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  • 09 Sep 2022 11:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Written and contributed by Cait Bieker of Landworks Studio
    * A special thanks to Landworks Studio for their continued support of the KRPA Women's Leadership Summit.

    In a small city in Kansas, there exists a street with no sidewalks. Trees overhang nearly every inch of the road and the majority of traffic consists of feet, paws, and stroller wheels. Behind and between the trees are picturesque homes varying in size and color, all quietly and peacefully watching pedestrians enjoy the safety and beauty that the shelter of their neighborhood provides.

    On this same street exists a small park, no larger than the lots that the surrounding homes sit on. This park has grasses that are evergreen and flowers that burst into color in the spring and fade into comfortable beauty in the fall. A neat and winding path greets park visitors the moment they step into it - welcoming them to explore each of the many features that await within its boundaries. The path takes those that follow it past shaded benches and wooden swings, on a bridge over a trickling waterfall, under the shade of large oak trees, and wishes them a safe farewell on their way out, beckoning them to return again soon. 

    Families gather here and watch their youngest members happily play.

    Couples find space to enjoy moments together in the open air.

    Individuals sit and take in whispered serenity.

    And this park, so precious to those that it serves, is the gift of a private donation.

    Kathryn Lyon Flora Park in Fairway, Kansas was a gift welcomed by both the City and the community. Donated by Fairway residents Paul and Susie Lyon in honor of their late daughter, Kathryn (Kathy) Lyon Flora, this park served not only as a lasting and loving tribute, but filled several needs of the community as well.

    Fairway is home to several thousand residents. Prior to the completion of Kathryn Lyon Flora (KLF) Park, the city had only a single park to serve those residents. Additionally, the lot that KLF would eventually come to exist on was privately owned and vacant. Having been cleared for the previous owner to build a home of their own that would not come to fruition, the lot sat empty and unused. As neighborhood residents, the Lyons had watched as families and children in the neighborhood walked along the street with no sidewalks, learned to ride bicycles, walked their pets, and recognized a solution. They decided to purchase the property in honor of their daughter for the benefit of the community that the family cared so deeply for.

    Individual donations such as this are not very common and not without reason. Private donations, while well-intended, can be tricky for cities to navigate. Outside of the sticker shock that can sometimes accompany construction projects, donors may have a vision that doesn’t fit the community’s needs. They may have unusual or impractical demands that are challenging to comply with for a variety of purposes. This can lead to the project becoming an additional responsibility the City can’t afford or can’t maintain.

    Despite the challenges, private donations are largely beneficial to donors and communities alike.

    Private funds allow for opportunity and meaningfulness to be invited into a new space in a community. From the perspective of the City, these donations allow them to accomplish goals that they’ve previously not had the resources for or to begin a project earlier than anticipated.

    For the residents, it creates a place for them to spend time and make new memories. And for donors, it provides a chance to honor their passion while adding a lasting value to their community.

    (1st image- Landmark Studio's rendering of park, 2nd image-Actual image of completed park)

    For a project to be considered successful, both the City and the donor will have needs and desired outcomes needing to be met. The navigation of needs and wants isn’t often so simple, but it can be simplified. Great communication is critical. Understanding the goals of each party and a clear breakdown of how funds will be used is a top priority early in the process.

    Discussion of how involved the donor would like to be should also happen fairly early on - clear responsibilities and common understanding can ease confusion further into the project. Most importantly, both sides must agree on, and work towards, the same final outcome.

    Kathryn Lyon Flora Park is a testament to what a successful, privately-funded project can be. It is a place that fills the needs of a community, wholly. Now, it will serve as a landmark and a haven for its patrons for years to come. The street still has no sidewalks, but there is satisfaction in knowing those that take it now have a destination.

  • 01 Aug 2022 12:08 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Nomination Forms for All KRPA Awards
    (Branch, Distinguished and Hall of Fame) Now Available

    Are you aware of someone within your agency, the association, a board member, a volunteer or a local leader who has made a meaningful difference in helping your agency or the Parks and Recreation industry achieve success?  Please take this opportunity to pay tribute and honor the individual by nominating them to be honored at the 2023 KRPA Conference in Overland Park.

    In an effort to streamline the nomination process, the awards committee has made all awards (Hall of Fame, Distinguished and Branch Awards) available now. The deadlines are as follows:
    Branch Award nominations are due September 30, 2022.
    Distinguished Annual Awards and Hall of Fame Nominations are due on October 14, 2022.

    All award nomination forms will be completed online this year, in lieu of a fillable pdf. If you have any questions, please reach out to Amanda Sterling at amanda@krpa.org.


    Hall of Fame Nomination Form

    2023 Hall of Fame Award

    Learn about the Hall of Fame Nomination requirements on the KRPA Awards webpage. Please fill out Distinguished nomination forms by October 14, 2022. Hall of Fame Inductees will be honored on February 1, 2023 at the Awards Luncheon during the KRPA Conference.


    Distinguished Award Nominations Forms

    Distinguished Fellow Award

    Distinguished Professional Award

    Distinguished New Professional

    Distinguished Board or Commission Member Award

    Distinguished Elected Official Award

    Distinguished Public Service Award

    Distinguished Service Award

    Distinguished Volunteer Award               

    Visit the KRPA Awards webpage to learn more about each award. Please fill out Distinguished Award nomination forms by October 14, 2022The Distinguished Annual KRPA Awards will be celebrated on February 1, 2023 at the Awards Luncheon during the KRPA Conference.


    Branch Award Nominations Forms

    Administration Branch- Outstanding Leadership Award

    Aquatic Branch- Outstanding Professional Award

    Aquatic Branch- Outstanding Program Award

    Park Branch- Outstanding Professional Award

    Park Branch- Outstanding Program or Project Award

    Park Law Enforcement Branch- Outstanding Professional Award

    Park Law Enforcement Branch- Valor/Lifesaving Award

    Recreation Branch- Outstanding Professional Award

    Recreation Branch- Outstanding Program Award

    Sports Branch- Outstanding Professional Award

    Sports Branch- Outstanding Program Award

    Wellness Branch- Outstanding Professional Award

    Wellness Branch- Outstanding Program Award

    Visit the KRPA Branch Award webpage to learn more about each award. Please fill out Branch Award nomination forms by September 30, 2022. The Branch Awards will be celebrated on February 1, 2023 at the Johnson County Arts and Culture Center during the KRPA Conference Social.

  • 07 Jun 2022 1:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    "Parks and Recreation Professional" shirts are available to order for ONE WEEK! This is a very time sensitive opportunity, so don't wait! Order now!

    KRPA has created a special shirt to show off your Parks and Recreation pride for Parks and Recreation Professional Day on July 15, 2022! The deadline to purchase is next Tuesday (June 14th) at 9am.

    Visit the store to purchase your shirt or tank top to wear on July 15th with all your parks and recreation friends. All proceeds from sales go directly to providing educational opportunities for KRPA members. Here are the details:

    -        The store will close on June 14th at 9am to ensure that you receive your shirt in time for Parks and Recreation Pro Day.

    -        Shipping is a flat fee of $8.50, so we highly encourage you to get with your parks and recreation friends/colleagues to order together and save on shipping.

    - KRPA will also place an order, so anyone who would like to save on shipping and pick up your shirt(s) at our Lawrence office is welcome to order through the KRPA website. This link will close on June 13th at 5pm, so we can place the order by the deadline. ** It is your responsibility to coordinate with the KRPA office about pick up, and payments must be received before pick up.**


  • 23 May 2022 12:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    KRPA was thrilled to join Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas on May 20, 2022 to celebrate the grand opening of the City of Meriden's Fitness Court. Their fitness court is specially designed for adults of all ages and abilities, fully accessible and home to premiere fitness classes and training programs. Meriden residents and any visitor can access workouts for every fitness level, challenges and training tools through the FREE Fitness Court App. Learn more about how you can bring a Fitness Court at https://nationalfitnesscampaign.com/kansas.

    Thank you to WIBW for joining us for this celebration. Check out their story here: https://www.wibw.com/2022/05/20/meridens-new-fitness-court-hope-keep-residents-active/
  • 03 May 2022 9:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Annual KRPA Golf Tournament

    Join your fellow KRPA members and friends at the 2022 KRPA Golf Tournament. It will be held Friday, August 19th at Quail Ridge Golf Course in Winfield. This event is a perfect opportunity for socializing, networking and reconnecting with other KRPA members and vendors in a fun and safe setting. For questions regarding this year's golf tournament, please contact Candi Fox at candifox@winfieldrec.com.

    Tournament Details:
    · $60/golfer or $240/team
    · Includes 18 holes of golf, range balls, carts fitted with GPS, two drink tickets, donuts, lunch and mulligans (beverages can be purchased in the clubhouse)
    ·  4 person scramble format
    · Registration and Range opens at 8:00am
    · Shotgun start at 9:00am
    · Lunch will be ready after completion of your round
    · Deadline to register is August 12, 2022.

    Click Here for Registration Form

  • 20 Apr 2022 3:10 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    As 2022 moves forward so do many projects and events that KRPA has been working on this year. KRPA staff and committee members are excited to share with you a plethora of exciting news from a new Recruitment Toolkit, upcoming KRPA events, and more. Join us on May 3rd at 3pm for a fun KRPA Family meeting. Zoom information below. Click here to add it to your calendar.

    KRPA Member Call Zoom Information

    Topic: Member Informational Call
    Date: Tue 5/3/2022 3:00 PM - 4:00 PM

    Join Zoom Meeting

    Meeting ID: 860 7312 0890
    Passcode: 103340
    One tap mobile
    +13462487799,,86073120890#,,,,*103340# US (Houston)
    +16699006833,,86073120890#,,,,*103340# US (San Jose)

    Dial by your location
            +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)
            +1 669 900 6833 US (San Jose)
            +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)
            +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)
            +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)
            +1 301 715 8592 US (Washington DC) Meeting ID: 860 7312 0890
    Passcode: 103340
    Find your local number: https://us02web.zoom.us/u/kdbnMt1jtQ

  • 09 Mar 2022 2:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you have an idea for a great educational session for conference? Do you have a skill that you could share with your fellow members? Please take a minute to share it with KRPA by turning in your Educational Session Proposal form (pdf). This form must be filled out completely (typed only) for the session to be considered by the branch board. Branch representatives will contact speakers to confirm or decline session proposals. The KRPA Office will finalize all contractual arrangements with selected paid speakers. Session Proposal forms are due by May 2, 2022.

    Click Here for Educational Session Proposal Form

    Commercial companies MUST be a conference exhibitor at the $825 or higher to present a session at the conference. To become a conference exhibitor or corporate partner, please contact Jamie Reed.

  • 28 Feb 2022 8:37 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In 1981, the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration began the Legends of Parks and Recreation Program. The program creates and shares one-on-one video interviews of distinguished administrators, educators, citizen advocates and policymakers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Parks and Recreation. They are seeking nominations to honor individuals for the 2022 Legends Program.

    To nominate an individual, please consider the following criteria:

    1. Experience (professional and/or volunteer related to the field of Parks and Recreation).

    2. Explanation as to why this person is being nominated as a Legend (provide one or more of the following chief accomplishments):

    i.          Major project(s) completed.

    ii.         Instituted concept, idea, or support for same.

    iii.        Made advancements in outdoor recreation in their field.

    iv.        Significant positive changes for the betterment of parks and recreation through their leadership.

    v.         Applied research to the field of parks and recreation.

    vi.        Any other significant contributions.

    Membership in the Academy is not required as a nominator or nominee. Return completed nomination form to Dan West and Leon Younger no later than June 4, 2022.

    Legends Nomination - Nomination Form 2022.pdf

    If you have any questions please feel free to contact Legends Chair, Dan West at danwest@broward.orgor Leon Younger, Legends Vice Chair at leon.younger@prosconsulting.com.

  • 02 Feb 2022 10:12 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Share your park and recreation stories with us!
    From 'I can't believe that just happened..." to "Only in park and recreation, would you hear..." we want to hear all your stories.

    At the 2022 KRPA Conference in Manhattan a few weeks ago, we asked attendees to share their "Tall Tales" from parks and recreation. Here are some of our favorites:

    - A gentleman stopped at the office to ask if there was a cabin available, because it was such a nice day and he and his secretary wanted to be at the lake, doing some "paperwork".......TMI!!!!
    - I had a parent ask if we were doing something different with the ballfields because her son was getting way dirtier than he did the precious year. She asked us to clean it up. I simply said maybe he has improved and is playing more. "Hmm... you might be right," she replied.
    - A mom wanted her son to play up a level in Rec basketball. Said he’s great shooter never ever misses jump shots. He was really young and didn’t meet this age requirement but we amused her and allowed him to test in our assessment night. Child did not do well that night. Then mom says “it’s so weird he’s not making these shots. He never misses on the hoops at Dave and busters!” 
    - My first year as Sports Director at Garden City Rec Commission I was at a youth soccer game. I was watching the kid in the goalie box dancing around. When the ball went to the other end, he turned and peed in the goalie box not wanting to leave the game. He was a country kid so no big deal to him. Only a few of us saw it.

    To share your story, click here to fill out a short form. You may stay anonymous if you like. If you share your name with your story, it would be for us to follow-up for more details if needed.

    Below you will find some prompts to get you started:

    • Tell us a story about dealing with/working with a coach - Sports
    • Tell us your story about a Mom that you had to deal with - ALL
    • Tell us the craziest thing that you have found in one of your parks - Parks
    • Tell us about an encounter with a domestic or wild animal – Parks/Park Law
    • Tell us some of the things that you have found in your pond/lake/pool – Aquatics/Rec
    • Tell us some of the best excuses you have heard for not working out - Wellness
    • Tell us about the craziest thing you have someone do in your fitness center - Wellness
    • Tell us about the worst entertainer/entertainment that you had at an event - Rec
    • What is the worst thing a patron has ever said to you/called you - ALL
    • What is the worst thing a resident has ever said to you/called you - ALL
    • Tell us about some of the graffiti you have cleaned/seen in your facility/park - Psark
    • Share your story about your most unusual rental group 
    • Tell us the craziest thing that has happened at a council meeting - Admin
    • Tell us the craziest thing that a resident has asked in a council meeting - Admin
    • Tell us the craziest thing that has ever been stolen from your facility
    • Tell us the craziest, most bizarre reaction from a resident about a proposed project - Admin
    • Tell us your best “PITA” story - ALL
    • Tell us some of your best interview question answers – ALL
    • Tell us the story of a vendor and something that they wanted to sell in your farmer’s market, but obviously is not allowed
    • Tell us some of your senior complaints, we all know you have them
    • Tell us the worst mess that you, or your staff, has had to clean
  • 12 Jan 2022 3:07 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Before You Head to Manhattan

    Be prepared.  Make the most of your time and resources at the 2020 KRPA Conference and Trade Show by sitting down and formulating a plan first.

    1)      Download the conference app

    The KRPA conference app contains all of the essential information that you will need while attending conference. It has the schedule, the speakers, the vendors, maps for the conference center, and more. You should have received an email inviting you to the app from Crowd Compass. If you did not, please click here to learn how to access the app. Don’t forget to allow push notifications from this app during your time at conference so you don't miss out on any important updates.

    2) Review the schedule.

    This one’s a no-brainer. Set a goal for what you’d like to learn at the conference, and use the schedule to devise a plan to meet your goal. Log-in and create a customized agenda within the conference app. Make sure to attend conference-wide events such as the keynote speakers. If you prefer a hard-copy, please remember to print the schedule-pdf before you arrive at conference.

    Also, make sure you are registered on the KRPA website for the park tour, the Olympic, and Painting social.

    3) Bring some extra cash

    Silent Auction Purchases. Don’t forget there will be a silent auction at the Trade Show and run via Facebook. Andy from Manhattan Parks and Recreation has done a great job gathering items for this year's silent auction. It will be full of items from vendors, apparel, gift cards, and more. You will find a treasure that you might want to take home, so be prepared.
    "Great Scotch" Spirit Pull. Bring your cash and your luck to the Branch Award Social. The conference planning committee will host the "Great Scotch" spirit pull at the Branch Award social on Wednesday, January 19th. The "Great Scotch" fundraiser is a blind draw where every ticket buyer wins. A variety of spirits are placed in individual bags so the labels can’t be seen. The spirits range from beer, wine, scotch and more. The wrapped bottles are numbered. Each person who buys a $20 Great Scotch ticket then selects a number that corresponds to a bag which could contain anything from a bottle of smooth Glenlivet Scotch or a case of Natty Light.
    Trade Show Raffle. The "Save the Scholarship Fund" fundraiser will be a raffle drawing for great prizes like the Oculus Quest 2, gifts cards, cash and more throughout the Trade Show. Purchase 10 tickets for $20 from a KRPA Board member or at the registration table. Participants then enter the raffle by placing their tickets in prize can of your choice placed through the Trade Show. Is it better to put all your tickets into one drawing, or distribute them over all the drawings? The choice is up to you. The winning ticket for each prize will be drawn at 2:30pm. Winners do not have to present at the time of drawing.

    4) Watch the 80's Classic "Back to the Future"

    Here's a special tip for this year's conference. Grab some popcorn and take a break before next Wednesday to watch "Back to the Future." Whether you grew up dreaming of riding a hoverboard or wonder "What's a DeLorean?", this movie is worth your watch!

    5) Bring the right gear

    ·         Pack enough business cards. Make sure you have some business cards handy to share with new contacts.

    ·         Bring layers of clothes. Conference center rooms notoriously fluctuate in temperatures because of the location or number of session attendees, so dress in layers and you will be prepared for any situation

    When You Arrive

    6) Come to the registration desk

    Don’t get stuck at the registration table and miss your first session. Visit Jamie Reed and her awesome volunteers early to pick up your nametag, your CEU form (if needed) and get any questions answered.

    7) Divide and conquer

    If you’re attending with coworkers, try and see as much as possible. Splitting up for sessions will maximize how much you’re able to learn and ensure that each of you has unique insights to take back to your company.

    On your own?  Discovering how your agency fits into the larger Kansas park and recreation field and how other agencies run, is an invaluable insight. A conference provides a unique opportunity to pick the brains of fellow members and agencies, which leads us to Tip #8.

    8) Connect with fellow KRPA Members

    Networking with other professionals in your field is a highlight of the KRPA conference and our association. Make time to connect with fellow members. Attend the branch social and meet people in your field of expertise. Exchange information--- when you have questions and need help later in the year, you’ll have the new connections to contact for support.

    When you are home and waiting for the 2022 KRPA Conference in Overland Park

    9) Gather your thoughts

    All that information you gathered from sessions and new contacts from the conference and the trade show can quickly be forgotten if not organized right away. Write down your key takeaways. Enter new contacts into your address book. Fill out the KRPA post-conference survey which will be on the app and sent out via email.

    10) Prepare to share your Ideas for future when you arrive home

    Send follow-up notes and LinkedIn requests to your new contacts while the conference is still fresh in your mind. Include a personalized message to accompany your request on LinkedIn. Remember to make yourself memorable by reminding your new contact what you discussed. 

    Schedule a team meeting for the week or two after conference. Share the insights you gained at conference that are likely to be useful to your agency. Or, write an email to document the most valuable information. There’s no better place than a conference to take stock of the state of your agency and your profession. 

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