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Indiana Park & Recreation Association www.INPRA.org Spring 2017

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Inside this Issue

2017 Conference Recap • Park Updates • 2018 Call for Proposals Indiana Park & Recreation Association


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Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Indiana Park & Recreation Association P.O. Box 3906 Carmel, Indiana 46082 317.573.4035 ph www.inpra.org web

We need your contributions

What makes the Profile a success is your input, ideas, experiences, and creativity. Please consider sharing any or all of these with more than 1,000 members of the association. Artwork and photographs are also encouraged.

How to Submit

Articles and Photographs to: IPRA, The Profile P.O. Box 3906 Carmel, Indiana 46082 317.573.4035 ph chelsea@inpra.org email

Publication Schedule Summer Content Deadline - May 1 June/July Distribution Fall/Winter Content Deadline - September 1 October Distribution

Advertising Sales

Lisa D. Nye, IPRA Executive Director

Editorial Committee

Lisa D. Nye, Chelsea Courtney


Advertisers 2 Rundell Ernstberger Associates 3 Leisure Pool & Spa Supply Inc. 5 RJ Thomas Manufacturing Co. 6 Sinclair Recreation, LLC 8 Spear Corporation 9 Ratio Architects 18 Miracle Midwest 20 HWC Engineering 20 Norwalk Concrete Industries 22 Buddenbaum & Moore 22 Musco Sports Lighting 23 Lehman & Lehman 26 Context Landscape Architecture 26 Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf 28 Pros Consulting 29 PollyProducts.com 30 Brandstetter Carroll, Inc. 30 Butler, Fairman & Seufert 32 Gyms for Dogs 34 Vortex 34 Countryside Play Structures 34 NUVO IRON 35 ParKreation 36 Playworld Midstates

Inside this issue


Board of Directors


From the Executive Director


From the Co-Presidents

11 The Future of Parks in Indianapolis 12

2017 Conference Summary


2017 Dollars for Scholars Golf Outing


Dyer Parks and Recreation Department Update


The Wonderful Horrible Problem with Plastic


Local Students Participate in Ecological Restoration at LaPorte County Parks

23 Indiana Children & Nature Network 24

Safe Routes to Parks: Creating Safe Access to Parks for Everyone


Checklist for Concession Stand Success


2018 Indiana Park & Recreation Association Conference & Expo


2018 IPRA Conference Education Session Proposals


Empowering Park Districts with Finance Integration


NEW! INPRA Connect


2018 IPRA Conference & Expo

Chelsea Courtney chelsea@inpra.org


PEN Industries 317.955.6800 penindustries.com Photos courtesy of Bing iStock Photos, Pexels.com - Tim Gouw. Front cover photo credit: Indy Parks

Mission Statement follow us on facebook at: Indiana Park & Recreation Association follow us on twitter at: INParkandRec

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The Indiana Park & Recreation Association advances healthy lifestyles and environmental stewardship by providing education, professional development, resources and advocacy.

Vision Statement

The Indiana Park & Recreation Association is the premier source of support and advancement for parks and recreation providers.

2017 IPRA Board of Directors CO-PRESIDENTS


Will Lacey Danville Parks & Recreation wlacey@danvilleindiana.org

Terese McAninch Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation tmcaninch@carmelclayparks.com

Dan McGuire Valparaiso Parks & Recreation dmcguire@valpo.us


PRESIDENT-ELECT Mike Hoffmeister Noblesville Parks & Recreation mhoffmeister@noblesville.in.us

PAST PRESIDENT Becky Barrick-Higgins Bloomington Parks & Recreation barrickb@bloomington.in.gov

TREASURER Chris Stice Hamilton County Parks & Recreation chris.stice@hamiltoncounty.in.gov

NORTHERN DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES Mike Clendenen New Haven-Adams Township Parks & Recreation mclendenen@newhavenin.org Kathy Pargmann Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation kathy.pargmann@cityoffortwayne.org

SOUTHERN DISTRICT REPRESENTATIVES Dominic Cornett Indy Parks & Recreation dominic.cornett@indy.gov Nikki Murphy Columbus Parks & Recreation nmurphy@columbus.in.gov

Robert Greathouse Indy Parks & Recreation robert.greathouse@indy.gov

YOUNG PROFESSIONAL REPRESENTATIVE Nichole Haberlin Noblesville Parks & Recreation nhaberlin@noblesville.in.us

CORPORATE REPRESENTATIVES Austin Hochstetler PROS Consulting austin.hochstetler@prosconsulting.com Tricia Leminger Frost Brown Todd tleminger@fbtlaw.com

ELECTED OFFICIAL Matthew Snyder Clay Township/DB Engineering msnyder@claytwp.org

EX-OFFICIO MEMBER Lisa D. Nye Indiana Park & Recreation Association lnye@inpra.org

IPRA STAFF Chelsea Courtney Indiana Park & Recreation Association chelsea@inpra.org

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


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From the Executive Director Greetings IPRA Members,

Thank you for making 2016 another successful and productive year for IPRA! The accomplishments of the past year would not have been possible without outstanding members like yourselves, our 2016 Board of Directors, and the exceptional leadership of Past President Becky Barrick-Higgins. Due to you, we continue to make progress on our goals of enhancing member services and building relevance with members and the community. Our momentum from 2016 carried right into the start of the year with the success of the 2017 IPRA Conference & Expo in downtown Indianapolis this past January. This year we had our largest expo hall ever with 93 booths, over 570 attendees, and lots of new features, such as the Directors’ Summit, Career Hub, District Games, and more. IPRA and the conference committee are so appreciative of the investment our vendors, sponsors, and attendees make in the event. Your involvement helps the IPRA Conference & Expo continue to grow to meet our members’ professional development needs. Planning for the 2018 conference at the Grand Wayne Center in Fort Wayne is already underway, and once again our conference committee has lots of great ideas for the event. As we get into the swing of things for 2017, I would like to share some of the items IPRA is working on and what you can anticipate in the year ahead: •

Legislative Updates You may have noticed a recent increase in legislative alerts from IPRA. In the past few years, state legislation that affects the parks & recreation field has not been abundant. However, this year we have seen an increase in bills that may impact our membership, so we are working on informing our members as quickly as possible via legislative alert emails. If you ever have any questions about the legislative information IPRA shares, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Google Trekker This year we are looking forward to the release of the Google Trekker images that many of our members collected this past Spring & Summer. Google is currently processing the data from the Trekker, but we anticipate that it will take a few more months because there are so many images. Once all the images are processed, everything will be released at once, and we will make a formal announcement. Thank you again to all the agencies that participated in this project – we can’t wait to explore your parks online! 2018 NRPA Conference If you haven’t heard, the National Recreation & Park Association Conference will be coming to Indianapolis in 2018. IPRA and various Indiana park departments have partnered to form the 2018 Indiana Local Host Committee for the event. We will be using this year to plan and prepare as much as possible for our host duties. If you would like to get involved with the Indiana Local Host Committee, please let me know. I also encourage you to budget for both the 2018 IPRA and NRPA conferences as you prepare your 2018 financials as this is a unique opportunity for your staff to participate in professional development at both the state and national level without leaving the state of Indiana. NEW! INPRA Connect We recently launched a brand-new feature for members called INPRA Connect. INPRA Connect is an online forum where members can post questions for discussions, join groups relevant to their area of interest

or field of knowledge, and keep up to date on all things IPRA. If you have not yet accessed the site yet, I hope you will take a moment to do so as this a great tool for engaging with your fellow members. •

2017 Foundation Golf Outing Preparation for the annual IPRF Dollars for Scholars Golf Outing is under way! Registration is open for the May 16 event which will be held at Eagle Creek Golf Club in Indianapolis this year. All proceeds from this event go directly towards funding scholarships for park professionals and students. You can get involved in the event by registering as a golfer, being a sponsor, or volunteering. To learn more log on to inpra.org/ foundation-golf-outing or flip to page 15. We hope to see you there!

Due to members’ continued dedication to the association, I anticipate 2017 to be another year of positive change and advancement for IPRA. I would like to especially thank this year’s corporate partners, Playworld Midstates, Musco Sports Lighting, Frost Brown Todd, and Sinclair Recreation, for their generous financial support which enables IPRA to serve its members to the best of our abilities. I look forward to what this year has in store and am excited to see what opportunities lie ahead for IPRA. Lisa D. Nye Executive Director Indiana Park & Recreation Association

For more information about IPRA Visit our website at: www.inpra.org Indiana Park & Recreation Association


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From the Co-Presidents We are genuinely excited about the upcoming year and the opportunity to serve IPRA and its members in the capacity of President. We look forward to continuing the progress that has been made by Becky Barrick-Higgins and Mike Hoffmeister over the past couple of years. The past presidents have focused a great deal on fixing the organizational structure of our association. These accomplishments and the service of these past presidents have set the stage for continued improvements in the efficiency of handling administrative and management function of the association and, consequently, service to the membership. Our goals for this presidency are directly related to continuing this wave of progress. We hope to lead the organization to a place where it is the

resource for parks and recreation professionals throughout the state. To do this, we need to increase our efforts around advocacy and enhance our marketing presence. We need to add value for our members by providing more chances for interactions and education. Also, we should give vendors additional opportunities to interact with members. We need to find more avenues for revenue to decrease our reliance on our conference for survival. These are a few of the things we would like to accomplish. We need to organize a “Master Plan” or long-term plan for the next couple of years. In the Master Plan, we need to work with staff to highlight a priority projects list that we can work towards and revisit and update every year. The plan should help staff and board members align goals as we continue to add value to our memberships.

These goals can be summarized as follows: • Explore staff growth potential by persons and dollars • Expand online engagement with topics for all members • Attract new members by reaching out to them • Find ways to gain more data from members to grow the organization • Prepare for 2018 NRPA conference • Add more value for members with resources and events Will Lacey & Dan McGuire 2017 IPRA Co-Presidents

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


The Future of Parks in Indianapolis By Ryan P. Cambridge, PLA, ASLA, APA

Rendering of University Park in downtown Indianapolis (Browning Day)

As the dust settles on one of the most contentious election seasons in U.S. history, many Americans are finding themselves deeply unsettled about the trajectory of our country and its communities. In addition to concerns regarding national security, economic stability, and unity shared by many, I also find myself both concerned - and more importantly - optimistic about the future of parks and public spaces in Indianapolis. Nearly the entirety of my professional career as a Registered Landscape Architect has been spent working with parks departments across the United States. As such, I have had the privilege of seeing – in an intimate fashion - a wide array of systems; some excelling, some failing, and many just sustaining. The current state of the Indy Parks System, especially when compared against some known national benchmarks for “success,” is cause for concern. Indianapolis has a large and uniquely historic city park system. Planned largely by George E. Kessler – a famed and early pioneer in the field of Landscape Architecture – Indianapolis’ park system includes 210 parks and 11,254 total acres, 125 playgrounds, 155 sports fields, and 130 miles of trails. i Indianapolis is also home to Eagle Creek Park, which at 5,300 acres, is one of the largest municipal parks in the United States. For comparison purposes, Central Park in New York City is a mere 843 acres. In addition, Indy Parks hosts a multitude of programs far too numerous to list here.

How Does Indy Measure Up?

The quantity of parks, acreage, programs, and facilities in Indianapolis is encouraging, however, how we as a city choose to financially support them is not. According to the newly released 2016 City Park Facts report by The Trust for Public Land, Indianapolis continues to underperform when compared to our peers, especially when it comes to funding. This sentiment is validated by many of the city’s most outspoken parks advocates, and has been for some time. As cited in the TPL study, which evaluated the park systems of the 100 largest cities in the United States, Indianapolis spends $32 annually, per resident on parks and recreation. Of that $32, only $4 goes to capital development for new parks and facilities. This number represents solely municipal investment, and is unacceptably low when compared against some of the most “livable” cities in the United States such as Seattle ($281), New York ($210), Chicago ($173), Denver ($120), and so on. Yes, there are many things about each of those cities which differentiate them from Indianapolis, but the numbers show that we are lagging behind even some of our regional peers, such as Minneapolis ($222), St. Louis ($210), Cincinnati ($188), Nashville ($103), Milwaukee ($98), Ft. Wayne ($78), and Louisville ($61)ii. In fact,

of 100 largest cities in the United States, Indianapolis – which is the 14th largest by populationiii – ranks 91st with regard to investment in parks.

Annual spending on parks per resident, as reported by the 2016 City Park Facts Report by TPL.

Why is this Important?

Our City’s investment in parks – both existing and new – is critically important because there is now, as parks advocates have long preached anecdotally, a quantifiable correlation between a community’s park system (in both size and quality), and its overall quality of life, sustainability, and economic capacity. Parks are critical infrastructure; just as much as quality roads, schools, and utilities. In today’s global market, many prospective employees will choose where to live (and invest) based on the “lifestyle” that community provides, rather than moving to where perspective jobs are

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The Future of Parks in Indianapolis continued from page 10

perceived to be. Quality of life is a key metric in attracting talent, and parks are a notable contributor to quality of life. The old model of parks – one where the biggest decisions park directors cared to champion was whether to purchase a blue or green playground – IS DEAD. Parks today are immeasurably more complex, and are being asked by their leaders and constituents to do more than merely provide places for play and recreation, as critically important as those things are. Today’s parks are also being asked to DIRECTLY and QUANTITATIVELY impact community health, social equity, sustainability, and economic development, to name only a few. Gone ALSO is the model through which parks facilities and services are being funded and delivered. In the past, many parks departments across the U.S. existed solely as municipal subsidies; slaves to the General Fund. In a city which has long stood on the platform of fiscal conservancy, this model of funding will perpetuate all of the challenges our system is currently facing with backlogged maintenance, let alone new park development. Given this reality, Indianapolis must - as progressive cities like New York and Chicago have for decades – fully embrace a more progressive model of service delivery; one in which both public sector and private sector collaboratively rise up and partner together to increase Indianapolis’ quality of life through the support and development of our most important economic, environmental, and social tool; our parks!

his support for both the Foundation and the City’s Parks Department. The IPL Mayor’s Lunch for Parks is the Foundation’s largest fundraising event of the year, and is seeking to raise more than $300,000 to support Indianapolis’ public parks and their programs. This is also a big year for the Foundation, as they celebrate 25 years of operation and 15 years of the annual Mayor’s Lunch for Parks. In that 25 year period, the Parks Foundation has invested more than $50M in support of the parks that many of us enjoy on a daily basis. In addition, Indy Parks has their own “My City, My Park” initiative – identified in the city’s most recent strategic plan - which is designed to help facilitate “personal and corporate volunteerism, financial support, and adoption of city park spaces and programs.” iv This initiative is a proactive approach to identifying and leveraging public-private partnerships to help support the ongoing evolution of the Indy Parks system, and should be more broadly embraced by our local business community.

Last fall, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett kicked off the fundraising campaign for the Indianapolis Parks Foundation’s 2017 IPL Mayor’s Lunch for Parks, pledging

Parks are the very heart of the public realm, and therefore, also the gatekeeper to quality of life in our city. I would encourage each and every resident, business owner, and elected official who desires a genuinely high quality of life in Indianapolis to stand alongside our Foundation, the Indy Parks Department, and our City, and become an advocate for parks, regardless of how often you may each individually “touch” a park space or participate in a program. If we as a City, stand up for and support parks the way that we historically have our treasured sports teams and venues, we will ensure that Indianapolis will remain one of the best places to live, work, and play!

About the Author - Ryan P. Cambridge, PLA ASLA APA is a practicing Registered Landscape Architect who serves as the Director of Parks + Open Space Planning at Browning Day; a multi-disciplinary planning and design firm in Indianapolis (www. bdmd.com). Since 2008, Ryan has helped lead the development of more than 15 Parks System Planning efforts for municipal governments across the United States, representing nearly $750M in future “public realm” investment. Ryan is a self-professed “parks geek” and seeks to further the awareness of, and investment in, the public realm though his leadership on the Board of Directors for the Indiana Parks and Recreation Association, the Advocacy Committee of the Indianapolis Parks Foundation (Ryan is also the event chair for the 2017 IPL Mayor’s Lunch for Parks), and the Programming Committee for the Indiana Chapter of the Urban Land Institute. Ryan is also privileged to be one of only a handful of professionals in Indiana currently serving on the Project for Public Spaces Placemaking Leadership Council (pps.org).

Why Be Optimistic?

For the first time in many years, Indianapolis has the leadership in place – both public and private – who appear poised to fully embrace the importance of parks in a City that sings the praises of a high quality of life, yet struggles to fund improvements necessary to sustain it. We have a newly appointed, progressive Parks Director (Linda Broadfoot), an active and supported Parks Foundation who is able to solicit and invest “private” dollars (IndyParksFoundation.org), and a Mayor who is choosing outright to be a champion of parks.

Indiana Fever players hosted a Get Fever Fit Clinic at Garfield Park to celebrate the grand opening of the Garfield Park basketball court that was funded by Indianapolis Power & Light Company, the Indiana Pacers, and the Indiana Fever through the park (www.IndyParksFoundation.org).

i ii iii

City of Indianapolis. 2016. Welcome to Indy Parks and Recreation. Retrieved 10/14/2016 from: http://www.indy.gov/eGov/City/DPR/Pages/IndyParksHome.aspx. The Trust for Public Land. (2016). 2016 City Park Facts. San Francisco: Trust for Public Land. The U.S. Census Bureau. 2016. The 15 Most Populous Cities on July 1, 2015. Retrieved 10/18/2016 from www.census,gov/newsroom/press-releases/2016/cb16-81.html. iv City of Indianapolis. (2014). Indianapolis Strategic Plan 2014. Indianapolis: Office of the Mayor Gregory A. Ballard. Retrieved from http://oei.indy.gov/wp-content/uploads/2014/ Indiana Park & Recreation Association


2017 Conference Summary By Will Lacey and Dan McGuire, 2017 Conference Co-Chairs

The 2017 IPRA State Conference was a huge success. If you were in attendance, I’m sure you will agree that the Crowne Plaza and Union Station Hall was a fabulous venue for the conference. Having the entire facility to ourselves with the connected hotel created cohesiveness among attendees that made everyone feel at home. It was great to walk around the building and soak up the atmosphere and rich history of Union Station. It is always good to see people “enjoying the ride” by networking, learning, and catching up with one another. We trust that you are putting all your conference knowledge to use in your departments, communities, and personal endeavors.

The social aspects of the conference were important to us as we wanted to enhance the overall atmosphere of the event. New this year, the District Games allowed attendees to play in several Minute to Win It style games to compete for the coveted District Cup. The Southern District ended up taking home the trophy at the final event, the District Feud. Participants were also able to “enjoy the ride” by experiencing

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some of the local flavor of Indianapolis with our preconference workshops at the Indianapolis Zoo, Indiana Convention Center, and Lucas Oil Stadium. The conference night life was definitely active with different groups going out on their own Thursday and Friday as well as a busy hospitality room and evening social event. The conference featured 39 education sessions including new mini sessions, roundtable discussions, and preconference sessions. Bill Ream from Bloomington Parks and Rec chaired the education sessions committee, and in his second year as chair Bill hit the ground running. He was instrumental in adding several great speakers and brought back some of our favorites. Lisa and Chelsea at the IPRA office did a great job this year by selling 93 expo booths and adding our first ever title sponsor. (Thank you, Playworld Midstates!) Another great feature added to the conference this year was a recruitment element. Adding opportunities to recruit, advise, interview and possibly hire new or seasoned professionals in the field. It was a great addition, especially when it was intertwined with the first-time conference mentor program. We also ended up raising over 1800 items for our local charity.

The value of the state conference to IPRA is immeasurable. The networking, camaraderie, and learning opportunities are priceless. Therefore, it is very important that we thank all those who got active and attended the conference. Your participation is vital. It is equally as important that we thank our vendors and sponsors for their support and involvement. Your participation in the conference is just as vital as those who attend. It is not possible to talk about the 2017 conference without acknowledging the hard work, dedication, and professionalism of the IPRA staff. The IPRA staff, with Lisa Nye as the leader have really brought some superior professionalism and data/revenue generating momentum to our conference. After months of preplanning and preparation, the Conference Committee team knocked it out of the park! Planning for the 2018 conference is already underway. Mike Hoffmeister and his team have chosen the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne for the next location. Let’s all work together and do our parts to make 2018 even better than 2017.

2017 Awards of Excellence Winners President’s Award

Project & Program Awards

Becky Barrick-Higgins Bloomington Parks & Recreation

Clark Ketchum Conservation Award Hamilton County Parks & Recreation

Leadership Awards

Excellence in Resource Improvement Ivy Tech Community College Recreation Annex Noblesville Parks & Recreation

Distinguished Life Member Bob Nickovich Lake County Parks & Recreation Outstanding Agency Danville Parks & Recreation

Inclusion Program of Excellence Sensory Easter Egg Hunt Washington Township Parks & Recreation

Outstanding Professional Micheal Metz LaGrange County Parks & Recreation

Innovative Programs MADE Movement South Bend Venues, Parks & Arts

Exceptional Young Professional Ken Conklin Clarksville Parks & Recreation

Nature First Fishers Parks & Recreation

Corporate Partner of the Year Indiana University Health Bloomington

Creative Event SB150 South Bend Venues, Parks & Arts

Elected Official of the Year Mayor Blair Milo LaPorte, IN

Exceptional Park Design Cyntheanne Park Community Garden Fishers Parks & Recreation

Distinguished Citizens Mitch Feikes LaPorte Parks & Recreation

West Commons Playground Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation

Gene Griffin Vigo County Parks & Recreation

Steve Waltz Professional Development Grant for Maintenance Employees At the 2017 Conference, the Indiana Parks & Recreation Foundation announced the creation the Steve Waltz Professional Development Grant for Maintenance Employees to honor Steve’s passing and legacy. Steve Waltz was a staunch supporter of IPRA and served in many leadership roles, including Board President and Executive Director. More details regarding the criteria for this scholarship will be released soon.

Exceptional Facility Design Central Park Plaza Expansion Valparaiso Parks & Recreation Excellence in Landscape Design Whiting Interpretive Signage & Cultural Walk City of Whiting, IN & Context Design Heron West Lafayette Parks & Recreation

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Thank You to the 2017 IPRA Conference Committee Will Lacey, Co-Chair Danville Parks & Recreation Dan McGuire, Co-Chair Valparaiso Parks & Recreation Lisa D. Nye IPRA Traci Broman, Expo Hall Chair Experience Events Dominic Cornett, Volunteer Chair Indy Parks Dan Dunten, Recruitment Chair West Lafayette Parks & Recreation Lora Lacey, Entertainment Chair Washington Township Parks Bill Ream, Education Sessions Chair Bloomington Parks & Recreation Sam Blake Spear Corporation Chelsea Courtney IPRA Nichole Haberlin Noblesville Parks & Recreation Austin Hochstetler PROS Consulting Dawn Jones Hitchcock Design Group Cathy Marx Indy Parks

2016 IPRF Scholarship & Grant Recipients Professional Development Grant

Mark Callaway, Brownsburg Parks & Recreation

Mark Shields, Brown County Parks & Recreation

Elaine Taylor, Daviess-Martin Joint County Parks & Recreation Lisa Wube, Evansville Parks & Recreation Leisure Studies Grant

Arianna Koppen, Indiana University Scholarship for Children of IPRA Members Julie Callahan, Indiana University

Jeffrey Callahan, Indiana University Desmon Davis, Trine University

Bree Morgan, Indiana Wesleyan University

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2017 Dollars for Scholars Golf Outing

Eagle Creek Golf Course 8802 W. 56th Street • Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday, May 16, 2017 All proceeds benefit the Indiana Parks & Recreation Foundation Scholarship Fund for professionals and students.

Title Sponsor

Agenda 11:00 am


11:30 am


12:20 pm

Welcome & Announcements

12:30 pm

Golf Shotgun Start

5:00 pm


Door Prizes

Raffle Winners

Awards Ceremony

Golf foursomes include: 18 holes of golf with cart, box lunch and cookout. Register online at www.inpra.org For additional information contact the IPRA office at 317.573.4035 or email chelsea@inpra.org

Registration Fee: $99 per player Competition Holes Men’s Longest Drive Women’s Longest Drive Men’s Closest to the Pin Women’s Closest to the Pin Putting Contest Mulligans will be available for: Limit 2 Per Player - $5 Ea. or Team Max of $30 Hit from Red Tee - $5

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Dyer Parks and Recreation Department Update By Andrea Daliege, Recreation Supervisor and Mike O’Shea, Director

2016 Community Needs Assessment Survey

What is the importance of the following below?

The Dyer Park and Recreation Department conducted a Community Needs Assessment Survey in June 2016. This survey was mailed out within the June utility bill along with being available on the Town website. The Community Needs Assessment Survey was important for Dyer Parks, as resident feedback assisted the Park Board in preparation of the 2017-2021 Parks Master Plan. The goal of this survey was to gather information on what is important to the residents and provide essential valuable information that will assist when applying for appropriate grants. Overall, 602 households returned their survey either by mail, drop off, or online. Highlights from the Community Needs Assessment results are as followed: When given choices on what residents considered to be important, improving existing walking paths, 67%, and improving neighborhood parks, 68%, were the two most important among Dyer residents. Throughout the survey, walking paths and improving neighborhood parks was a common theme, showing the high volumes of usage these amenities received within the parks. General conditions of park facilities were rated excellent/good.

Rate the overall physical conditions of Dyer Park facilities?

Residents were asked to rate their satisfaction with recreational/ special event programs. The majority of residents were satisfied with all recreational programs, with program safety being the highest, 92%, and program instructors at 87%. Of all 602 households who returned their Community Needs Assessment, 74% stated that their needs were being meet by the Parks and Recreation Department. As the Dyer Parks and Recreation Department continues to plan for the future, the Community Needs Assessment Survey information will be used to fully maximize recreation opportunities, continuing building relationships and invest properly back into the parks.

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Dyer Parks and Recreation Department Update continued from page 16

Satisfaction with recreational / special event programs? Dyer Parks and Recreation Department meeting your needs?

Residents of Dyer will continue to receive discounts when renting our Plum Creek Center, park pavilions, dog park memberships as well as some special event discounts. New this year, we have started a business relationship with Kids First and Skyhawks to offer our own mat based gymnastics program along with flag football, girls’ softball for participants ages 7-12 yrs. old (fast & slow pitch) and a soccer program for children ages 6-11 yrs. old. We have realized that there is a market for non-competitive sports and we are taking great strides to be on the forefront of these programs. With all that children endure these days, we want to offer them a chance to get back to basics and to be able to enjoy these sports without feeling pressured. These programs are taught by certified instructors.

Park Bond For the first time since 2006, the Dyer Parks and Recreation Department has been issued a Park Bond to make necessary improvements among the current parks of Dyer. This $1,130,000 Park Bond will assist Dyer in making necessary improvements to improve the park values for the residents. Dyer has begun working with Robinson Engineering and Land Design Collaborative to assist in completing improvement projects.

Dyer Parks & Recreation Programs & Special Events

Our participants’ favorite events have been known to “sell out”. Starting off the year, we host our Daddy Daughter Dance

Projects that are scheduled are as followed: • Phase I improvements to Hearthstone Park including drainage, playground with poured in place surface, small parking lot and walking path. • Phase I improvements to Eberly Park including drainage, walking path and playground with a poured in place surface. • Pheasant Hills Park improvements to include walking paths and related amenities in conjunction with the Storm Water Board improvements. • Improvements to three existing parks including playground equipment with poured in place surfaces and walking paths. • Miscellaneous equipment to be installed in various parks such as park signs, benches, picnic tables, portable restrooms enclosures, bleachers for ball fields, security and technology improvements for outdoor facilities.

As the Dyer Parks & Recreation Department continues to grow, our longstanding favorites as well many new and exciting programs & special events, are going to be offered. Catering to all ages and needs, we are focusing on the current and future desires. Our long term goals are to better serve Dyer participants as well as non-residents. We recently implemented program and event fees that will be the same for all participants; thus, encouraging non-residents to become familiar with our programs by registering with us.

which draws in about 380 participants and our 29th Annual Easter Egg hunt will fare about 600 participants. Some of our other events, the Royal Princess Ball, Dad & Lad, Mother-Son Fun Bowl, Chicks Fun Run, Bike Parade, Candy Cane Hunt and our 16th Annual Holiday Shopping Spree & Craft fair, have proven to be just as successful. We are looking forward to seeing you in our programs, at our events and in our parks!

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


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The Wonderful Horrible Problem with Plastic By Dell Hunt, Marketing Communication Manager, Polly Products

It is rather interesting that when you bring up the topic of “plastic�, you often get such different reactions. To some, plastic is one of the most useful and wonderful inventions ever created by humankind. To others, it is the bane of our existence and destroying our environment, our oceans and world. The truth is that those two contrasting viewpoints are both correct. Plastic has improved our lives by being made into many products that we use every day. It also is made into versatile, efficient, and low-cost packaging. However, the downside is that plastic has become so commonplace that it often ends up being thrown away after a single use. Research by the Mote Marine Laboratory located in Sarasota, Florida, found that a typical plastic bottle will take 450 years to break down and decompose. The sad irony is that we see food and beverages with a short shelf-life, put into a plastic container that will last for over four centuries. Now, much of that disposed plastic is filling up our landfills, littering our environment and polluting our waterways. This has become a huge problem, especially since it takes so long for it to decompose. However, that terrible long-lasting problem of plastic can also be a wonderful problem to have. Enter the concept of recycling! Instead of plastic being thrown away, it can be reused and recycled. Many manufacturers are now recycling plastic and other materials, to make a wide variety of outdoor furnishings ranging from playground equipment, parks and recreational furnishings, to play surfaces, splash pad features and even artificial

turf. The benefit is that making things from recycled materials not only keeps trash out of landfills and reduces pollution in the environment, but we also consume less energy and natural resources, plus we can make items that will last longer than those made of wood, metal or other traditional materials.

entire product. Stainless-steel fasteners ensure rust-free lifetime durability. Polly Products offers 12 park bench styles in 3 sizes, 19 picnic table models, including 10 with ADA wheelchair accessible options, as well as trash & recycling receptacles, locked message centers, bike racks, trail markers and custom made signs.

Polly Products combines style, functionality and ecology in manufacturing outdoor furnishings made from 100% postconsumer recycled plastic for commercial, recreational and municipal use.

So, the next time you need to replace or perform labor intensive and costly maintenance on park furnishings that are made from traditional materials, think about the long-lasting durability and low maintenance option of recycled plastic. Think Polly Products for outdoor furnishings that stand the test of time.

Our long-lasting furnishings will not rust, rot, splinter, peel, nor flake, and never need to be stained or repainted because color pigments and UV protectants are molded into the solid plastic through the

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Norwalk Concrete Industries Quality Precast Since 1906 Make Your Outdoor Space Extraordinary

80 Commerce Drive • Norwalk, Ohio 44857 www.nciprecast.com • 800.733.3624 20 theProfile

Local Students Participate in Ecological Restoration at LaPorte County Parks Every department looks to find new ways to get the community involved and passionate about our parks. When you can do that, and get some much-needed habitat work done in the same event…it’s a big deal! In 2016, LaPorte County Parks had two such projects that have done just that. In 2014, an extreme straight line wind storm decimated the forest at Luhr County Park, just south of La Porte. This storm uprooted or broke off hundreds of trees placing several of them on buildings and closing the park for about a year. After a salvage timber harvest and repair of the buildings it was time determine how to proceed with habitat restoration. Donations from several foundations enabled the department to hire a tree service to come in and grind up much of the debris that was close to structures and trails. This left us with sizeable openings scattered out throughout what was left of our forest. We decided that these openings were perfect places for tree plantings. Black Cherry had been the dominant tree species and made this forest more vulnerable to wind throw. Increased hardwood diversity was determined by foresters to be necessary for the long-term success of this forest not only for forest growth but for wildlife benefits as well. Unfortunately, the

department didn’t have the funds to hire someone to come in and plant new trees, but this project was greatly needed. Ultimately, the department decided to incorporate school groups in this process and try to get volunteers to plant trees while learning the importance of diversity in a forest. In all we had 182 students, teachers and chaperones show up to plant 900 trees, complete with tree tube protectors and weed guard material around each one! Students were excited and took ownership in the trees they planted and we still hear about what a great time they had at the park. The best part was we did all of this on a very tight budget and the connections to Luhr County Park gained by these children will hopefully last a lifetime. We have heard several stories of children bringing their families back to see the work they did here. This project not only planted many trees, but seeds of interest and care in students about the forest at Luhr County Park. Our next project was at Creek Ridge County Park in a long stretch of Trail Creek near Michigan City. This stretch of stream is completely wooded on both banks. Over many years, excessive woody debris had piled up slowing the flow of the stream and degrading habitat, this was exacerbated by Ash mortality due to Emerald Ash Borer. These log jams had started causing water diversions and excessive erosion during high flows. Removal of these log jams would have been impossible with our staff or trying to contract it out. Our superintendent, Jeremy Sobecki, reached out to the Valparaiso University Biology Club, specifically Dr. Grayson

Davis, who enjoys teaching students by hands-on training. Over the year there have been five different work days and over 10 log jams were removed. Many of these obstructions stretched the entire width of the stream and took several hours for 12 people to clear. After the log jams were removed the stream flow increased and a great deal of the sediment in this stretch of stream has been moved out by naturally flowing water. The water clarity has greatly increased and substrate is now almost all sand and gravel instead of silt in many places. Dr. Davis never misses an opportunity to point out to the students what the work accomplished for the stream. He also makes sure to go back to areas that were cleared on the last trip to let students see how the stream has changed. Volunteer efforts in these two parks not only served the habitat well but also gave many young people in our community a way to connect with our county parks and the outdoors that will probably never be forgotten. We look forward to continued positive impacts that these actions will have not only on the habitats but the children involved in this process.

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Solutions For Lighting Since 1976, Musco has specialized in the design and manufacture of sports and large area lighting. We’re committed to providing lighting solutions and services you can rely on. Musco’s solutions–using LED or metal halide–provide superior energy efficiency, environmental light control and cost effectiveness, all supported by our leading product assurance and warranty program. For Your Budget ...For The Environment

www.musco.com Local area representatives: Brent Castle 317/617-3992 (mobile) 800/825-6030 (toll free) brent.castle@musco.com

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Mark Lusch 317/385-8711 (mobile) 800/825-6030 (toll free) mark.lusch@musco.com

©2017 Musco Sports Lighting, LLC · ADIN17-2

Indiana Children & Nature Network Nature Play Days • June 10 - 18, 2017 By Claire Lane, ICAN Steering Committee

In a typical week, only there were many geographic gaps across the state (see 6% of children ages map). Let’s fill those gaps 9-13 plays outside on their own – instead in 2017 and have a Nature they are spending Play Day event accessible to more than 53 hours every child in Indiana. More information and registration using entertainment is available at www. media. This shift from spending time outdoors IndianaChildrenAndNature. to social media, indoor org. Event planning play, and busy lifestyles assistance is available if you’re not sure how to has a profound effect on children and their utilize your resources for a families. As parks and Nature Play Day. ICAN will recreation organizations be providing promotional know, the need for support and additional resources to help you get children’s outdoor Kids enjoying a Nature Play Day. play is not a new kids outside! Additional concept. Thankfully, the resources like social media opportunities to foster this connection in items, posters, and flyers will be available your communities is growing. A nationwide for your events. Event participants can share photos from your event with the effort is underway to connect children with nature but state and local efforts can hashtag #ICANNaturePlayDay to win great really bring the message home. In 2017, prizes from ICAN like a tent and other the Indiana Children and Nature Network outdoor gear. Let’s work together to get is coordinating the second annual Nature kids outside in 2017—join the movement today! Play Days series. Between June 10th and 18th ICAN is encouraging youth serving organizations across the state to hold nature play events and register them as Nature Play Days. In 2016, 115 events were held across Indiana. These events can be anything from broad partnership, multi-day community events to a simple guided hike, loose parts play, or a meet-up at a playground. Large or small, free play or department led, the goal of Nature Play Days is to get kids outside and remind families that nature play is important and can happen close to home.

Map of 2016 Nature Play Days–Let’s fill the gaps!

ICAN encourages parks departments across Indiana to register an existing event or create a nature play event, large or small, during Nature Play Day week to kick-start or build on the kids and nature movement in your area and across Indiana. Despite having 115 events last year, Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Safe Routes to Parks: Creating Safe Access to Parks for Everyone By Katie McLear, Marketing Coordinator, HWC Engineering

As part of the New Albany Parks and Recreation Master Plan, HWC prepared mapping to identify neighborhoods within a 10-minute walk of parks. Although many New Albany neighborhoods are close to parks, residents need additional routes to safely access the parks. By focusing efforts at the neighborhood level, the city recognized the need for better park connections and plans to add facilities to meet the needs of residents.

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A public workshop was conducted in Brookville, Indiana, to gather feedback and learn more about the walkability goals of community members.

According to the National Parks and Recreation Association (NPRA), people living within 10 minutes of a park are more active and healthy, but less than 38 percent of the U.S. population actually live within a half mile of a park. NPRA recently launched the Safe Routes to Parks program to help communities develop safer and more convenient places for Americans to be physically active. Many communities lack walking infrastructure to parks. As a result, many residents are shut out from the benefits of parks. As outlined in NPRA’s Park Access Report, incomplete or disconnected streets present difficulties for pedestrians, which can make walking to parks inconvenient or dangerous. HWC Engineering works with communities across Indiana to build awareness and community support to reach their walkability goals. Several factors contribute to a successful plan, but HWC focuses on three initial strategies when working with communities to develop and implement a plan.

1. Conduct a walking audit.

Walking audits engage residents and community stakeholders to

assess a community’s walkability to parks, schools, businesses and other destinations. Walking audits provide an opportunity to identify walking barriers and the factors that make a walk safe and enjoyable.

HWC recently completed a walking audit with the town of Brookville, Indiana. While walking the routes with the HWC team, attendees identified traffic volumes on Main Street as one of the community’s major walking barriers.

2. Build community partnerships.

Most parks departments do not have the budget to build sidewalks in neighborhoods. Therefore, building partnerships with other city departments, local schools and other organizations is an important component of implementing a Safe Routes to Parks program. Parks and schools can often both benefit from walkability improvements, so building partnerships where there is already a Safe Routes to Schools program can be an effective strategy. For example, HWC worked with the city of Casey, Illinois, to design a new walking trail through the city park that also connected to the school.

3. Follow the Lighter, Quicker, Cheaper Strategy.

You do not need to start with a large project to make a big impact. Oftentimes, there are easier and less expensive strategies to overcome barriers that can be highly effective. You might be surprised at how much of a difference you can make with simple steps, such as trimming bushes, removing a fence or building a short sidewalk connection.

Through Safe Routes to Parks, Safe Routes to Schools and similar walkability programs, we can create connected neighborhoods that promote a sustainable, healthier future.

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


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Checklist for Concession Stand Success By Heather Gims, Communication Specialist, Gold Medal Products

You want your guests to enjoy themselves, and one of the biggest factors you can influence is your concession stand. • Food is an attraction that brings people together, helping to keep attendance numbers up. • Patrons will stay longer if they don’t have to leave when they’re hungry. • Reach the Millennial generation who are drawn to experiences that incorporate both food and recreation. • Plus, with profits averaging 70% or higher, your stand is a significant source of revenue. This checklist contains tips that address: food selection, profitability, inventory, staffing and more. Pre-Season Prep: Just like athletes gear up before the season starts, there are steps you can take to ensure your stand’s equipment is operating up to par. • No matter what type of equipment you have, start with a thorough cleaning. This is the number one way to avoid performance issues. • It’s also the perfect time to have your machine serviced to help prevent any unplanned breakdowns. • Make sure you have essential items on-hand like extra blades for shave ice machines or ribbons for cotton candy makers. Check Your Line-Up: You want to assess your inventory and evaluate what’s performing well and what’s not.

• Review records from the previous year to determine your most popular items, as well as what items may need to be dropped. • Don’t overlook supplies like cups, food trays, napkins, utensils, etc. • Also plan to add couple of new items because they are known for attracting more customers. Staffing the Stand: It’s important to keep staff motivated and accountable. • Have 2-3 leaders designated. This helps share the responsibilities, plus gives a back-up in case of emergencies. • Schedule a training time for your staff so they are familiar with how to operate the equipment. (Most suppliers should be willing to conduct training and demonstrate the equipment.) • Cashiers should know how to upsell. For example, if a customer orders popcorn, ask if they’d like to add a drink. Keeping It Simple: The best advice when it comes to menu planning is to keep it as simple as possible. • Concession foods are quick and easy to make. For example, hot pretzels just need to be warmed. Popcorn kits are conveniently made with the proper amounts of corn, oil and salt premeasured. • Make the most of your time by having pre-packaged items available like caramel corn, cotton candy and nachos. Grab-and-go foods will keep the lines moving. • More isn’t always better. Don’t be too diverse in your offerings. It can be time consuming for your workers and confusing to customers.

souvenir cup will attract attention. Priced to Sell: Concession foods have remarkably low costs, which gives you great flexibility with pricing. • Product costs can be as low as a quarter per serving. For example, even when sold at a price of $1.50, popcorn can still yield up to 82% profit or $1.23 per bag. • Remember to look for items that have a high perceived value. Beverages are one illustration. You can give your guests an alternative to soda or bottled water with a freshly squeezed Lemon Shake-Up. It’s a satisfying beverage that yields over 70% in profits. • You may also consider adding a couple of higher ticket items. The margins may be smaller, but the dollar amount you earn is higher. Your organization will reap the benefits when you make your concession stand an experience that guests will enjoy!

Making the Sale: Make your foods even more irresistible with sales strategies that draw customers in. • Sell in combos, like a drink and hot dog meal. You can price at approximately 80% of the items sold separately. • Go to the crowds! Try taking samples out to where the visitors are. Just one taste to prompt their appetite and they’ll be lining up at your stand for more. • Let your food advertise itself! A drink in a Indiana Park & Recreation Association





FORT WAYNE Inspiring Communities to Lead Forward

Master Plans Strategic Plans Business Plans Operations and Maintenance Plans Feasibility Studies Needs Assessments Customer Service Training 28 theProfile

201 S Capitol Avenue, Suite 505 Indianapolis, IN 46225 (877) 242-7760 www.prosconsulting.com

January 30 - February 1, 2018

2018 Indiana Park & Recreation Association Conference & Expo Grand Wayne Convention Center Fort Wayne, Indiana

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


2018 IPRA Conference Education Session Proposals We are now accepting education session proposals for the 2018 IPRA Conference.

The event will be held January 30-February 1 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center in Fort Wayne.

The 2018 Indiana Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) conference needs YOU and your willingness to advise, to inspire, and to share with other parks and recreation professionals the benefits of your expertise and lessons learned. Education session topics are designed to be a part of one of the following tracks: • Administration • Health & Wellness • Natural Resources • Operations • Programming

Education sessions are either 1 1/4 or 2 1/2 hours in length, and mini sessions are up to 20 minutes in length. We invite both one-person and team presentations to submit applications. All session proposals are due by May 31, 2017.

Log on to inpra.org/conference to submit your proposal.

Please contact session chairs Bill Ream (reamw@bloomington.in.gov) & Austin Hochstetler (austin.hochstetler@prosconsulting.com

Civil Engineering Solutions for Better Communities

Greenways & Trails • Landscape Architecture Park & Site Development • Civil Engineering • Streetscapes BF&S Offices:

Indianapolis (Headquarters) • Fort Wayne Lafayette • Merrillville • Plainfield • Louisville www.BFSengr.com • Toll Free: 800.553.0863

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Empowering Park Districts with Finance Integration By Sara Rogers, Marketing Program Manager, Tyler Technologies

Parks and recreation administrators have enough on their plates without having to worry about siloed databases, manual processes and communication breakdowns between departments. Fortunately, recent technology allows park districts to increase connectivity between finance, administration and registration functions to communicate more effectively and operate more efficiently. The key is to implement software solutions that are specifically designed to bridge the gap between the two departments. Here are three ways your park district can benefit from integrating with your finance department:

Benefit #1: Data Sharing

One of the biggest benefits of software integration is also one of the most obvious. Data sharing provides instant access to important information, regardless of which department it belongs to. Park districts don’t have to manually compile financial reports to send over to accounting – that data is already available to the finance department. Requests for information become a thing of the past, as each department’s information is available in real-time to either side. Take, for instance, the process of registering an adult softball team. When park districts and finance departments house siloed databases, park employees are forced to manually compile and send all fees and payments to accounting. With integrated software, that’s no longer necessary. Fees are collected and sent over to the finance department, while registration information is delivered directly into the park district’s own software data. Finance departments can handle payments and fees to run updated budgets, while park districts receive the

registration information they need build rosters, schedules and more.

Benefit #2: Increased Insight into Budgeting

When park districts use software that’s integrated with their finance department, employees have more insight into budgets and thus a deeper understanding of their district’s overall financial situation. Ken Eppelheimer, the superintendent of finance and personnel for Wilmette Park District, Illinois, claims that by providing his park district employees with access to financial information, they have more ownership in the entire budgeting process. “It absolutely has helped the staff understand their budgets, they know how it’s put together now. It’s really come full circle. Now they can develop their own plans,” he said. “Directors can run monthly variance analyses and make plans from there. The staff has really responded well and the business as a whole has had more success. It’s decentralized a lot of the myth surrounding accounting. Our staff is engaged in budget meetings and involved in problem solving.” Integrated software helps recreation managers understand roster levels and how much money they’re bringing in. By having access to real-time data, they can see the financial activity in their programs each and every day, which allows them to make better, more informed decisions.

Benefit #3: Streamlined Workflow

Even a modest-sized park district can face hundreds of thousands of transactions, registrations, facility rentals and more each year. The challenge is made even greater when the district has a limited number of staff to tackle the avalanche of

work. But if park districts leverage their software, they can reach a whole new level of efficiency. Our friends at Wilmette can attest to the positive impact software can have on a park district’s daily operations. “We have about 70 employees, and with our old software, they weren’t involved with the financial reporting at all. But now all of our staff are doing their own budgets,” Eppelheimer said. “They have the tools they need to pay invoices and make sure things go to the right accounts. It used to take a week to get all of our financials over to accounting, but that task has gone from taking one week to just half a day, with fewer errors.” In fact, Wilmette Park District’s software allowed them to eliminate two fulltime positions, saving the park district approximately $80,000 to $100,000 a year.


Limited staff, siloed databases and separate departments are all obstacles that can be overcome when the right software is in place. Software solutions designed to integrate with one another can help manage the daily operations and finances for park districts while providing administrators with the tools they need to manage details and operate more efficiently. Want to learn more about how your park district can operate more efficiently? Visit us at: www.tylertech.com/ smartparkdistricts or give us a call at 800.646.2633. Indiana Park & Recreation Association



INPRA Connect

We recently launched our newest member benefit INPRA Connect! INPRA Connect is the place where IPRA members can begin or participate in discussions with peers, join groups relevant to their area of interest or field of knowledge, and keep up-to-date on all things parks. We are excited to share this feature with you and hope it will facilitate beneficial member connections.

Log on at: connect.inpra.org

Post a question for discussion among fellow members!

Collaborate on committee projects!




Phone: 800-931-1562 32 theProfile

See upcoming IPRA events!

2018 IPRA Conference & Expo

It’s never too early to start planning for next year’s conference and expo!

All new floor plan! Pavilion booth spaces for playground builds, custom lounges, and more! Log onto: ipra.org/conference to reserve your booth space today! Sponsorship Opportunities Title Sponsor Supporting Sponsor Awards/Cocktail Hour Evening Social Event Lunch Sponsor Keynote Address Vendor Breakfast Mobile App Signage Sponsor Break Sponsor Registration/Lanyards Charging Station Hospitality Suite Attendee Bag Education Track Conference Program Hand Sanitizer/Mints/Pens

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


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Natural Urban Edge was inspired by the outdoors and all the fun activities that happen there. NU-edge™ components feature realistic wood, bark and rock textures, which are made from a patented composite polymer resin called, Naturtek™. You will find it is significantly lighter and more durable than other GFRC products on the market. Naturtek™ is also different than similar products because it is impervious to water and the surface color goes all the way through. This makes it more resistant to chipping, cracking and fading, giving you an affordable, maintenance-free alternative to the natural accents in your play spaces.

Local Representatives Tom & Mary Sanders 888.640.1433 Call Us! 1-800-325-8828 PlayPower LT Farmington, Inc. is a Division of PlayPower, Inc.

Indiana Park & Recreation Association


Indiana Park & Recreation Association PO Box 3906 Carmel, IN 46082

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