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  • 01 Jun 2020 2:16 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    I miss my favorite workout class but is it safe to return to it? Will it be safe for my child and family if I send my kid to a summer camp? My child can’t wait to play baseball, but is it wise to expose him and our family to a large group setting again? These are just a few thoughts that your patrons and possibly you have had in the last few weeks when thinking about the reopening process. The idea that our lives might have some options outside of the home is exciting, but there are still underlying hesitations when people think about jumping back into events.

    So, how do you market these events? What do you need to do to make people feel safe enough to come out and play again? SHOW THEM! Your patrons want to not just hear what you are planning to do to keep them safe, they want to see it. People want to know and see what they are going encounter when they return to their favorite events and places. How do you do that?
    - Take time to create short videos or take pictures of what specific steps you are taking to follow the health and safety measures suggested by your local and state government.

    - Video and post on social media a training that your agency holds for your staff about sanitation processes.

    - Take a short clip interviewing a summer camp staff member or umpire verbalizing their excitement for their event and also what they will do to keep the kids healthy and safe.

    - Prepare your staff and front-line workers with extra customer service skills to answer questions about the new procedures. Prepare them for anxious patrons who want to join in your programs but might still have underlying fears which may come out in anger or frustration.

    - When you reopen, have extra staff available to talk and walk people through what the new procedures will be. Your patrons do not want to guess about what they should do when walking into your facilities.

    We’re in this together. Please visit the Locker Room and share what marketing you are doing to reopen your programs and ask your questions. Here is a link to a reopening marketing discussion thread in the forum to share your examples or questions. #StrongerTogether

  • 12 May 2020 3:04 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We want to send a huge thank you to the KRPA reopening guidelines task force. They have worked very hard in a short amount of time in the last few days. Attached you will find our updated guidelines.

    Please always refer to our website for the most updated version of the guidelines.

    KRPA Support Guidelines 6.01.20.pdf (June 1, 2020)

  • 06 May 2020 8:52 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Submitted by KRPA member, Troy Houtman, Wichita Park and Recreation

    Some organizations emerge from a crisis stronger and more ready to thrive than they were before the crisis arrived. The big differentiator that separates them from companies that falter is people – how their leaders empathize, engage, motivate, and capitalize on their talents and knowledge in the face of adversity.  Even more so is communication!

    The critical first step is making sure people don’t jump on the “freak-out train” of doom, gloom, and complete helplessness. This train’s last stop is Catastrophe City, where we view today’s health crisis and economic plunge as being worse than they are or worse than they’re projected to be. In Catastrophe City, people feel powerless to change what’s happening. But this is rarely true.

    So what can organizations do to turn adversity into an advantage during times of unprecedented uncertainty?

    1. Don’t ignore the anxiety people feelThis only magnifies it. It’s important to acknowledge and validate how people feel, as they’re often operating in survival mode – a natural “fight or flight” response. But fight (anger) of flight (escape) reactions keep us from acting on our opportunities. Empathize with how your people think and feel. Bring it out into the open and make them feel safe talking about it. Have managers invite people to write down their feelings in thought bubbles on pieces of paper. Then, as a team, discuss what’s in our control and what’s not. For the things that are within our control, look at them with fresh eyes and outline new ways to approach them in the current environment.
    2. Actively define reality. People are amazingly able to deal with reality even if it has a significant downside. It’s the unknown that is paralyzing. A leader’s job is to bring the facts about “exactly where we are” to their organization and teams. In times of economic trouble, not only can most people handle it, they crave it. Be truthful about job security. If there are no guarantees, tell them. Uncertainty and ambiguity can be more harmful than the bad news itself. That’s why accurate “big picture” news is an important tool. Providing context for actions – the “whys,” – is essential.
    3. Create a new starting line with your people. During times of crisis, people at all levels of an organization can become fixated on what we lose. It could be a vacation, a bonus, equity or 401(k) value, or even a promotion. Now all bets are off. Spending too much time on what people have lost prevents us from creating a new starting line, focusing our energy on the “new normal” and what we can start over with under the new conditions. Letting go of what could have been is a key first step to being focused on success in the new environment.
    4. Use urgency as an alignment ally. Instead of looking at change as a crisis lurking just around the corner, accelerate your efforts to analyze and act on problems instead of wandering around them. Urgency can better frame the challenges, engage people in a deeper understanding of the issues, and equip them with the responses necessary to be successful. Urgency is a powerful unifying force. Use it to your advantage!
    5. Establish new check-in routines. Staying in touch with your people is more important than ever. Setting a new routine of 15–30-minute check-ins every other day may be more important than ever. These brief interactions can be opportunities to share updates with the team, highlight the latest critical information, and identify adjustments that need to be made for business continuation. These check-ins become a powerful social experience to reinforce that we’re not alone in responding to the challenges we face.
    6. Celebrate all victories, large and small. This means even more recognition of the adaptive actions that get positive results. Don’t over-hype the small gains. To use some baseball lingo, it’s the singles and doubles that allow you to emerge stronger and persevere throughout the game.
    7. Scout the possibilities. Deputize your people as “opportunity scouts.” Doing so means tapping into what your people know about the current challenges and getting them involved in imagining a response and a recovery plan that creates value in the current environment. No matter how intensive past productivity efforts have been, people can always see more opportunities when they’re engaged in the essential threats we’re facing. Their ideas for weathering the storm on both the cost and revenue sides of the business are often better than what most leaders could implement on their own.
    8. Communicate the score. More than ever, people are interested knowing the costs, sales, and financial strength as measures of “how we’re doing.” Pay attention to their curiosity and interest and use it to immerse people in the metrics of the business. In most cases, you’ll institute a new set of targets during times of crisis. “How we’re doing” on these new metrics is essential information to share. Leaders need to balance the tension of “what’s real” with “what’s possible.”
    9. Highlight the rays of light. On a recent airing of CNBC’s Mad Money, Dow Inc. CEO Jim Fitterling said, “In the past two weeks, we have seen our demand bounce back in China. I think that tells us we can see the same thing wash through the economy here.” Rays of light exist and should be as much a part of the narrative as any losses we experience.

    As leaders, we need to ask ourselves questions. Am I defining reality and creating hope in this unprecedented environment of challenge and change? Am I helping my people become the change agents we need so we can be successful in difficult times? And do they truly know the score so they can actively engage in improving the situation?

    On top of all this, the great philosopher Winnie-the-Pooh has a few words worthy of sharing with your people that are more relevant now than ever: “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”

    Stay Safe and Healthy!

  • 05 May 2020 9:11 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We remodeled! Many people are taking time during the quarantine to do housekeeping projects and remodeling jobs while they are at home. KRPA has done some remodeling too! The KRPA Discussion Forum, The Locker Room, has received an update. Go to the KRPA website and log-in. Then click on the Locker Room button in the top right corner.

    The Locker Room update does not change much for you. The discussion forum looks the same, is still available 24/7 through our website, and can be accessed with your member sign-in information. You can still post and reply, add pictures, documents, websites, etc. 

    How is the forum update different?

    1. You now can “Join Conversations” by clicking on the Join Conversation button at the top of each discussion thread.  This will enroll you in the conversation, and you will receive the notifications via email.  You may also reply to responses on your email. To reply: Hit the reply function within your email, type your reply directly in your email message and hit send.
    2. Reactions, ranks, and badges are unavailable but coming soon.
    3. Boards and Committees are unavailable but coming soon.

    You might be asking "why the changes?" KRPA takes much pride in serving you. We believe this service is extremely important for our member engagement, but we also want to be financially responsible. After some investigating, we found resources to provide this service to you while also cutting out a large amount of cost for our budget. As the economy recovers and the COVID-19 situation slow downs, we will be adding the extra features (like reactions and badges) back into the system. 

    A few reminders:

    -Please remember to go to your profile, edit profile and your notification preference to get email notification when a new discussion is started.  

    - If you have never logged into the Locker Room before, you will need to click log-in and then "forgot password." It will walk you through resetting your password.

    3. If you had bookmarked the old website, please change it to krpaforum.org.

    If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to reach out to Jamie Reed

    Keep leaning into each other with your questions or resources. We are stronger together.

  • 04 May 2020 10:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Governor asked KRPA to create a reopening plan for parks and recreation most of which she included in her state reopening plan announced April 30th. The recovery plan task force has been working long hours to create the plan and give guidance to our members. 

    Detailed guidelines to open each area in the plan will be sent later this week or early next week.

    Please remember this is a living document so we will update it as circumstances change. The latest version will be hosted on our website. 

    We would like to thank our recovery plan task force. 

    Michael Meadors -Olathe 
    Logan Wagler - Lenexa
    Chris Claxton - Leawood
    Tony Finlay - Hutchinson
    Tom McEvoy - Emporia
    Olivia Mayer - Shawnee County 
    Jeff Stewart - Johnson County 
    Chris Drum- Derby

    Take a look at the plan here.

  • 01 May 2020 2:51 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    For the last several years, Parks & Recreation departments across the United States have struggled to find the ideal balance of time and space utilization for sports and recreation programming.  On one hand, the need to increase activity levels for children – regardless of skill or aspiration level – has never been greater.  On the other, the demand from competitive programs catering to players at the upper end of the skill and/or income spectrum has never been higher.

    In most communities and on the national average, competitive programs have taken over.  High-level players are participating in year-round programs that are granted the most desirable times at the most desirable locations, leaving less and less time for introductory and recreational programs.  As a result, children whose health and social skills would benefit most from regular activity are losing the chance to play regularly and reap the benefits of consistent activity.

    Countless statistics demonstrate this trend, but here is the one data point you should be most concerned about: the United States has a higher percent of overweight/obese children between the ages of 6-17 than almost any other peer country; nearly 40% of girls and 35% of boys in our country are overweight or obese.  That puts us in “last place” compared to Australia, Canada, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, Sweden, the U.K., and nearly every other first world county.

    The Covid-19 pandemic has interrupted the sports and recreation industry.  Leagues have paused, tournaments have been cancelled, and – in many cases – service providers have shut down and will not return.  It would be easy, and perhaps even natural, to panic.  It would be equally easy to be complacent and assume that as our country rebounds the recent participation and activity trends will continue.

    Instead of either of those, I encourage you to view this as an opportunity to regain your ideal balance.  There is nothing inherently wrong with competitive programs and high-level players seeking extra time to improve.  In fact, that is healthy and should be encouraged.  But there is also nothing wrong with dedicating more time and space to kids who just need to learn to play, to benefit from activity, and to grow from positive adult and peer interactions.  In fact, it is critical.

    As a Parks & Recreation leader in your community, you now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to make a lasting impact on the health of your community by improving access to recreational programs and providing space and time for every child to play.  What will you do with your opportunity?


    Author: Evan Eleff is the COO of Sports Facilities Advisory, LLC (SFA) and a Partner in all of the SF Companies.  He has led sports and recreation planning, funding, development, and management initiatives in over 1,600 communities around the world and is one of the United States’ leaders and foremost experts in improving the health and economic vitality of communities through sports and recreation.

  • 18 Mar 2020 2:52 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Message from KRPA President, Olivia Mayer, to Members:

    As we find ourselves in uncharted waters, now is the perfect time to remember that we are each other’s most valuable resource. While we are being forced to temporarily close facilities and halt operations, we are faced with the dilemma of how to best serve our communities. It is time to focus on what we still can do to improve the quality of life for Kansans. COVID-19 has affected our lives at such a quick rate that we have been in a reactive state. Now is the time to come together and share ideas to become proactive in this venture. Now is the time to formulate safe and conscientious solutions to offer communities. We need to play to our strengths, reiterate the power of outdoors and greenspace, facilitate ways to enrich day to day living, and work together to make it through these uncertain times. 

    The KRPA board urges you to use the discussion forum to share and discuss issues related to COVID-19 during this time. Talk with other professionals about their protocols, policies and leaning on each other to keep up spirits is helpful for everyone. You will find policies and protocols posted by other members but most importantly, respond to those who have questions. There have been posts with language you can use for your own community so don't reinvent the wheel. Your membership is paying for this important tool for you to use. so sign up/in now to see the discussions or opt-in to receive the discussions by email. Visit https://community.krpa.org.

    You are an important part of the response to this challenge. Let's all show our communities the leadership they need right now.

  • 16 Mar 2020 1:49 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In an effort to mitigate the impact and spread of coronavirus, the KRPA office will be closed. Staff will be working remotely until further notice. Please feel free to email any of the staff. We will try and get back with you as quickly as possible. Information regarding upcoming KRPA events will be announced later today.

    Erika Devore, Executive Director- erika@krpa.org
    Jamie Reed, Membership and Education Manager- jamie@krpa.org
    Amanda Sterling, Communication Coordinator- amanda@krpa.org

    Working in this unprecedented times will be happening more and more digitally. Does your agency or focus area have questions and need to communicate with park and recreation professionals around the state? Chat and share at KRPA's Discussion Forum, The Locker Room, or find member contact information within the KRPA Online Directory.

    NRPA came out with resources regarding coronavirus that can be found at on their website. Governor Laura Kelly has announced that the Kansas Department of Health and Environment website, kdheks.gov, offers a variety of information for Kansans seeking guidance regarding COVID-19.

  • 20 Feb 2020 9:55 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Legislative Update- Week 5

    Following the failure of the 'Value them Both' Senate Constitutional Amendment on the House floor on Friday, work has largely come to a halt. The House and Senate have not been on General Orders this week. Committees on both sides have continued to hold hearings, work bills and move legislation forward. Stay tuned as issues arise and develop.


    Please contact Kearney & Associates at (785) 234-5859 or Steve Kearney, Kari Presley or Colin Thomassett if you wish to appear and testify or submit written comments. 

    We need the testimony 48 hours in advance of the hearing and for Monday hearings no later than 9:00 a.m. the Friday before. The Committee Chairs have implemented rules that require submission of copies of testimony 24 hours in advance of the hearing and in some instances earlier.

    Hearing Schedule for the week of 2.17.20

    Bill #







    SB 307

    Updating approved types of personal flotation devices

    Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources

    02/17/2020 - Final Action


    8:30 AM


    HB 2529

    Amending STAR bonds by adding rural redevelopment projects and major business and medical facilities, increasing certain project investment and sales requirements, adding a return on investment analysis and other requirements and approvals by the secretary and extending the sunset date

    House Commerce, Labor and Economic Development

    02/17/2020 - Hearing
    02/18/2020 - Hearing (possible continuation)


    1:30 PM


    SB 248

    Extraterritorial zoning, subdivision regulations; mailed notice to land owners of record

    Senate Ethics, Elections and Local Government

    02/18/2020 - Hearing (opponents continued)


    9:30 AM


    HB 2669

    Requiring the secretary of wildlife, parks and tourism to establish state threatened and endangered species lists that are based on the federal threatened and endangered species lists

    House Agriculture

    02/18/2020 - Hearing


    3:30 PM


    HB 2621

    Authorizing the Kansas department of wildlife, parks and tourism to purchase land in Kingman county

    House Agriculture

    02/19/2020 - Hearing


    3:30 PM


  • 14 Jan 2020 12:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Before You Head to Topeka

    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 tours,  socials, and the Strength-Finders workshop that you would like to attend.

    3) Bring a few extra dollars

    ·         Silent Auction Purchases at Trade Show. Don’t forget there will be a silent auction at the Trade Show. Susan with Shawnee County Parks + Recreation has done an amazing job gathering items for this year's silent auction. It will be full of items from vendors, sports memorabilia, gift cards, and more. You will find a treasure that you might want to take home, so be prepared. 

    ·         Purchase a $10 Poker Hand for a chance to win big $$$. The 2020 KRPA Trade Show fundraiser is the Poker Run event. Purchase your $10 Poker Hand from a KRPA Board member or at the conference registration table when you arrive at conference for your chance to win big $$$ at the Trade Show. Click here to learn more about the fundraiser.

    4) Find out who’s going

    The people you’ll attend sessions with are as important as the sessions themselves. There’s no better time to network with your peers, connect with new KRPA members, or touch base with longtime friends than at a conference.

    Connect with KRPA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #KRPAConference to find friends posting about conference. The app also offers a social page and access to reach out directly to other conference attendees.

    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 2021 KRPA Conference in Manhattan

    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 "Clear Vision" 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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