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  • 20 May 2021 11:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    During the recent KRPA Recreation Commission Summit, participants learned that during the 2021 legislative session, the tax lid was removed and the legislature enacted SB 13 and HB 2104. Has SB 13 raised questions for you about creating next year's budget? Or, do you have general budget questions? Join us with a panel of Recreation Commission professionals to answer your questions on June 1st at 2pm. Send your budget questions to Jamie Reed at jamie@krpa.org by May 26, 2021.

    Member Call Information

    Topic: Recreation Commission Budget Q&A

    Time: Jun 1, 2021 02:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)

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  • 28 Apr 2021 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Making a SPLASH

    By Katie Gough

    Our family loves exploring Kansas, and we love a good challenge.  In 2017, we dedicated our summer to visiting all the city parks in Wichita (over 100!) and we are currently on a quest to visit a park in every county in Kansas.  When our adventurous boys and I heard about the Splash Across Kansas program, we were so excited. The economics of it appealed to the adults, I mean, two admissions to so many waterparks for only $40?! 

    We did make it to all the participating aquatic facilities.  From Liberal to the Kansas City metro area, we traversed the state seeking adventures. 

    While we had fun at all of the water parks, we did have our favorites.  Important to us were not only the features of the park, but our interactions with the staff, tidiness of the parks and layout as well.  Most customers look at the big items (like slides), but the details are important as well: shade options for both swimmers and watchers, sidewalk sprayers and availability of rafts were big factors in making our visits a success.

    Here are our five favorite water parks:

    • ·      Salt City Splash – Hutchinson: The zero-depth entry pool included neat, low chairs set in the water for parents to while watching their kids play in the splash area.  There were two large twisty slides and an Olympic-sized pool with diving boards, drop slide and floating animals. 
    • ·      Rock River Rapids – Derby: The facility is top-notch and had all of the features the kids were looking for: thrilling slides, cool splash area, regular swimming pool with floating animals and a lazy river.   The staff are sticklers for the rules, which definitely makes you feel safe!
    • ·      City Park Waterpark – Manhattan: This was a unique park with two features we didn’t see at the other parks: the aquabubble (bubble slide) and the stingray (surfing area).  They also had a lazy river and twisty slides.  We almost couldn’t get the kids to leave!
    • ·      Long Branch Lagoon – Dodge City: We visited this waterpark last summer as well, and both times the staff at this park were amazing.  The lazy river is an adventure, and the slides are awesome.  
    • ·      Midwest Health Aquatic Center – Topeka: The bowtie-shaped wave pool was where we spent most of our visit, but they had great slides and a super kids area as well. 

    One note of caution while planning your adventures.  The program went until Labor Day, but not all pools are open that long.  We were planning on concluding our adventures at College Hill Pool in Wichita (since we finished our Wichita city park adventure there), but they closed the week after school started. 

    Another note when planning: find out when the break times are for swimming.  We showed up at a pool thinking we had over an hour of swim time right as a twenty-minute break was beginning.  It was very interesting to see the different break structures and lifeguard management at each pool.

    All in all, we would do this adventure again next year.  We are so glad the Splash Across Kansas program prompted us to adventure out to discover water parks we didn’t know about. 


  • 20 Apr 2021 1:57 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Kansas Department of Health & Environment has guidance and free testing available to any and all summer camps taking place in Kansas. The state has a supply of rapid, 15-minute antigen tests that can be deployed and used on-site at any camp, regardless of the type of camp. These tests can be used to screen all campers and staff at the beginning of camp, and throughout camp, but can also be used as a diagnostic test for campers and staff who become symptomatic during the camp for quick isolation of positive cases and reducing the number of individuals required to quarantine or otherwise miss camp.

    Click here to view a flyer with an overview of what is needed for a camp to obtain these tests. The tests are totally free and Lacey Kennett, Preparedness Public Information Officer, will support and help the individual camps along the way to make it work. The only thing they need from a camp to get started is this simple form from their website returned via email to Lacey.Kennett@ks.gov.

    KDHE knows that most people are focused on vaccinations right now, but since most children and teenagers won’t be vaccinated for quite some time, the state is making it a priority to work with camps, summer school, and other places kids and youth with be this summer to keep them as protected as possible.

  • 05 Apr 2021 1:29 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Do you have an idea for a great educational session for the 2022 KRPA Conference in Manhattan? 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 3, 2021.

    Click Here for Educational Session Proposal Form

    Commercial companies MUST be a Corporate Partner at the Cottonwood Partner or higher level to request to present a session at the conference contingent on the appropriate branch's approval. To become a Corporate Partner, please contact Jamie Reed.

  • 29 Mar 2021 1:18 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The park and recreation profession consists of many areas of focus. KRPA has seven different branches: administration, aquatics, park and natural resources, park law, recreation, sports, and wellness. Each of these branches are represented by a board. 

    KRPA Branch Boards are structured as a 7 member board (Chair, Vice–Chair, and 5 members at large) for each KRPA Branch. Branch board members are expected to serve a three-year term. Board members help communicate to other KRPA members current trends and topics in their branch field. They will also help coordinate with the KRPA office their yearly branch activities: branch conference sessions, mid-year branch workshops, face-to-face meetings, conference calls and networking events. 

    Some branch boards have incumbent members, so we are looking to fill:
    6 position for the Parks Branch
    4 positions for Park Law (KPLEA) Branch
    3 positions for the Wellness Branch

    If you would like to get involved, please send the below information to Jamie Reed at jamie@krpa.org by April 9, 2021:

    -Nominee's name
    -Nominee's agency
    -Nominee's title/position
    -Years as KRPA Member
    -A headshot

    For more information regarding Branch Board policy, please visit here.

  • 05 Mar 2021 10:59 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Click here to watch the KRPA Member Call on Winter Sports. #strongertogether

  • 01 Feb 2021 11:27 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Our 2021 Silent Auction is headed to Facebook. We have great items from Royals and Chiefs collectibles, Great Wolf Lodge Certificates and more. This auction is open to more than just conference attendees, so share it with your friends too. Silent Auction rules are below 

    Silent Auction Rules

    1. Bids must be made between 2pm CST on February 1, 2021 and 5pm CST on February 4, 2021. Bids made before or after these dates/times will not be eligible to win.  

    2. Your bid must be in the comments on the picture of the item you are trying to bid on. It cannot just be a comment on the album or on the page itself.  

    3. If your bid is the winning bid, you will be notified via PM to your Facebook account.  

    4. Bids must be in whole dollar amounts.  

    5. The closing date and time is February 4, 2021 at 5pm CST. NO EXCEPTIONS.  

    6. Payment arrangements must be made with the KRPA office within 5 business days of items closing. If this is not the case the item will go to the next highest bidder.  

    7. Once payment has been received, the item will be shipped or delivery will be arranged.  

    8. Comments containing bids must be visible, meaning you cannot hide your comment from the public. Hidden comments will not qualify as a legit bid. 

  • 01 Feb 2021 11:07 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    10 Tips for Attending the KRPA Virtual Conference

    Here are 10 helpful and important tips for getting the most out of your conference experience. If you were not able to join the attendee information call last Friday, click here to watch it for a visual explanation of how the conference platform will work.


    Before You Attend the KRPA Virtual Conference

    A little bit of preparation will go a long way towards making sure you getting the most out of the experience. Use your time and resources well at the 2021 KRPA Virtual Conference and Trade Show by sitting down and formulating a plan first.

    Visit the NEW KRPA Conference Platform and download the app

    The KRPA conference platform and app contains the entire conference; including the schedule, the speakers, the virtual trade show, event game and more. You will receive an email by Tuesday (February 2nd) giving you access to the platform and app. If you do not receive this email, please email Jamie Reed at jamie@krpa.org. Spend some time on the platform before February 3rd to get familiar with the layout and making connections with your KRPA friends ahead of time. Don’t forget to allow push notifications from the 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 accomplish on February 3rd and 4th and use the schedule to devise a plan to meet your goal. We’re all familiar enough with virtual conferences to know that you will get the most sessions watch within the time that you set aside on February 3rd and 4th. Life happens and it is hard to go back and watch on-demand sessions once to-do lists and schedules get back to normal. So make the most of your time on the 3rd and 4th, log-in and create a customized agenda within the conference app. Make sure to attend conference-wide events such as the opening keynote speaker, the brain breaks and trade show. If you prefer a hard-copy, a pdf is available here.

    3)    Plan to spend some time at the Trade Show

    The live virtual trade show will be available on Wednesday, Feb 3rd from 11:45am - 2pm and Thursday Feb 4th from 11:30am-1:30pm. During these times, you can visit vendors' booths to watch demos, sign up for giveaways, and make connections. Remember, these vendors are very loyal to our association and the park and recreation industry in Kansas. After 2020 and looking ahead to unknowns about the future, they have shown their commitment by joining this virtual conference. We are very grateful! Even if you are not a purchaser, we encourage you to go in and say a quick thanks to these vendors and make a connection. 

    4)    Know how to get your CEUs

    Each session will have a CEU link at the bottom of the session. During the session, the moderator will put the CEU code word into the chat function. At the end of each session please click on the CEU link and enter your name, agency, email address, session, and the session code word. 

    An official signed conference CEU form will be sent to you with the sessions you attended and filled out the CEU link for between 2-3 weeks after conference.

    5)    Visit the KRPA Silent Auction on Facebook

    The Annual Silent Auction has been moved to Facebook. We have great items from Royals and Chiefs collectibles, Great Wolf Lodge certificates and more. This auction is open to more than just conference attendees. Share it with your friends too. To learn more about the rules for this auction, visit the KRPA website.

    When You Arrive

    6)    Visit the help desk

    A help desk will be available from 8am-5pm on February 3rd and 4th. Think of it like our regular conference registration table, but instead this desk will be located in a zoom room. Have questions? Hop into the zoom room to get answers or to just say Hi. (We miss you!)

    7)    Stay Engaged

    Learning virtually can be a challenge, but we want you to stay engaged throughout the day. Virtual workouts are available on the platform all day for you to enjoy that will engage not only your brain but your body. Also, don’t miss Jenny’s brain breaks throughout conference. Three brain breaks will be available- Wednesday at 3:00pm and Thursday at 10am and 2:45pm.

    8)    Connect with fellow KRPA Members

    Networking with other professionals in your field is a highlight of the KRPA conference. Make time to connect with fellow members. Networking looks a bit different at a virtual conference, but it is just as important. Visit the Attendee list on the left side of the platform, find another attendee, and click add. This will make you a connection, and then you can message them throughout conference.

    Also, check out the social wall to connect with your peers, let us know what sessions you are attending, your favorite Welcome Box item, or even post what you are eating! (Pets are always welcome on social walls too! ) Also, earn points for the event game.

    9)    Play the Event Game

    We want this conference to not only be educational but fun. Plus, this year’s game has extra amazing prizes! Have you heard of the Playstation5? Well, they are kind of a big deal this year, and it is one of many prizes that you could win by playing the event game. Other prizes are also a Nintendo Switch, a cell phone sanitizer, an ember mug and a projector. Playing the game is very simple. Unlock passcodes by completing challenges (like answering questions, attending sessions, visiting vendors at the Trade Show and more), enter passcodes to earn points, and complete as many challenges as you can and climb to the top of the leaderboard

    After watching sessions at the virtual conference and waiting for the 2022 KRPA Conference in Manhattan

    10) Gather your thoughts and (re)watch any sessions

    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.

    The best part of attending a virtual conference is that all the sessions will be available on-demand a week or two after conference. You can go back and rewatch your favorite sessions, or you can watch the other sessions that were going on at the same time of your sessions. You don’t have to miss a minute of learning!

  • 04 Jan 2021 11:44 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Social Media Photo Contest

    In honor of the upcoming Annual KRPA Conference and Trade Show, KRPA is hosting its 3rd Annual Social Media photo contest. This year's conference theme is "Stronger Together" so we want to see a creative photo of how people in your community or agency came together in 2020. The grand prize winner will receive a $100 credit towards a KRPA event*, and the winning image will be featured on the cover of the KRPA Today spring magazine. 

    Photos must be submitted to Amanda Sterling at amanda@krpa.org by January 15, 2021. Submissions must include a short description (less than 30 words), including the location of the photo submission and the photographer's credit. Entries must also include the KRPA Photo Contest agreement form, scanned and/or digitally filled out and attached with the submitted photo.

    All photos and information will be placed in an album on the KRPA Facebook page from January 20-31, 2021 . The photo with the most combined likes and shares by the end of the contest on January 31st will be the winner.

    Good luck and thank you for participating!

  • 08 Dec 2020 10:23 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Technology and marketing go hand in hand, and we are always looking for ways to stay ahead of the competition. Therefore, Wichita Park & Recreation is excited to announce the launch of our new Alexa skill “Wichita Parks” which can be enabled on any Amazon Echo or Alexa device. Our skill is the first City skill in the country to interact with users via text to send direct links to websites.

    Currently one-third of US citizens have smart speakers, two-thirds of those are Alexa. Over 50% of adults use voice commands and 33% of the users utilize voice commands daily. In 2020, half of all searches will be voice. In the last five years, developed skills have grown from only 45 to over 100,000.  These figures show the importance of staying current with cutting edge technology and how we interact with our consumers.

    Alexa responds with Wichita Park & Recreation information about numerous topics including classes, parks, special events, booking a tee time, reserving a tennis court, renting a facility and more.

    Alexa speaks directly to the user and answers questions with pre-loaded responses.  Alexa can also interact through text messaging by asking the user for their phone number to send direct links to websites. Staff can track interactions to show what topics are popular with users through Google Analytics and email notifications when a potential customer requests information.

    Alexa is multi-lingual which is great for any community. Push notifications can be sent to users notifying them of services and events, so there is flexibility to include activities that pop-up and may need extra marketing attention. All these features are very exciting and affordable.

    I had the pleasure of working with Tim Moore, Channel Manager at VoPro. He can be reached at 417-875-5889 or tmoore@protelsystems.com.

    Shana Appelhanz
    Wichita Park & Recreation

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