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PARKS & RECREATION

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Spring 2010

Contents Features 8 FRPA EXECUTIVE OFFICE Eleanor Warmack, CAE, CPRP, Executive Director Lori Womack, IOM, Director of Professional Development Amber Bulloch, Administrative Assistant 411 Office Plaza Drive Tallahassee, FL 32301-2756 850-878-3221 Fax: 850-942-0712 TDD 850-878-6177 Website: www.frpa.org

2009-2010 Board of Directors

Florida Communities Trust: Enriching Lives and Landscapes

10

Florida Forever Unique and Endangered

12

Developing a Successful Grassroots Campaign Start an Advocacy Plan in Your Organization

14

Repositioning through Economic Impact Analysis A Case Study of Clearwater’s USF Softball Series

President T. Michael Stavres, CPRP President Elect Don Decker, CPRP Past President Jim Sheets, CPRP VP of Advocacy Julia Thompson, CPRP VP of Finance Greg Scott, CPRP VP of Member Resources Lucille Vaillancourt-Kreider, CPRP VP of Professional Development Chip Potts, CPRP Central Region Lanie Sheets, CPRP Northern Region Jeff Moffitt, CPRP Southeast Region Fred Couceyro, CPRP

Departments 6

A Message from the President of FRPA

7

A Message from the Executive Director of FRPA

Southwest Region Kathy Cahill, CPRP Parliamentarian Jeff Caldwell, CPRP Executive Director, Ex-Officio Eleanor Warmack, CPRP, CAE

18

Index of Advertisers

Publisher: Kathleen Gardner Editor: Cathy Jones Project Manager: Tom Schell Publication Director: Eric Singer Advertising Sales: Bill Mulligan, Patricia Nolin, Niki O’Brien, Darwin Rivera, Mark Tumarkin, Jamie Williams, Cherie Worley Research: Patti Callahan

The Florida Recreation and Park Association Journal is published for the Florida Recreation and Park Association 411 Office Plaza Drive, Tallahassee, FL 32301-2756 phone: 850-878-3221, fax: 850-942-0712 by Naylor, LLC

Layout & Design: Catharine Snell Advertising Art: Allan S. Lorde

5950 Northwest 1st Place Gainesville, FL 32607 phone: 352-332-1252, 800-369-6220 fax: 352-331-3525 www.naylor.com PUBLISHED FEBRUARY 2010/FRP-Q0110/9547

On the Cover: Florida State Capitol. ©www.shutterstock.com.

spring 2010 | frpa journal

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PRESIDENT’S MESSAGE

T. Michael Stavres, CPRP

Advocacy remains one of the highest priorities for FRPA, and although the state legislative season is in full swing, we must be ever mindful that our advocacy efforts are not limited to springtime in Tallahassee each year.

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Practice what you preach! Everyone has had heard this statement at least a thousand times in their lives and has probably barked it out to family, friends and colleagues just as frequently. It’s the old adage of Talk the TalkWalk the Walk. It is one of the clearest representations of our commitment to and belief in what we are professing. Unfortunately, with the challenges of today’s work environment resulting from the combination of increased responsibility and decreased resources, it is easy to get caught up in a life ruled by that other classic adage: Do as I say-not as I do. Stop and think for just a minute about your last experience in leisure. What did you do? I am not talking about the last time you dealt with a maintenance problem at one of your parks, or checked in on a special event, or handled the issue of the day. I am talking about the last time you set aside an hour or two to recharge your batteries, to experience another culture, to reconnect with nature, to explore history, to exercise your body and soul, to create something from scratch, to engage in a social experience, to play, to live, to exist. Has it been a day? Two days? A week? A month? Longer? Now ask yourself, “Am I walking the walk or just talking the talk? Am I practicing or just preaching?” At this year’s National Recreation and Park Association Congress (Salt Lake City), I had an opportunity to attend a session presented by Mickey Fearn (the National Park Service Deputy Director for Communications and Community Assistance) entitled “Are We Part of the Problem We Are Trying to Solve?” Mickey spoke at length about our ability (or inability) as professionals to communicate to our constituents and citizens what it is that we do and what we truly provide at the end of the day. He pointed out that we have a tendency to communicate with these groups the same way we communicate with our colleagues. But the bottom line is that doesn’t work. The problem? What we see as everyday obvious may be completely oblivious to the end users. They know how their experience makes them feel personally through their immediate and direct participation, but they may be blind to the indirect impacts these services and facilities have beyond that personal experience. Mickey suggested that we focus on improving our communication efforts in light of this level of understanding to bring

about greater advocacy for parks, recreation and leisure. I couldn’t agree more. People who have a direct personal positive experience can relate on a higher plane and are without a doubt the greatest allies one could ever wish for. Their experience creates an emotion that further establishes a memory. That memory and the desire to feel that way again is by far the most powerful source of advocacy and influence. But I think there is another piece to the puzzle. How do you know what flips the switch of excitement and energy in your citizens? Is it by analyzing the comment cards from last week’s instructional classes? Yes. Is it by comparing this season’s softball league registrations to last season’s? Yes. Is it by assessing how long people stay at a special event? Yes. But it is also by taking the time to place yourself in their shoes (i.e. practicing what you preach.) It’s taking time to reconnect yourself with all of the emotion and sensation that comes from recreating, from playing, from using your time for a leisure pursuit. Advocacy remains one of the highest priorities for FRPA, and although the state legislative season is in full swing, we must be ever mindful that our advocacy efforts are not limited to springtime in Tallahassee each year. It is a day-in/day-out effort all across the state and at multiple levels. It is also one that we cannot do alone. We rely heavily on our supporters and advocates back home and must realize that we play a significant role in establishing their strength and effectiveness. We need to take the time to better equip them with the resources they need to carry our collective banner. And we need to take the time to practice what we preach so as to reacquaint ourselves – as an end user - with what we provide as they see it. So when you’re ready to walk the walk, revisit some of your favorite memories. Do they Start in Parks? In closing, I want to extend a personal word of congratulations to Leah Hoffman, Chip Potts, and Kara Petty for their election to the FRPA 2010/2011 Board of Directors. All three have given countless hours to the association while serving in various roles. Their professionalism, commitment and overall leadership will only further our efforts in line with our vision, mission and goals. Congratulations, and I look forward to working with each of you as you assume these leadership roles.


E XECUTIVE DIRECTOR’S MESSAGE

“Manage the Present – Position for the Future” Eleanor Warmack, CPRP, CAE

It is often said that the most unenviable position to be in is the one without position. Professions across the country are facing the challenge of the century – holding their position in the eye of the public. Perhaps it is because to some extent we get so caught up in “managing” the everyday tasks of what gets thrown our way, that we forego thinking about where we would like to be perceived by the public 10 years down the road. Progressive parks and recreation leaders have for years reached behind themselves to bring others forward. They have taken the time to teach their staff the importance of being a priority in their community – establishing their position. It has proven to be an effective approach in the last year. Have they escaped budget and staffing reductions? Probably not, but my guess is their reductions have not been as severe as communities where an active and engaged advocacy corps did not exist. The truth is that advocacy requires work, and it requires everyone to actively participate in growing and nurturing the advocacy team. Those teams must be a complementary compilation of professionals, citizens, users, elected officials, and fellow city/county agency heads. We must stop looking at local government services as being easy to categorize. If we are to survive and thrive, we must re-position ourselves as leaders in the effort to resolve issues facing our communities. Advocacy is everyone’s responsibility. If you won’t do it, how can you expect others to come to your aid? When you receive this issue of the FRPA Journal,

the 2010 Legislative Session will have begun, and chances are it will be proving rumors right. Suppositions abound relative to what will and will not get done during the session. What we know is the state budget is in worse shape than it was in 2009, record numbers of state officials will be vying to be elected or re-elected, and none are interested in talking tax or fee increases. Chances are if you have not visited your state legislators before they arrived in Tallahassee, they have arrived without critical information about legislative priorities for parks and recreation. It isn’t too late. Visit the FRPA Web site to obtain a copy of the FRPA 2010 legislative priorities. Share those with your elected legislator and personalize them by featuring examples they will recognize from their local areas. That is how we can manage to some degree “today.” Looking forward, we must build our advocacy arsenal, because we won’t have another decade before the next crisis occurs. Chances are it will be 2013 before local governments see relief from the impacts of Amendment 1 and the existing economic downturn. More choices will be made regarding where local funding will be invested. Enticing members of our communities to speak on our behalf, engaging them to take the message of our value and importance, arming them with the information they need to be effective advocates, and always recognizing their efforts on our behalf, will begin to re-position parks and recreation as a leader in communities throughout Florida. Since November 2009, FRPA has taken this message nationally, in partnership with Ian Hill and our “Leading the Heart of the Community” series. Dialogue is occurring daily among program participants. It isn’t too late for you to become engaged

in that program. For more information on how you can become involved, you can contact the FRPA Executive Office, or visit the FRPA website for registration information. Next month, directors and secondsin-command from parks and recreation agencies across the state will gather for a facilitated discussion on how we reposition parks and recreation. Ideas will be exchanged in an incubator setting, and the result will be a blueprint for our future, one that will assist you in creating and implementing a plan to begin today to position for the future. Starting today, fostering our advocates is a must – it can not be delayed in the name of managing the present. This issue of the FRPA Journal features two programs that need our advocacy assistance. The historic Florida Forever Program is in danger of not being funded for a second year. The Florida Communities Trust Program and Working Waterfronts Program are funded from the Florida Forever Program, as is the Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program. All risk going unfunded if we cannot start today to be advocates for these critical funding programs. Start your advocacy plan today. Familiarize yourself with the programs and then act. Call your legislators and encourage them to support the programs. Make sure your city/county lobbyist understands the importance of these programs, and make sure those individuals enjoying your parks and open spaces understand that these programs make those areas possible. This issue also features an article by Stephanie Vance on advocacy and growing your grassroots. Start today position for the future. You can’t expect others to do it, if you won’t take the time to do it yourself! spring 2010 | frpa journal

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Florida Communities Trust Enriching Lives and Landscapes By Alanna Layton, FCT Public Information Officer

Since the inception of Preservation 2000 in 1991, Florida Communities Trust has assisted Florida’s communities by providing grant funds to acquire land for parks and open spaces. As Florida continues to grow, these lands are crucial to protecting the state’s precious natural, cultural, and historical resources. Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever funds awarded by the Trust have resulted in a collection of local and regional parks as diverse as Florida’s communities – from beachfront parks to large urban green space. Each of these wonderful locations offers a wide range of recreational opportunities while providing Floridians and visitors with the chance to experience nature first-hand. Take a look at some of the success stories to come out of Florida Communities Trust’s 19-year history.

Keaton Beach Coastal Park Taylor County Just 50 miles southeast of Tallahassee is Taylor County, the longest contiguous coastline on the Gulf of Mexico. Located on Florida’s “Nature Coast,” Taylor County is renowned for excellent fishing and scalloping; public access to the Gulf is critical to the local economy as the county depends on tourism for water-based activities. The small community of Keaton Beach is one of the few largely undeveloped areas on the Gulf and is home to the Keaton Beach Boat Ramp. It is the only county boat ramp that provides deep water access, which can make it a challenge for boaters to find parking and easy access to the water. 8

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In an effort to provide additional boat and trailer parking spaces and preserve open space for the community, Taylor County partnered with Florida Communities Trust in 2008 to purchase Keaton Beach Coastal Park, a 43-acre property adjacent to the boat ramp. The acquisition had an added touch of significance as it marked the first partnership between FCT and Taylor County. Once development is complete, the park will create more than 75 additional boat and trailer parking spaces and provide access to other recreational opportunities in the community. Nature trails will connect the park to the future Taylor Coastal Loop trail system, and canoe and kayak users will be able to use the parking facilities for easier access to the Big Bend Saltwater Paddling Trail, Florida Circumnavigational Trail, and Taylor Saltwater Paddling Trail. In addition, park visitors will have a unique opportunity to commune with nature. The property features 20 acres of pristine wetlands, and 17 species of birds have been documented here, including Bald Eagle, Bachman’s Sparrow, and Marian’s Marsh Wren.

Loggerhead Park Preserve Town of Melbourne Beach If you want proof that a small “pocket park” can make a big impact on a community and on wildlife, look no further than Loggerhead Park Preserve in the Town of Melbourne Beach. Although a little less than an acre in size, this coastal ecological gem serves

as a passive recreation area and an ideal educational tool for local schools and community groups, while providing safe nesting grounds for loggerhead sea turtles.

Florida Communities Trust Stan By Alanna Layton, FCT Public Information Officer

BORDERED BY THE ATLANTIC OCEAN on the east and the Gulf of Mexico on the west, Florida has a powerful connection to the water. The state depends on its coastal waters for recreational opportunities, tourism, and seafood. From the Apalachicola Bay to the Indian River Lagoon, Florida produces a bounty of seafood unlike anywhere else. Imagine how different restaurants, seafood markets, and grocery stores would be without oysters from Apalachicola, shrimp from Fernandina Beach, or stone crabs from Key West. Traditional working waterfronts, and the dedicated fishermen who work these waterfronts, have long played an important role in the economic and cultural fabric of our state. To better understand the impact of Florida’s working waterfronts and commercial seafood industry, consider these figures taken from the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Florida Seafood and Aquaculture Web site (www.fl-seafood.com): • In 2007, Florida ranked among the top five states for fresh seafood production with an average harvest of more than 82 million pounds and a dockside value of more than $174 million. • Florida fishermen catch more than 90 percent of the nation’s supply of grouper, pompano, mullet, stone


Loggerhead Park Preserve enhances the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge less than two miles to the south, serving as the northern end of a 20-mile section of coastline that extends to Wabasso Beach in Indian River County. This zone is considered the most important nesting area for loggerhead sea turtles in the western hemisphere and the second most important sea turtle nesting beach in the world. Researchers have recorded 1,000 nests per mile within the zone, making Loggerhead Park Preserve an ideal location to see numerous sea turtle nests during the summer season. The Town of Melbourne Beach partnered with Florida Communities Trust in 1998 to purchase this property for the protection of sea turtle nesting areas and for the enjoyment of residents and visitors. Today, Loggerhead

Park Preserve is a prized oceanfront park popular with community residents and visitors. On any given day, visitors to the park can be found reading a book under the trees, checking out the educational kiosk to learn more about the types of dune and ocean creatures in the area, or just taking in a view of the beautiful surroundings. Community participation and education is also an important aspect of the preserve. Scout troops, as well as students from nearby schools, have all been actively involved in projects on the site.

Central Broward Regional Park Broward County and the City of Lauderhill Travel south on Interstate 95 into the heart of the bustling Palm Beach/ Broward/Miami-Dade tri-county corridor and you’ll find an impressive urban

green space in the City of Lauderhill. The 110-acre Central Broward Regional Park is the result of broad community support and the vision of forwardthinking community leaders. continued on page 11

Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever Grant Program crab, pink shrimp, spiny lobsters, and Spanish mackerel. • Florida boasts a seafood industry that provides more than 200 million dinners each year. • Florida has more seafood processing plants than any other state. According to the DACS Working Waterfronts Web site (www.workingwaterfronts.com), Florida’s commercial fishermen have faced a number of challenges in recent years, from hurricane damage to fishing fleets and processing infrastructure to the high prices of fuel, which has greatly increased business costs for Florida fishermen. Seeing a critical component of Florida’s economy and culture being faced with such adversity, Florida legislators recognized the need to preserve the heritage of Florida’s traditional working waterfronts and promote their impact on the state. In 2008, the Legislature reauthorized Florida Forever and created the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Program with the passage of Senate Bill 542. Named after then-Representative Stan Mayfield, a great advocate for the heritage of working waterfronts, this new grant program was given to Florida Communities Trust to administer. Once the bill was signed into law, the Trust worked in partnership with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services to develop governing rules for the program.

The Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever Grant Program receives 2.5 percent, or $7.5 million, of the total Florida Forever bond proceeds made available each year. The program provides funds to local communities and working waterfront organizations to acquire parcels of land used for the commercial harvest of marine organisms or saltwater products by state-licensed commercial fishermen. Acquisitions made under the program may also be used for exhibitions, educational venues, civic events, and other purposes that promote and educate the public about the historical, cultural and economic heritage of Florida’s traditional working waterfronts. The first grant application cycle for the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Program was held in October and November of 2008. Twelve applicants from coastal communities across the state submitted applications, and three of those applications were ultimately selected for funding. The three projects that were awarded funding were Blue Crab Cove in Brevard County, which will allow the only working waterfront in the county to continue its use for the commercial harvest of blue crab, mullet and other marine organisms; the Sebastian Working Waterfronts Collaborative in the City of Sebastian, which will educate the public about the commercial fishing heritage of the community through a retail/

wholesale seafood house, exhibitions, and educational venue; and the Apalachicola Boat Works in the City of Apalachicola, which will create an educational commercial seafood vessel building and repair facility. In December 2009, the Apalachicola Boat Works earned the distinction of being the first project to be acquired through the Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Program, insuring that a much-needed and valuable service will be available to the community. At the time of this writing, negotiations are ongoing to acquire the other two projects. The Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Program is another way that Florida Communities Trust is enriching lives and community landscapes throughout Florida. Through the creation of this program, our coastal communities can insure that their working waterfronts can continue operations for generations to come, providing a boost to the local economy through job creation, product sales, and tourism. In addition, these communities will have the opportunity to educate residents and visitors about their history and their culture through events or educational programs. For more information about the Florida Communities Trust Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts Florida Forever Program, please visit www.floridacommunitiestrust.org. spring 2010 | frpa journal

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Florida Forever Unique and Endangered By Holly Parker Davenport, Government Relations Associate The Nature Conservancy

For decades the citizens and elected officials of Florida have been resolute in using public funding to protect our most irreplaceable public spaces. The result has been, among other things, a network of more than 500 of the finest parks and recreation sites in the country. Today, regrettably, this legacy is threatened. For the first time in 20 years, the state has provided no new funding for Florida Forever, the state’s premier land conservation program. Your help is needed to ensure that Florida Forever is funded in 2010. Please contact Governor Crist and your local legislators to let them know how important land conservation is to you. In 2000, the Florida Forever program was created to succeed Preservation 2000 (P2000). P2000 helped preserve more than 1.8 million acres. From 2000-2008, the Florida Forever program protected 627,500 acres of unique Florida lands. The Florida Legislature then reauthorized the program for an additional 10 years. Sadly, in 2009 the Florida Legislature opted to provide no new funding for Florida Forever, endangering the future of our state and local parks, greenways, and public recreation space at a critical time. A 2008 comprehensive study of Florida Parks entitled, “Florida Parks in the 21st Century: A Sound Investment for a Growing State,” noted that more than $10.5 billion is needed for Florida’s community, neighborhood, and regional parks to purchase land to create and expand parks, renovate and restore current parks and purchase new park facilities. Without Florida Forever funding, many of these needs will go unmet. 10

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Florida Forever funding is spread across several state agencies and departments to ensure a comprehensive and diverse protection strategy. The funding is allocated to: • Florida Communities Trust; • Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program; • DEP Division of Recreation & Parks; • DEP Office of Greenways & TrailsRails to Trails; • DCA Stan Mayfield Working Waterfronts; • Division of Forestry; • Rural & Family Lands; • DEP Division of State Lands; • Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission; • Water Management Districts. These programs then purchase land for parks and public recreation, and for the protection of Florida’s water resources, coastal ecosystems, timberlands/forests, working agriculture and waterfronts, military bases, and wildlife habitat. One of the most critical services Florida Forever provides is protection of our water resources. Florida is blessed with the largest concentration of first magnitude springs of any comparably sized region on Earth. First magnitude springs are defined as springs that have a flow equal to or greater than 66 million gallons of water per day. The majority of Florida’s drinking and agricultural

water supplies are derived from the same groundwater aquifers that are the sources of Florida’s beautiful and celebrated springs. To date, Florida Forever has protected more than 53,600 acres of springs and springsheds. These protected areas directly affect the quality and quantity of Florida’s drinking water. Florida Forever lands are also made up of timberlands and forests. Before the expansion of logging, more than 60 million acres of longleaf pine habitat stretched across the southeastern United States. Today, less than two percent of the original old-growth longleaf pines remain. Longleaf pine ecosystems are some of the most biologically diverse and unique habitats in the world. They are home to a variety of native Florida flora and fauna, including the gopher tortoise, Florida mouse and red cockaded woodpecker. Florida Forever has protected more than 300,000 acres of sustainable forest land. Land conservation, however, doesn’t end with the purchase of property. Conservation through Florida Forever also means properly managing acquired lands. Many of Florida’s native plants and animals have evolved to depend on naturally occurring wildfires to restore and maintain their habitat. The development of towns and roads has stopped the majority of these wildfires from occurring and spreading naturally, as they once had. Prescribed fires are used to return fire to the landscape in a safe and controlled fashion. These fires preserve and renew important habitats and protect nearby human communities from potential wildfire damage. Florida Forever acquisitions are also not limited to large expanses of wilderness. Many Florida Forever properties are local parks or public recreation


areas. These acquisitions provide opportunities for fishing, hiking, biking, hunting, canoeing/kayaking, wildlife watching and much more. The Florida Communities Trust Program, through Florida Forever funding, makes grants to local governments and nonprofit organizations to help acquire community- based parks, open spaces, and greenways. The Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program, also partially funded through Florida Forever, provides grants to local governments for the acquisition and development of parks. The projects can range from passive nature trails to community ballfields. When the Florida Forever program was reauthorized in 2008, the Florida Legislature placed additional emphasis on working agriculture and defense. Agriculture is the second largest economic industry in Florida. In 2006, the state’s forestry and cattle-ranching industries generated $9.8 billion and supported at least 195,000 jobs. Through the Rural and Family Lands Program, Florida Forever uses permanent conservation easements to protect land owned by the agriculture sector. Conservation easements are a win for both the private landowners wishing to continue in agriculture and for the public through cost-effective land conservation. To date, Florida Forever has helped preserve 158,700 acres of working agricultural lands. Though not an obvious partnership, Florida Forever and the military have worked together seamlessly to promote

national security and land conservation. Florida Forever acquisitions protect the state’s estimated $52 million in economic benefits generated annually by the defense industry. Without permanent conservation, undeveloped lands face development that is potentially incompatible with military training and readiness needs. Noise, air quality, and safety considerations are best mitigated with conservation buffers. The Department of Defense often provides additional funds to support these acquisitions, thus reducing the state’s overall expenditure and burden on Florida taxpayers. Despite these many successes, the recent economic downturn forced the Florida Legislature to make significant budget cuts in 2009, one of which was the Florida Forever program. A coalition of more than 175 diverse organizations has come together to fight these cuts and advocate for the continuation of Florida Forever. The Florida Forever Coalition is headed by a steering committee comprising six organizations:

FRPA, 1000 Friends of Florida, Audubon of Florida, Defenders of Wildlife, The Nature Conservancy, and The Trust for Public Land. The Coalition hosts events, coordinates public advocacy, and works with the Legislature and Governor to ensure that Florida Forever remains a top priority of the state. Right now, the Coalition urges supporters to contact Governor Crist and the Legislature to support inclusion of Florida Forever in their upcoming budgets. The economic downturn has presented a remarkable opportunity to purchase conservation lands at bargain basement prices. Even a small appropriation can ensure that Florida Forever will continue, that landowners will be able to negotiate with the state in full faith, and that the most critical pieces of wild Florida are able to be preserved. To l e a r n m o r e a b o u t F l o r i d a Forever and how you can help, visit www.supportfloridaforever.org or send an email to info@supportfloridaforever.org.

Florida Communities Trust from page 9 Central Broward Regional Park was the first park to be acquired through Broward County’s Safe Parks and Land Preservation Bond Program, which was approved by county voters in November 2000. The county and the City of Lauderhill submitted an application to Florida Communities Trust in 2002 for additional funding to purchase the land. FCT did indeed award Florida Forever funding to acquire the park, allowing the dream of additional recreational opportunities and green space to become a reality. Central Broward Regional Park opened to the public in November 2007 and is the largest in the central Broward area. The park offers a wide range of amenities for visitors to enjoy, including playgrounds, a nature trail with two fishing piers, an aquatics center, athletic courts, and an imposing eight-story clock tower that graces the park’s entrance. The park also features a large cricket

stadium with 5,000 covered seats and an embankment that seats thousands more, located on a portion of land acquired through additional funding sources. Nature is on display with the resident burrowing owls. Prior to construction, the owls made their home on the property. Man-made burrows were created away from the construction and roped off to insure the birds’ safety. The efforts to protect these creatures were successful, and to this day visitors to the park can still view the burrowing owls and learn more about these creatures through guided nature walks. These are just a few of the parks that have been created through the assistance of Preservation 2000 and Florida Forever funding provided by Florida Communities Trust. To view more of the parks that are part of FCT’s legacy of partnership and preservation, please visit www.floridacommunitiestrust.org. spring 2010 | frpa journal

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Developing A Successful

Grassroots Campaign By Stephanie Vance

Having a grassroots component in your advocacy plan

and provide facts, case studies or anecdotes to back you up.

is always a good idea, but how do you make it happen? What does it take to get people excited about the issues and motivated to do something about it? Though there’s no “Miracle Gro” for your grassroots campaigns, focusing on the advocates, issues, venues, and organization will allow you to have maximum impact on your elected officials.

Advocates Effective grassroots campaigns are composed of a myriad of elements, but the most crucial by far are the actual people who advocate on the issues. All of the planning and researching in the world is useless without passionate people to present the message.

Identifying The first step is to identify the people who care about your issues. Use an Internet search to seek out likeminded coalitions and ask current members to help find new individuals. Ask them to recruit five new members, or offer a prize for the most referrals. Then, learn as much as you can about your advocates by asking them what they think are the key issues. Conduct a free online survey at www.zoomerang.com.

Motivating Post as much information as you can on your Web site to make it easy for your grassroots advocates to get involved. Then get creative. Enlist the help of an elected official to let your advocates know the difference they are making. Ask him/her to write an article for your newsletter or speak at an advocates’ meeting to explain how constituents are the most important people in a lawmaker’s office. 12

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Activating When your advocates are enthused about the campaign, it’s easier to set them into action. Provide plenty of opportunities for them to get involved. Send out urgent action alerts when you need them to contact their elected officials, and ask for a commitment of three alerts and one site visit or meeting per year. The best time to make an impact is during the weeks preceding a vote, but it’s important to stay on your elected officials’ radar screens throughout the year by sending article clippings or other useful information about your organization.

Issues Once you have a dedicated group of advocates, your next step is to provide them with a good message. The development, expression and defense of your issues must be well-researched and presented. For developing campaign positions, consider your desired action status (proactive, reactive or both), how your views are generally received by elected officials, how strong are your enemies and your grassroots support, and how to best incorporate various views and advocates in the issue/policy development process. To express the positions you eventually develop, keep in mind that elected officials look for position statements that express both a specific problem and a clear and doable solution that will benefit their constituents. Be sure to address both sides of your issues (acknowledge your opposition)

Venues Now that you have advocates and a message, you need to decide where your voice can be best heard. In a grassroots campaign, venues refer to the legislative, executive, and media scenes in which your advocacy effort could possibly play out. Legislative venues, which are generally reserved for changes in law, are built upon the principle of “representation.” Elected officials care about the people that elect them. Hence, your goal is to demonstrate a district or representational connection. Executive venues, which are generally reserved for implementing laws, are built upon the principle of effective “administration” (read “budgets”). Your goal is to demonstrate why a particular approach makes sense administratively and may serve to increase an agency’s budget. Finally, remember that all officials pay attention to the media, so you must get them to cover your issues! Maintain personal relationships with journalists and then relate your issue to current events happening in the readers’ communities.

Organization Thinking about advocates, key issues and venues is a great start, but without integrating your ideas into the framework of your organization, your thoughtful planning will never come to fruition.

Institutionalizing Advocacy in Your Organization Everyone should be thinking about how advocacy fits into the overall mission of the organization. Maintain topdown support demonstrated through funding, inclusion in the organizational mission and specific board involvement. Identify who will be responsible for key aspects of advocacy by creating


“advocacy job descriptions” and policy committees at the staff, board and member levels.

Planning for Advocacy in Your Organization Without the proper tools it is impossible to keep track of your advocates and motivate them to take action (all those Congressional deadlines? Forget it!). Build a database of advocates - with a fancy software program or a simple Excel spreadsheet - and include categories to help you identify personal relationships, congressional districts and committee assignments of the legislators that represent your advocates. It won’t always be necessary to activate your entire grassroots network, so knowing where your advocates live vis-a-vis key lawmakers can help you focus your efforts. When there is no vote or pressing decisions being made on your issue, stay on your advocate’s radar screens by sending out an e-newsletter. Even if they don’t read it, which many won’t, they will see your name in their inbox and keep you fresh in their minds.

Implementing Your Plan Once you’ve put the plan together, it’s time to get rolling! As you’re carrying out your ideas, you’ll want to find a way to figure out what’s working and what isn’t in terms of getting advocates motivated and getting elected officials to do what you want. One way to do so is to ask your advocates to send the responses they get from elected officials or ask them to fill out a quick online survey. When all is said and done, remember to thank your advocates, and show them your appreciation by recognizing and rewarding their efforts. Set up a402728_Ewing.indd 1 system whereby your most active advoEmpex Watertoys cates receive recognition not just from 591 Albright Road your government affairs people, but the Uxbridge, ON L9P 1R4 organization at large. (905) 649-5047 | Fax: (905) 649-1757 wt@watertoys.com www.watertoys.net Stephanie Vance, the Advocacy Guru, is Since 1986, Empex Watertoys® has been author of four books on advocacy including an innovator of unique interactive Aquatic the recently released Citizens in Action: A Playgrounds and Sprayparks, providing interactive water play for hotels and resorts, Guide to Influencing Government. She’s municipal parks and recreation facilities, a Capitol Hill survivor who lives and works housing complexes, YMCAs, YWCAs, in Washington, DC, offering workshops and campgrounds, zoos, military bases, waterparks and amusement parks. advice on effective advocacy. Find out more at www.advocacyguru.com.

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spring 2010 | frpa journal

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Repositioning through Economic Impact Analysis A Case Study of the City of Clearwater’s USF Softball Series By Felicia Leonard and Valerie Pillow

In our present economic environment, it is increasingly

and indispensable component of a community, not

actual event, but surrounding the event, while it is going on. The most amount of spending is from not only the spectators, but also the participants that come to any location.

merely a superfluous one.

Results

important to promote parks and recreation as an essential

Currently, parks and recreation is often viewed as benefiting only taxpayers who use the programs and services offered and not the entire community. However, in most communities, parks and recreation agencies are the economic generators of tourism and economic development. Recreational facilities, special events, and sports tournaments attract tourists, businesses, retirees, and enhance real estate values. As an industry, the tendency is to focus on demonstrating the intangible benefits and actual costs/revenue of providing a program instead of focusing on the overall monetary contribution to the community. For example, parks and recreation agencies often provide financial reports (the tournament cost the city $64,000), instead of an economic report (the tournament generated an influx of $750,000 into our local economy). One method a community can use to reposition parks and recreation as an essential element with concrete value is through the presentation of an economic impact analysis for a specific event. Specifically, economic impact analysis is an effective tool to demonstrate the tangible benefits the community is realizing in terms of income.

Economic Impact Analysis Strategy and Execution The City of Clearwater Parks and Recreation Department performed an 14

frpa journal | spring 2010

economic analysis of a major softball tournament, the 2009 University of South Florida’s (USF) Series, to assist in repositioning the value of a parks and recreation activity from a recreation user benefit to a community benefit in economic terms. There were 27 collegiate softball teams that participated in 60 games in a nine-field softball complex over two weekends. The analysis utilized the economic impact data-collection and calculation principles set forth by Dr. John L. Crompton in his 1999 book, “Measuring the Economic Impact of Visitors to Sports Tournaments and Special Events.” Economic impact analysis techniques estimate average per-person spending to determine an estimated direct spending and indirect economic effects within the area. It is important to note that the economic impact figures only consider new spending by visitors who reside outside of the City of Clearwater. Expenditures by residents is not captured because that spending already exists in the community, and is not an injection of new funding. To perform this analysis, basic information was gathered. The information necessary includes: • Jurisdiction Population; • Event Sales Revenue (ticket sales and concessions); • Lodging Expenses; • Length of Time Visitors Stayed. The bulk of the benefits of tournaments is not what is spent on the

The City of Clearwater’s economic impact estimate consists of two sections: direct expenditures and indirect effects. Direct expenditures demonstrate the aggregate spending by visitors and spectators. This includes total spending, visitor lodging and admissions. The direct expenditures for the 2009 USF Series was $749,880. Total Spending: Total spending includes all direct spending by visitors and spectators exclusive of lodging and admissions. This includes items such as food and beverage, entertainment, retail, and auto expenses. There were 600 participants and spectators each spending an average of $143 per day for six days equating to $514,800. The $143 figure was provided by the Florida Sports Foundation. Visitor Lodging: The 27 visiting teams spent an estimated 1,800 total nights at an average of $119 per night in a hotel room equating to direct spending of $214,200. Admissions: The total revenue collected through admissions was $20,880. The second part of determining the economic impact of the USF Series relates to indirect effect of the above expenditures. Using multipliers provided by Dr. John L. Crompton, the following effects can be derived. Indirect Effect of Admissions: It is estimated that for every dollar


spent by all participants, an additional 20 cents was generated, for a grand total of $154,140. This figure is the calculation most chambers of commerce would provide. Personal Income: It is estimated that for every dollar spent by tournament visitors, 32 cents of personal income was accrued within the community in the form of employee wages, salaries and proprietary income. The 2009 USF Series theoretically generated $1.60 for each Clearwater resident. Using the multipliers provide by John Crompton, this equates to $242,770 for all the residents combined. Jobs: To estimate the number of jobs supported by the USF Series, the total direct expenditures ($749,880) is divided by $51,474, Clearwater’s median income. The 2009 USF Series created 14.56 jobs in the community based on total spending for both weekends of the event. The figure refers to both full-and part-time jobs.

Conclusion Measuring the economic impact of special events and tournaments is essential to demonstrating the comprehensive value of an event to a community. The presentation and distribution of the economic impact is a method of repositioning the activity from a purely recreational one benefitting only participants and spectators to a tourism and economic generator that positively affects the community in a larger context.

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