City to consider a bigger planning picture that resulted in an overall site master plan. With the newly developed Hospice Center adjacent to Central Park a new vision had been cast for this important river front area.
Improving the Quality of Life for the citizens of Mishawaka was a key planning value for the play areas where play equipment can be both challenging and beneficial in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Lehman & Lehman, along with Recreation inSites, set a goal of providing a unique and challenging play space that allowed children of all ages to use their bodies in new ways, explore, innovate, and learn through play. As a result, various unique play structures were selected to challenge children in a number of ways. This playground is not the typical post and platform type of playground with just slides and swings but rather a playground that challenges children and adults to work on their agility, balance and coordination. With these weight-bearing activities, children will increase their muscle strength through pushing and pulling. Their core will be engaged and challenged. Children will work together, challenge themselves to be faster, improve their endurance, and strength. Children will naturally make up games that encourage positive competition and compromise. Through this type of play, children will learn to listen, share and problem solve while playing on the playground.
Lehman & Lehman was the lead consultant of a talented project team including DLZ and Lawson-Fisher Associates as the driving force for the revitalization of Central Park. Throughout the park design process consideration was made for connections, both physically and socially. While the RiverWalk connects the community, the amenities at Central Park were anticipated to bring the community together with features such as the pavilions – one of which has a four-sided fireplace – for family and company gatherings; the large open lawn area for passive recreation and fireworks viewing; and the interactive, illuminated fountain with water cannons (using re-circulated and filtered water), which is undoubtedly the most popular place in town on warm summer days!
Nearly all the components of the playground focus on a 360-degree play philosophy. Children can start playing at any area and then are able to dictate their pathway. Transparency is key to this playground as well. Almost all the
From LIttle-Used to Most-Used... continued equipment allows for parental visualization from nearly every area within the playground. With the use of playground tiles, an accessible route is provided throughout all the playground areas. Central Park’s playground features equipment like the Giant Octanet and the Crystal Sphere. Currently, this is the only playground in North America to feature both of these Corocord structures. With an overall height of 28 feet tall, the Giant Octanet is an impressive and inviting climbing structure (“tallest climbing tower this side of the Mississippi”). With its impressive stature, the Giant Octanet can be seen from across the RiverWalk, inviting people to come play. The large playground features the Cirque. The Cirque allows for meeting points that all children will find enjoyable and challenging play options. The accessible stairways comply with the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), providing access to elevated activities. This structure has exits close to the entry points – a clear advantage for wheelchair users. The Cirque supports traditional playground games such as “grounder” by ensuring that all activities are interconnected. Children can enjoy several of the spinning elements located on the main playground, ride the rails on the Miram that simulates being on a skateboard and enjoy slides, swings, and so much more. There is also a crawl tunnel along with traditional swings and slides, all on an accessible safety surface. In maintaining the historic style featured along the RiverWalk, the named pavilions (carrying the names of former industries of Mishawaka), the entry arch, and the comfort station feature cobbled stones and metal roofs that give a modern feeling of the historic Works Progress Administration projects of 70-plus years ago that still exist in certain places throughout the city. The comfort station has five familysized bathrooms and houses all the computerized mechanical, electrical and plumbing components of the fountain and park lighting. For safety, the bathrooms are programmed to automatically lock at 10 p.m. daily, and for efficiency, have occupation sensors. The park connects Mishawaka Avenue on the north to the RiverWalk with almost half a mile of newly paved walkways. The existing pedestrian bridge over the
St. Joseph River was highlighted as a part of this project with new LED lighting that has programming to change colors. This has become a new “art form” for the river. Along Mishawaka Avenue the center focus is a relocated statue of Christopher Columbus. Future plans include considerations for concession stand / food trucks, zip line, and skate park. The composition of each of Central Park’s components enhances the park to create one the most unique play experiences in the state of Indiana. The revitalization of Central Park, its playground, shelters, activities and places have allowed this park to become a destination point for Mishawaka’s citizens and those of the surrounding communities. No longer a place to avoid, Central Park is now a place where great memories are made each day.
The Planning Team: Lehman & Lehman, Inc. (Mishawaka, Indiana), Lead Designer, Landscape Architects | Planners | Placemakers DLZ Indiana (South Bend, IN), Architects Lawson-Fisher Associates, PC (South Bend, IN), Civil Engineers Ziolkowski Construction, Inc. (South Bend, IN), General Contractor Kompan–Recreation inSites, LLC (Fishers, IN), Playground Vendor Porter Corp. (Holland, MI), Shelter Vendor Fountain Technologies (Wheeling, IL), Fountain Designers Fairweather Site Furnishings (Port Orchard, WA), Site Furnishings
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Committed to Park Needs and Improvements
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Indiana Park & Recreation Association
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2016 Conference Bloomington, Indiana
January 13-15, 2016
Accommodations & Conference Information Courtyard Bloomington - Marriott 310 S. College Ave., Bloomington $114 per night Reserve your room at: www.inpra.org/hotel-information Last day to reserve a room is Dec. 10, 2015 Conference events will be held at the adjacent Bloomington Monroe County Convention Center.
Conference Highlights 4 Cam Sholly, Midwest Regional Director for
the National Park Service as our keynote speaker.
4 A new conference schedule allowing
participants the opportunity to attend the awards banquet on Wednesday evening.
4 Socials including networking experiences
for new conference attendees.
4 A face lift for our award categories. 4 A new look in the expo hall adding
a lounge area.
For the first time, pre-conference sessions 4 Monday and Tuesday on Strengths Based Leadership, Integrating Public Health into the Master Planning Process, CPR/AED/ First Aid Certification, and Stewards of Children training.
Conference Schedule Tuesday, January 12th 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm Pre-Conference Sessions (separate registration required) CPR / First Aid / AED - Part 1 • Parks and Community Health Wednesday,
8:30 am - 11:00 am Pre-Conference Sessions (separate registration required) CPR / First Aid / AED - Part 2 • Strengths Based Leadership • Stewards of Children 11:00 am - 11:30 am Section Meetings 11:30 am - 12:00 pm District Meetings
12:00 pm Board Meeting 1:00 pm - 1:15 pm IPRA Annual Meeting
1:15 pm - 2:00 pm Keynote Address Cam Sholly, National Park Service
2:15 pm - 3:30 pm Education Sessions
3:45 pm - 5:00 pm Education Sessions
5:15 pm - 6:00 pm New Member / First Time Attendee Reception
6:00 pm - 6:30 pm Awards Dinner Cocktail Hour
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm Awards Dinner
8:00 pm Hospitality Room
Thursday, January 14th
6:00 am - 10:00 am Expo Hall Setup
9:00 am - 10:15 am Education Sessions
10:15 am - 10:45 am Refreshment Break in Expo Hall 10:45 am - 12:00 pm Education Sessions
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm Lunch Served in Expo Hall
1:30 pm - 2:45 pm Education Sessions
2:45 pm - 3:30 pm Expo Hall Activity & Networking Break
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm Education Sessions
5:00 pm - 6:00 pm Vendor Social in Expo Hall
6:00 pm - 9:00 pm Dinner on your own
9:00 pm - 11:00 pm Evening Social
Friday, January 15th
8:00 am - 9:00 am Expo Hall Breakfast
9:00 am - 10:15 am Education Sessions
10:15 am - 10:45 am Refreshment / Activity Break in Expo Hall 10:45 am - 12:00 pm Education Sessions
11:00 am Expo Hall Dismantle
12:00 pm See you next year!
Keynote Speaker Cam Sholly Charting the Next 100: Leveraging the power of collaboration, innovation, and effective decision making. Key themes: • Relevancy in the 21st Century– New Generations of Expectations– Are You Ready? • 21st Century Civic Engagement: Taking Our Partnerships to New Levels • Leveraging the Power of conservation, Recreation, and Economics By David Hendee, World-Herald staff writer The National Park Service’s new Midwest Region director brings extensive law enforcement and military experience to the Omaha headquarters. Regional Director Sholly oversees about 60 national park units in 13 states and a workforce of more than 2,000 employees. He replaces Mike Reynolds, who left Omaha to become an associate director in the Washington, D.C., headquarters. Sholly has served as the associate director for the Park Service’s visitor and resource protection office since 2012. From 2009 to 2012, Sholly was superintendent of the Natchez Trace Parkway in Mississippi, where he managed the eighth most-visited Park Service unit in the country. From 2005 to 2009, Sholly was deputy associate director for visitor and resource protection in the Washington headquarters. From 2002 to 2005, he was chief of ranger operations in Yosemite National Park. He started his Park Service career at Yellowstone National Park in 1990. Sholly is an Army veteran and was deployed to Operation Desert Storm. He is also a six-year veteran of the California Highway Patrol. He received a master’s degree from Duke University in environmental management and a bachelor’s degree from St. Mary’s College of California in management.
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Conference Education Sessions The Power of Placemaking; Increasing Economic Development, Social Capital, and Community Resiliency through the Design Process Ryan Cambridge, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf This session seeks to better define and emphasize the value - both social and economic - of the process of "placemaking" within the realm of parks and recreation design and planning. The speaker will define what a placemaking-based process looks like, why it is important, and how it benefits both the owner and the community. In addition, the speaker will explore a variety of "lighter-quicker-cheaper" placemaking resources and strategies, and present case studies which correlate placeled initiatives to community-wide economic development by reconnecting "economy" with "community." Get Your Community Working With You– The Power of Advocacy Lori Hoffner, Supporting CommUnity, Inc. Non-profits, government agencies and organizations depending on the support of the community for success understand the importance of establishing and maintaining a positive relationship of trust. In this program we'll explore ways that staff, Board of Directors, stakeholders and champions of your organization can help you create a relationship with your community to share information, creating stronger and more invested users that will ultimately encourage financial support and help move your mission forward. Preparing for the CPRP Exam: Strategies, Tips and Practice Julie Knapp, Indiana University Learn and understand why and how the CPRP exam was created while exploring the format and structure of the exam. This session will identify study material for exam preparation and help participants apply practical tips for taking the CPRP exam. Counting What Counts: Using Data to Drive Real Change Bobbi Nance, Park District of Oak Park Data is often seen as the quickest way to drive innovation, increase productivity, and gain a competitive advantage. And while all of that is true, without a sound strategy, data collection and measurement can also paralyze staff, waste time, and cause leaders to make poor decisions. Ensure that your team is really measuring what matters and view examples of successful strategies while learning how to avoid common mistakes. Is Your Local Park Foundation Successful? Donald Ortale, National Association of Park Foundations Park Foundations or Friends of the Park Groups are becoming more important in the process of enhancing the park experience for LOCAL Park Districts or local Park Departments throughout the country. This session will explore the common components of a successful Park Foundation and the strategies that will help start or strengthen a LOCAL Park Foundation.
The 13% Club Jamie Sabbach, 110%, Inc. Fact: only 13% of organizations across all sectors see their strategic initiatives implemented. As with most planning efforts, hundreds of hours of work and loads of cash result in wordy, static documents that find their way to a shelf near you in preparation of years of dust and decay. These planning efforts tend to be neither motivating nor engaging. While this all sounds grim, planning processes can be vastly improved by employing some common sense methods that are proven to ensure that your agency belongs to the 13% Club. Inside the Newsroom: Getting Better Media Coverage Ken Conklin, Clarksville Parks and Recreation Let's face it, Marketing and Promotion is not only expensive, it can also be time consuming. Getting coverage in the newspaper or on the local news is great, but many times it is hard to grab the attention of the media. In this session, former local News Producer Ken Conklin will take you inside the newsroom, and tell you how to break through the noise and get your message heard. I Caught My Staff on Facebook...and I Thanked Them! Andre Pichly, City of West Sacramento Parks & Recreation The purpose of this session is to demonstrate how West Sacramento Parks & Recreation uses social media to engage its customers using a strategic team approach to social media management. The session will include examples on the types of posts that get responses, will explain the benefits of a team approach vs. having one person in charge of all social media, and will review other social networks that are being used in West Sacramento to increase both emotional connections and revenue. A Mile Wide and an Inch Deep Jamie Sabbach, 110%, Inc. A perpetual interest in providing something for everyone has resulted in quantity over quality and mediocre service delivery. Be among those premier agencies that have embraced the management changes necessary to put their agencies on the track to fiscal health, organizational well-being and a resilient future. Being the Change: Parks and Recreation and Community Health and Wellness Alison Miller, City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department Parks and Recreation plays a huge role in impacting the health and wellness of the community. Could you imagine a world without trails, parks, playgrounds, green space, and other recreational opportunities? Access to these basic amenities contributes to a vibrant, active community. Parks and Recreation departments have the opportunity to use their resources to weave a consistent message of balanced physical, social, mental, and emotional health and wellness throughout the community. In this session we will explore partnerships, programs, initiatives and policies that can successfully be implemented.
Conference Education Sessions An ADA Overview for the Parks & Recreation Professional Alice Voigt, National Center on Accessibility The Americans with Disabilities Act celebrated its 25th anniversary in July 2015. This session will provide an overview of the latest updates to the ADA and its key principles that guarantee people with disabilities equal access to the programs, activities, and services offered through parks and recreation entities. Attendees will learn what qualifies as a disability and the difference between the requirements for program access and physical access. Recent DOJ regulations regarding service animals and other power-driven mobility devices will be addressed. Additionally, basic information on accessible features of recreational facilities, including sports facilities, playgrounds, and swimming pools, will be covered. Move more, sit less, be well! Carol Kennedy-Armbruster, Indiana University Recent research on sitting time, a changing work environment, and lack of functional movement application into traditional movement experiences can be a contributing factor to our health. How do we get our recreation departments to "move more, sit less, be well?" An IU faculty member and graduate student will present information on IU's effort at encouraging employees to increase movement throughout the day. Staff Communication; Control, Filters and Perception Lori Hoffner, Supporting CommUnity, Inc. The way you communicate greatly influences the outcome of a conversation. What you say and when and how you say it determines the conversation’s success or failure. Our communication is continually influenced by individual filters. Those filters are established by many different factors, one of the most prevalent these days is the generational filter, developed in the process of socialization and experiences. These filters crucially affect communication and interaction. We will discuss multiple communication models, helping you determine what will be the most successful approach for you. Victims, Research and Revenue: How Experiential Education can Combat Bullying in a Parks Program Walter Lenckos, Porter County Parks and Recreation This session will review and discuss an ongoing joint research project between Saqui Research, Inc. and the Porter County Parks and Recreation Department. The project seeks to determine whether or not a low ropes course experience and associated social assets development curriculum can reduce the impact and occurrence of bullying in middle school students. Invasive Species Management Jacob Bannister, Davey Resource Group Generally, a park contains multiple plant communities with various needs and managing invasive plants or pests can be difficult. The audience will gain a better understanding of invasive plants and pests in Indiana. The objectives of this session are to identify invasive plants and pests, recognize the potential concern within park plant communities, and manage the particular invasive most effectively. Plant communities discussed will include trees, woodlands, prairies, wetlands, ponds, and lakes.
Nature Play at Any Park - Tools for Success Warren Gartner, Indiana DNR, Division of Fish and Wildlife Participants will be introduced to the phenomenon of "nature deficient disorder" and the consequences of children spending less time outdoors. Strategies for success in nature programming will be shared & breakout sessions will allow presenters to connect with participants in small groups to create a detailed plan showing how their park can identify partners, resources, & overcome challenges to host a Nature Play Day. This session is perfect for those new to nature programming at their facility and experienced nature programmers alike. Living the Brand Promise through Customer Service Andre Pichly, City of West Sacramento Parks & Recreation Your brand isn’t what you say it is, it’s what your customers say you are. Does your customer service reinforce your brand for better or worse? This session will give you the jump start for your own customer service program in this train-the-trainer session. Blue is the New Green: A Park's Perspective on Stormwater Lori Gates, Christopher B. Burke Engineering, LLC Why should a parks department be concerned about being good stewards of stormwater management? How can parks department staff actions cause your community to violate state stormwater laws? Come and see how the Tippecanoe County Partnership for Water Quality pooled resources to address these issues making water quality an important issue for their communities. Successes and Challenges in Managing White-Tailed Deer in Natural Areas in Urban and State Parks Mike Mycroft, Indiana DNR, Division of State Parks and Eric Knachmuhs, Indiana University Indiana State Parks began deer reductions in 1993 with a Overpopulation of white-tailed deer can result in damage to vegetation and habitat in both urban and state park natural areas. There are times when both types of parks system need to implement a management strategy to reduce their deer herd population. The City of Bloomington recently authorized the use of sharpshooters to reduce the size of its deer herd at a nature preserve. Indiana State Parks have been conducting annual reductions using a random drawing of public hunters for more than 20 years. This session will cover the methods used in these reductions and the successes and challenges with both management strategies. Public engagement strategies will also be discussed. Nature Programs for Your Park Dan Popiela, Hamilton County Parks All parks have open space. Whether it’s in a wooded trail or open, grassy field, it’s a place where people can find nature. These spaces can used by visitors to bird watch, identify trees or just explore. It does not take much to inspire and appreciate these natural or even landscaped, open spaces. Building this inspiration can be as simple as organizing a bird walk. However, here we’ll also go over a few organized activities or games that can be done in almost any park, can be very enjoyable for kids of all ages, and increase a patron’s appreciation for the park. Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Conference Education Sessions Busting Nature Myths! Amanda Smith, Hamilton County Parks and Recreation Providing encounters with nature is what we do, but sometimes we are faced with situations with nature and wildlife which we don't always have the right answers. The wrong information can not only contribute to an incorrect action, but it can feed fears and hurt the habitat we are charged with protecting. Programmers, Administration staff, and Maintenance staff will gain more knowledge from this fun and interactive session. Drones in Parks - Sinister or Amazing? Scott Black, InterDesign Architects Radio control aircraft have been around for many years. Recently however, new "drone" technology is on the market that allows anyone to inexpensively purchase and use one of these highly complex flying machines without any flight or safety training. Most pilots realize that they control a potentially dangerous flying machine that can hurt people, property or privacy. Others, look at drones as giant toys and your park airspace as their personal playground. In this session, we will introduce you to this subject and let you know what you should be concerned about. Telling Your Story: Operations and Maintenance Planning Jeffrey Bransford, PROS Consulting, LLC We all know that making prudent decisions should be based on sound and accurate data. However, does data matter? If so, what kinds of things are important to track and how do we do it? Additionally, what do we do with the information we do collect? This session will cover basic approaches to operations and maintenance planning and will provide a foundation for how you can tell your story! Jury Pool, A Success Story: How to Replace Your Aging Pool Mike Clendenen, New Haven-Adams Township Parks & Recreation Department Like many agencies, the New Haven-Adams Twp Parks & Recreation Dept was faced with replacing an aging aquatic facility that was a drain on their budget. Since reopening in 2011 Jury Pool has operated in the black and in 2015, which was the rainiest summer on record, attendance was at an all time high. This session will discuss steps in choosing a design, obtaining financing and managing operations. The Business of Maintenance Management Marissa Lambert, FacilityDude A vital component of a successful career is good communication. You need to be able to effectively communicate what you do day to day and share successes so that others in your organization understand how valuable you are. Administration doesn't always speak the "language" of the Parks & Recreation/Facilities Maintenance Department; this often leads to them misinterpreting your message. If you speak in their terms, communicating your needs and successes so they understand, then your chances of getting approval for requests is much higher.
2016 Technology: On Your Wrist or in the Air Above You! Chuck Lehman, Lehman & Lehman, Inc. As a continuation of the past several years' sessions on Technology the "techies" would like to focus the 2016 conference tech session on the latest in Wearable Hardware, Software and how Drones can be a benefit to your Department. Attention will be given to demonstrating the latest hardware and software and their applications in 2016 technology. Capital Asset Management Greg Sorrels, Department of Natural Resources This session will take participants on an arm chair tour of the State of Indiana, Department of Natural Resources Capital Asset Management process. Participants will learn the techniques used to develop capital projects, perform facility assessments and navigate the purchasing process through the integration into asset management. Graffiti - Maintenance Tips and Tactics Dave Williams, Bloomington Parks and Recreation A presentation on products, equipment, tools, and techniques utilized by the City of Bloomington for graffiti removal and control. Information will also be provided on effective deterrents, such as public art installations, and design considerations for construction. Organize Your Race Laurie Baumgartner, Bluffton Parks Department Hosting an endurance event such as a competitive 5k, fun run, theme run, triathlon, or bike tour can be rewarding and profitable for your organization. It is a great way to bring fun health and wellness events to your community. This session will outline steps to consider when planning, promoting, and executing your event. We will discuss timelines, checklists and event management activities including; defining your event, registration, t-shirts, food, awards, publicity, race course, volunteers, and timing. Youth Sport Agreements Alex Brown, Highland Parks & Recreation This session will be a round-table discussion on the different ways and methods of dealing with affiliate youth sport organizations. The majority of Park Departments host youth baseball, softball, soccer, football, etc. on their park properties. Is your organization responsible for maintaining the fields? Who pays for utilities? Does your department charge a per player fee or some sort of flat rate to the organization? Are capital improvements and concession stand arrangements part of a written agreement? Organizations that have written agreements in place will be encouraged to share. Budget Friendly Programming Pam Vanderkolk, Bluffton Parks & Recreation Department We will discuss several different programs that any size department can host. They are budget and staff friendly. Weâ€™ll also discuss money and time saving strategies.
Conference Education Sessions Indiana State Parks Centennial Celebration and Centennial Curriculum Benjamin Clark, DNR Division of State Parks We will discuss how we will celebrate our State Parks system's 100th birthday alongside Indiana's 200th birthday. State Parks will host events and hold special programs at each property that highlight the history of that park and the history of our system as a whole. A big part of our centennial commemoration is the Centennial Curriculum. These lesson plans provide teachers and students an opportunity to look at the history of Indiana through the eyes of our state parks. We span a broad swath of time, from hundreds of millions of years ago up to the present and everything in between. Safety Measures for Special Events Susan Lorimer, Big Bounce Fun House Rentals This course will go in detail about safety for all sorts of events on your property. From who you hire, how they set up, to your participants at your park and how to keep them safe. Festivals: Impact Quality of Life & Community Partnerships Mike McAfee, Visit Bloomington Festivals can be traced back thousands of years and today everywhere you look there are popular festivals themed around art, food, animals, music, agriculture, crafts, faith, history and more. The Indiana State Festivals Association reports 600 festivals occur annually in Indiana and there are over 800 music festivals held in North America every summer. This session will take a look at the impact of festivals on quality of life in a community both from an economic and social standpoint. Managing Special Events: Permitting, Monitoring, and Cost Recovery Christy McCormick, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University This session will take the attendee through the process of managing special events from permitting through creating an Administrative Record. The focus will be primarily on how to calculate cost recovery for special events in your parks or recreation agency. Project Planning 101 Jeremy Hackerd, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University From new parks and trails to kids programs, parks and recreation agencies constantly engage in new projects in order to improve their communities. With multiple projects occurring at the same time, it can be difficult to keep things organized. That is where project plans come into play. This session will focus on creating project plans that will assist your agency in identifying what it needs to do in order to make its projects successful.
Pre-Conference Sessions ADDITIONAL COST: $50 / day members | $75 / day non-members
American Red Cross Adult and Pediatric First Aid / CPR / AED - PART 1 & 2 Would you like to know what to do in a cardiac, breathing or first aid emergency? The right answer could help you save a life. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, our First Aid/ CPR/AED course teaches life-saving skills. Certification is issued upon successful completion and is valid for two years. Separate registration for this certification is required. Participants must attend both sessions to qualify for certification. Parks and Community Health Stephen Wolter, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University From programs like aquatic aerobics to facilities like softball complexes, the offerings provided by parks and recreation departments can have a positive impact on the health of a community. This session will explore how parks and recreation departments can use health information to plan for programs and facilities that it offers to the community. It will also review methods for ways departments can demonstrate their value in the creation of healthy communities, which will add value to services and assist with budget justifications to boards and councils. Stewards of ChildrenÂŽ Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Training for Adults Who Work with Children Doing the Right Thing and Mitigating Your Risk Toby Stark, Chaucieâ€™s Place Studies show 1 in 10 children is sexually abused before their 18th birthday and the sad truth is that 90% of child victims know their abuser. This training will help you protect the children you are entrusted with, fulfill your legal obligations and mitigate risk for your organization. Stewards of Children, a nationally recognized evidence-based program, teaches adults who work with children how to prevent, recognize and react appropriately to child sexual abuse. It empowers adults to overcome denial,fear and secrecy about this epidemic and allows them to create awareness and personal power. Strengths Based Leadership for Your Organization Stephen Wolter, Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands, Indiana University Each organization features its own unique mix of leadership styles and strengths. Understanding these styles and strengths and how they best work together is crucial for any organization to function at peak levels. This session will review how Strengths Based Leadership works and offer strategies that agencies can use to improve their operations. Purchase of "Strengths Based Leadership: 2.0" and completion of its leadership questionnaire is required before attending this session. This session is intended for agency leadership teams.
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Golf Courses Under the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department Umbrella Greenbelt Golf Course
Some say it takes a village, but in our case, it was a whole Department! For the Columbus Parks and Recreation Department, the task at hand was to, as gracefully and as seamlessly as possible, transition two contracted golf courses back under our Parks Department umbrella. The first course, Rocky Ford Par 3 is an 18 hole course and the second, Greenbelt is a 9 hole, Pete Dye designed course. The process was lengthy, intensive, exhausting, and far more rewarding than we could have imagined and it looked a bit like this... As a Department, we recognized that golf as an industry is experiencing a new set of trends which we knew we needed to be educated about in order to set ourselves up for success. For the purposes of this article, there are three primary trends to discuss: 1. Increase in female and youth participation; 2. Profitability of golf courses due to economic impact; and 3. General focus on resource management and sustainability. A widely recognized trend in the golf industry is the increase in the number of females participating in the game. Women are entering the golf world in record numbers; however, courses are finding that they have not been historically set up and designed to ensure that female populations feel comfortable. Therefore they find that women are not purchasing as many annual memberships as men, which is what the annual membership numbers indicated at the time that we took over management of the courses. There were zero annual passes purchased 24 theProfile
by a single adult female for the 2015 season. Females are also not signing up to participate in extended leagues or tournaments (except when they are Ladies tournaments which are growing in participation). We recognize the importance of working to create a culture shift at our courses. It will take time and will involve paying attention to even the smallest of details such as clubhouse modifications, but also includes bigger picture items such as new marketing approaches and additional programs geared towards getting female golfers through our doors. The second population gap rests in the fact that we did not have a significant number of youth participating in golf at the time we took over management. In the golf industry, we are seeing the emergence of a younger and fitter golfer. This trend is shifting parts of the game away from primarily leisurely to a more competitive activity. As a Parks Department, one of our largest populations (if not arguably the largest population) with which we are charged with serving is our youth. We have opportunities to reach the youth population that private courses may not have had and we feel it is our responsibility to explore those opportunities thoroughly. We are fortunate to have a Par 3 golf course which in its rarity, was originally designed due to an identified need expressed by the community in the Parks Department’s Master Plan for a course geared towards both the youth and those beginning players who are just entering into the game. Over time the play has diminished from Rocky Ford Par 3 as is evidenced by the decrease in number of rounds over the past 5 years, but as a department we have identified some methods to increase visibility, improve the play of the course, add potential new revenue streams, and re-engage youth and beginners. Greenbelt, a Pete Dye designed course,
then becomes the “next stage” in their player development and offers a fantastic opportunity to for them to continue to improve and challenge themselves. An additional well-known trend in the industry is that golf course profitability has seen a decline during the recession. Golf is and has always been closely tied to the current economic state, nationwide. Golf is widely known as a leisure activity which at its foundation for most is a nonessential financial expense; however, the fact that it is so closely tied to the economy is currently a positive for the Parks Department. As we watch the market rebound, past statistical trends would indicate that the game of golf will once again experience moderate growth. Given our current economic state and by extension the golf economy, we as a Department have discussed from the very beginning the importance of looking for new revenue streams. We are not naive to our set of circumstances; however, in spite of our projected reality, we believe we have a fantastic opportunity to begin to increase our number of rounds at our Par 3 golf course by focusing on membership gaps and new program opportunities. We have spoken with other Parks Departments and golf courses that are currently maintaining and programming Footgolf as well as having researched the professional level of support for adding Footgolf as a new program. For those who are unfamiliar, Footgolf is an up and coming new sport which utilizes the same tee set up as a golf course but includes the construction of additional “cups” which are traditionally placed adjacent to the greens. Players “tee off” by kicking the soccer ball and are tasked with the same rules as golf, get the ball in the hole in as few shots as possible. On top of the additional revenue, this new sport has also brought new users to the continued...
Golf Courses Under the Columbus Parks... continued
Rocky Ford Par 3 Golf Course
golf course who may not have otherwise stepped foot on a golf course. Footgolf is quickly proving that it brings added value to parks departments by co-existing harmoniously with traditional golf while creating a fun, family oriented atmosphere.
IPRA members at Fox Prairie Golf Course Last, but certainly not least on our list of identified trends is the growing exposure and emphasis on responsible resource management and focus on sustainability. Parks Departments have notoriously been charged with the responsibility to maintain the delicate balance between the preservation of green spaces and the provision of recreation activities which require built environment attributes. Some industry wide identified benefits of golf courses management to the natural environment are: •
Provides wildlife habitat
Protects topsoil from water and wind erosion
Improves community aesthetics
Absorbs and filters rain
Improves air quality
Captures and cleanses runoff in urban areas
Discourages pests (e.g. ticks and mosquitoes)
Restores damaged land areas (e.g. former landfill or mining sites)
Our Parks Department is fortunate to have one of the best turf management staffs. The Department has been highlighted in turf management magazines which receive national exposure. Our staff also has an expansive breadth of knowledge and education in the resource management side of protecting and using responsibly our natural resources. We could not successfully manage these two golf
courses if not for these integral staff contributions. In addition to all of the above mentioned ways in which the Parks Department’s management of the golf courses is a tremendous fit for our Columbus community, we would be remiss if we did not point out these additional benefits to our community: •
With proper maintenance and upkeep, combined with increased visibility and play, the homeowners and housing values will continue to maintain and/ or increase in the areas surrounding these two golf courses.
Local businesses who sell golf equipment and clothing will benefit from the increase in play and need for equipment – especially if we focus on targeting those user groups who are not currently participating in the sport.
Golfers travel to courses or to destinations that have courses, all the time for vacations which is an obvious benefit to our local hotels, business and restaurants. The fact that our Greenbelt course is a Pete Dye designed course is also a draw for many and the marketing of this course as such has not been optimized.
Adding the golf courses to our management umbrella only helps to increase the wide spectrum of knowledge and experience that our Parks Department has within the realm of parks and recreation. Bringing staff on board that are professionals in the field bring new skill sets, new contacts, and new program ideas.
Research was completed, budgets were prepared, inventory was taken, staff was interviewed, programs were discussed, logistics were planned, but what has not yet been expressed in this article, is the single most important intangible element necessary to complete this task - teamwork. There are few things that pull a group of people together more than when a challenge is presented. To most of our Parks Department staff, we were in uncharted territory. We were not self or otherwise proclaimed golf course aficionados. We were not PGA certified professionals, or Greens Superintendents, or golf course mechanics. But we did not let our deficiencies define us, we let them develop us. As individuals, this task would have been insurmountable, but as a group we charged forward and achieved our goal.
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN) Introduces Nature Play Days 2016 What are your favorite childhood memories? Climbing trees, running through the woods, looking for crawdads, squishing mud, examining bugs, watching the clouds drift by, building a fort? Today’s children may list gaming systems, Snapchat, and other indoor activities. Few kids spend time outdoors these days and the consequences are profound and far reaching. Outdoor child’s play connects children to nature while building strong minds and bodies. Outdoor play allows experimenting and experiencing the natural world – building a life-long foundation for learning and a love of nature. Children that play outdoors are happier, healthier and smarter! Busy families and children often spend very little time outdoors due to schedules, lack of access to nature, and even anxiety from adults and children about what to do outside. Health problems such as obesity and attention issues, even nearsightedness are on the rise. Time spent outdoors have been found to alleviate these! So let’s get kids outside to explore and experience nature! To encourage kids and families to get outdoors, the Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN) is introducing Nature Play Days in 2016! ICAN is inviting organizations across the state to hold a Nature Play Day event anytime between June 11 and 19 in their community. IPRA members are a perfect group to lead the way in sharing the message that kids need to spend time in nature and provide an opportunity in your area for kids and families to get outside, explore and have fun. Hosting a Nature Play Day is as easy as picking a date, time and location and then letting your community know about it! The Play Day can be as structured or freeform as you like. Design a new event or schedule an annual program during June 11-19. Hold it in a wooded area or next to a creek. Encourage exploration and child-led activities. Have a scavenger hunt, a mud 26 theProfile
painting station, play leap frog in the shady grass, gather sticks to make a fort, creek stomp and look for crawdads. Whether you have a diverse landscape for outdoor activities or a parking lot, there are activities you can share to get kids outdoors! ICAN is here to provide support materials, publicize your event, and share in the fun! Nature Play Days information is available on the ICAN website, along with a place to register your event. Share your event on social media using the hashtag #ICANNaturePlayDays so others can check out the fun. Encourage churches, hospitals, YMCAs, community groups, and others in your area to partner with you or host their own Nature Play Day! The more the merrier! Activities and games or unstructured nature play are a great way to connect as a family, team, congregation, or class and reap the physical, mental, and emotional benefits of time spent outdoors.
community organizations. There is also a poster and other materials to download. Look for support resources and training opportunities. Indiana Children and Nature Network (ICAN) is a growing network of Indiana organizations, businesses, and individuals encouraging children to spend more time outdoors for their physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Sign up online to show your support for our mission and get involved. Find us at www. indianachildrenandnature.org
Look on the website for an invitation that you can share with other
Indiana Children & Nature Network Attend a Nature Play Day! Nature Play Days across the state are a great time to get outdoors with your family! Host a Nature Play Day! Register your event with ICAN for additional support, materials, training, and promotional assistance!
2016 IPRA Conference Update Greetings all. Mark your calendars and help us kick off IPRA’s centennial by attending the 2016 IPRA conference in Bloomington, Indiana from January 12th – 15th. Registration information is available via the IPRA website. Highlights will include a keynote address from Cam Sholly, Midwest Regional Director of the National Park Service, a new and improved expo hall, an awards dinner celebrating YOU, great education sessions, networking opportunities and lots of surprises. A big thanks to all those who submitted education session proposals. It was a tough decision and after careful review (69 proposals submitted) 36 proposals were selected to be included as part of the conference schedule. In addition, there will be pre-conference sessions offered on Tuesday afternoon and Wednesday morning. Pre-conference topics include:
First Aid/CPR/AED certification, Parks and Community Health, Stewards of Children, and Strengths Based Leadership. Please plan to attend a pre-conference sessions as your travel schedule allows. If you or your business or organization haven’t reserved a spot in the expo hall you might want to do so soon. Space is limited and we expect a full house. Also, sponsorship opportunities are available. Both expo hall and sponsorship opportunities can be found on the IPRA website.
ticket takers, registration, round table discussion facilitators and set up and tear down assistance. Looking forward to seeing all of you in Bloomington! Becky Barrick-Higgins Conference Chair President Elect
I want to thank all of those who have given their time to assist in the planning and organizing of this conference. It takes time and dedication. If you are thinking that you would have liked to be involved, it is not too late. We are scheduling volunteers so feel free to contact me with your availability. We will need volunteers for room hosts,
Nature Play Days June 11 - 19, 2016
Find a Nature Play Day near you, register your event, and learn more about children and nature at: www.IndianaChildrenAndNature.org ICAN is a project of the Environmental Education Association of Indiana • www.EEAI.org
#ICANNaturePlayDays Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department Submitted By Pam Vanderkolk, Superintendent, Bluffton Parks & Recreation Department
The Bluffton Parks and Recreation Department may be a small-staffed department, but we keep ourselves very busy. We just finished up another fun-filled summer by offering 90 activities during June and July. We did miss a few due to the weather, but we managed to keep our community well entertained. Please check out our Bluffton Parks Dept. Facebook page for pictures and videos from many of these great programs. You’ll enjoy our Foam Party and Giant Slip & Slide for sure! The intense flooding did cause us a few headaches, as I’m sure was the case for many of you as well. We had it on schedule to resurface our River Greenway trail in May, well that didn’t happen until September! Our trail was under water for more than a month. This project was made possible by the generosity of our community. We hosted a simple fund-raising campaign and our community responded in a big way. More than $174,000.00 was given to make the improvements possible. Along with the paving, we were also able to remove several dead trees that were a safety concern as well as an eyesore. Along with the greenway improvements, we are currently working on upgrades and additions to one of our larger parks. Roush Park is our busiest park in the summer as it is the home of four ball diamonds. We were fortunate enough to be awarded a LWCF grant to make these
improvements. We have a large shelter that has been in disrepair for many years, and it has now received a new metal roof and new interior walls. Soon there will be new sidewalks and large patio with grills added. We’ll update the restroom facilities, install a splash pad, another small pavilion and a half-mile walking trail to the park. We are most certainly grateful for the grant funds! Mother Nature may have tried her best to keep us from our hosting our 2nd annual Rough & Muddy 5K & Kids Soggy Jog, but we were determined to make that happen. After rescheduling the event three times, we managed to pull it off. Sadly many registered participants were unable to attend, but we still had more than 100 participate. Crazy mud pits, climbing walls, foam pits and a host of other physical challenges were met and conquered that day. We are grateful to our many volunteers, the Water Filtration and Fire Department employees who assisted us and helped it all come together. October is almost as busy for us as summer is. We have a plethora of events to highlight the fall. We open our city gymnasium up for students each evening for supervised activities, as well as volleyball and basketball leagues. Weekday mornings, the doors are open for the community to come in a walk laps and social time and then on Tuesdays and Thursdays we have it available for parents and caregivers of toddlers to come in burn off their pent-up energy. With the exception of the league play, these programs are available at no cost to the participants. We host a couple of different autumn events. One is our Great Pumpkin Hunt. Each year we hid 2,500 treat-filled black and orange eggs in a large field. Our guests bring a flashlight and hunt these eggs in the dark. Following the hunt we offer s’more treats and hayrides. A few weeks later we then partner with our local school and offer families a chance to “swim with the pumpkins” at our Pumpkin Dunkin’ event. We fill the school swimming pool with about 150 pumpkins and families come and just swim around with the pumpkins and then pick one out to take home with them at the end of the night. We have a local pumpkin farm that donates all
the pumpkins to us. It’s a pretty amazing sight to see all those pumpkins floating in the pool. We do make sure and power wash them well before throwing them in the school’s pool! Last year we started offering a fall “block party”. The week before Halloween we host a community party in front of the city hall. We’ll choose a theme, (last year was a Hoe Down, this year is Sock Hop), and then we will have music, games, crafts, food and photo booth. We encourage the community to come together for a little fun and relaxation. There is no cost to enjoy, except for the food elements. Each of the vendors will then in turn make a donation to us. Another aspect of the block party is a Glow Run 5K. About a half hour before the band ends for the evening we have the runners line up near the stage area. These participants are dressed up in all kinds of bright, crazy and glowing attire and run down our illuminated greenway trail. It’s quite a sight to see! It is just a fun run, so no prizes are given for time. The donations from the vendors and the profits from the 5K go into our trail maintenance fund.
workouts. A side benefit of this program is the support that their spouses are gaining by attending with them and socializing with other spouses. Wow! Talk about the benefits being endless! We encourage you to check this program out and consider bringing it to your location. Trust us, you’ll be so glad you did! We are always looking for new and innovative programs to “borrow” and we love sharing our ideas. Please contact if you’d like to share your creative program with our community, or if we can assist you with something we have offered here. We look forward to hearing from you soon!
Our final October event is our Autumn Adventure. We decorate our city gym with a variety of Halloween and fall scenes and set up several stations to hand out treats. These stations are typically manned by high school students, businesses and service clubs. They provide the treats to the visitors as they wind their way through the gymnasium ending outside where they are treated to free hot dogs, chips and lemonade. Our standard attendance for this is 1300 – 1500 for this 1.5 hour event. One more new program that we have starting offering in our community is called Rock Steady Boxing. This is a non-contact boxing program for persons diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. What a tremendous program! This fitness program is an amazing testimony to what exercise and socializing can do for a person. These participants are gaining stability, mobility, strength and enhancing their daily lives by these Indiana Park & Recreation Association
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We are lo oking forw combine d meetin ard to a great So g on Octo uthern a Indy. The nd Centr ber 20th topic will al at The P be Cultu Partners latform in ral Trail: hips. This Building will be o have had Success ur last m a great ti ful eeti me this y Chair an ear as th ng of the year. I d have e njoyed w e Southe Jones w ork rn ill be the District C ing with all of yo District will be C u. Mark hair and hair Elec Nikki Mo t. I w job Laura ntembea has done ould also like to ult add wha and will t a great be greatl y missed . Jim Le mke Jim Lem ke Southern District C hair
ed the northern 30 people attend Approximately Culver, Indiana, in August 19th on et A fun m st la t distric t Marc Hayden. Superintenden lking rk ta Pa s, by ue ed ag st ho her park colle ot ith w ng ki nc or ving lu h at day of netw park facilities, ha ue iq un d ver an w about ne ng a tour of Cul Grille” and taki e ee on us ck ho ku ke in La ax “The es of Lake M or sh e n th on l al Indiana locatio Academies r is definitely an ve ul C y. e. da at st ul a beautif at part of the hen you’re in th to check out w to join us at the ndars and plan le ca ur yo k ar for 2015. Please m district meetings n er rth no ng ni remai aiso Parks and e City of Valpar th by at ed st ho Activity Center October 21 diana Beverage In e th at n . io so at Recre n Valparai aza in Downtow Central Park Pl Parks of Crown Point ed by the City st ho 18 r be Novem and Recreation. g rested in hostin mmunities inte co t ric t st di ac n nt er co Any north ent, please rthern district ev a 2016 IPRA no t for the City of en nd te will rks Superin t chair. Donny Donny Aleo, Pa northern distric 16 20 d be n an e ca Nappane ar soon. He the 2016 calend .org. be formulating leo@nappanee da or ) 773-2112 74 (5 at d he ac re eetings in the tails on these m de re tu meeting fu r fo Watch ’ emails as the Up Wednesday t’s nce. ie ha en ‘W nv y kl co ee w act me at your nt co or ch oa dates appr Have Fun!
Aquatics Section for October 1st Our Fall Aquatics meeting scheduled heduled for resc is and in Bloomington was canceled the 2016 after on mati infor more March 2016. Look for Indiana the then by ng hopi am I ce. feren IPRA Con recommendations State Board of Health will have some lth Code the Hea tic Aqua el on what part of the Mod t. adop State should
PRP Mark Heintz, C hair thern District C or N A 2015 IPR n io at re ec R d s an Director of Park Town of Dyer
Aquatics It has been my pleasure to serve as IPRA away as g goin not am I and s year Chair the last two 2016. I in ct I will serve as Northern District Chair-Ele ton ming Bloo with r would like to welcome Mark Mille ir. Cha tics Aqua 2016 your as n Parks and Recreatio attending to ard forw look I and job t grea a do Mark will next year ’s aquatics sessions.
Mike Clendenen, Superintendent, Recreation New Haven-Adams Township Parks &
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
2016 IPRA Event Calendar JA NUA RY 5 - 6 12 12
AFO First Aid / CPR / AED Stewards of Children - South
F E BRUA RY
4 District Meeting - South 11 South District Programming 15 CPO
MA R C H
1 IPRF Board 3 Aquatics Event 8 Webinar
13 IPRA Board / EC 14 IPRF Board 26 Webinar
16 Webinar 18 Board / EC Retreat 22 - 25 GLPTI
10 District Meeting - Central 17 IPRA Board / EC 28 Leadership Training #1
5 Stewards of Children - 17 - 20 IUEDP North 26 Recreation & 12 Webinar Programming Event 14 District Meeting - South 28 Leadership Training #2
5 First Aid / CPR / AED 12 NRTG 10 Webinar
1 IPRF Board 9 Dollars for Scholars Golf Outing
AUG US T
9 Webinar 16 District Meeting - South
S E P T E MB ER
1 IPRF Board 13 Webinar 15 IPRA Board / EC
O CTOB ER
6 - 8 NRPA St. Louis 11 Webinar 13 NRTG Bike / Ped. Event
19 IPRA Board / EC 20 Leadership Training #3 27 Carb Day 14 Webinar
21 IPRA Board / EC 23 Aquatics Event 30 Leadership Training #4 21 - 22 Fall Retreat 27 Leadership Training #5 29 District Meeting - Central 18 Aquatics Event 25 District Meeting - South 27 Leadership Training #6
NOV E M B ER
3 Recreation & 10 Stewards of Children Programming Event Central 8 Webinar 17 IPRA Board / EC 9 - 11 CPSI 16 First Aid / CPR / AED
D E C E M BER
1 IPRF Board
Indiana Park & Recreation Association
Indiana Park & Recreation Association PO Box 3906 Carmel, IN 46082