Open Space Radio: Parks and Recreation Trends

Open Space Radio: Parks and Recreation Trends

Open Space Radio covers trends in parks and recreation, shares news from the field, and interviews park and recreation professionals making a difference in their communities. Open Space Radio is the official podcast of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) — Because everyone deserves a great park.... Show More

Episodes

February 23, 2021 47 min

Women’s History Month starts next month, and we thought it would be a good time to tackle a topic that has been on our episode wish list for a while now — women in parks and recreation. Parks and recreation, like many professions, was once a male-dominated industry. Now, however, those figures seem like they may be shifting. When thinking about who to bring on the podcast to talk about women in the field of parks and recreation, th...

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The March issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode of the podcast, we’re diving deeper into the feature story, “Ensuring ‘An Equal Future’ for All,” which introduces a new TEDxCollegePark virtual event that park and recreation professionals won’t want to miss. Many of us have seen a TED talk on one topic or another, and they have become a powerful way to use storytelling to provide a deeper ...

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As we’ve discussed before, the unfortunate reality about outdoor recreation is that not everyone has equitable access to these opportunities and there are people who don’t necessarily feel welcome or safe in certain spaces. And while we continue advocating for equity in parks and recreation, it’s important to recognize that there are many systemic barriers in place that need to be broken down if we want a future with truly equitabl...

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As we continue to work on centering equity in all that we do, and as the fight for racial justice and equity in the United States continues, we wanted to revisit a conversation we had last year about what equity in parks and recreation really means for today’s episode of the podcast. We were fortunate to have each one of the individuals you’ll hear from today on previous episodes of the podcast, and if you joined us at the 2020 NRP...

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The February issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s episode, we’re diving deeper into this month’s cover story, “30 Under 30 for 2021.” We know from our work at NRPA that there are a lot of talented, passionate young professionals in the field of parks and recreation. These individuals truly serve as everyday superheroes in their communities and are continuing to make impacts that are not only felt on a...

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It is our first Open Space Radio episode of 2021, and we’re so excited for another year of great conversations on the podcast. To start the year, we’re thrilled to be talking with a group of inspiring teenagers from Lunenburg, Massachusetts, who decided to take a middle school project and turn it into something way bigger that would provide them, and others, a safe space to participate in their favorite activity — skateboarding. Th...

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It’s hard to believe 2020 is almost over. This year has been challenging in so many ways, and on our final episode of the year, we’re looking back at some of the conversations we’ve had, discussing the lessons we’ve learned, and looking ahead at some of our hopes and goals for 2021.

This year, park and recreation professionals have been on the frontlines of a global pandemic, economic collapse, racial justice movement, climate disa...

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The January 2021 issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and this month’s issue features the highly anticipated cover story, “Top Trends in Parks and Recreation 2021,” by Rich Dolesh, NRPA’s retired vice president of strategic initiatives and Parks & Recreation magazine’s editor at large. On today’s bonus episode of the podcast, we’re replaying the full session of our “Emerging Trends in Parks and Recreation” Coffe...

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Over the past decade, there has been steady growth across the farmers market industry nationwide, with new farmers market locations popping up in communities of all shapes and sizes. And, many park and recreation professionals have seen this growth firsthand. With the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic increasing barriers for access to healthy food for so many across the country, park and recreation professionals have been working har...

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We have waxed poetic over the past several months about how critical it has been to get outdoors throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and parks have proven to be the destination of choice for many people to get their necessary physical activity, recharge their mental health batteries and find a sense of community. And, with school systems adapting to the pandemic and distance learning being more prevalent, there’s an increasing need f...

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The December issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode of the podcast, we’re going to be diving deeper into one of this month’s feature stories, titled, “Biodiversity Lays the Pathway to Good Health.” The article explores how the COVID-19 pandemic could become the tipping point for connecting biodiversity with human health, and we’re thrilled to be joined by the author of the article and one ...

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If you attended the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience (NRPA Virtual), you may have joined us for the Coffee Talk sessions that we hosted at the beginning and end of each day, when we had the opportunity to chat with park and recreation professionals, thought leaders, subject matter experts and NRPA staff about some of the most pressing issues that are impacting your work.

While each of these Coffee Talk sessions was...

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Today is November 3, 2020 – an important day for our country, our democracy, our values and our future. Today is Election Day! On this day — and over the last few weeks — millions of Americans will head to the polls to make their voices heard. And whether you mailed in your ballot, voted early or are still undecided as you listen to this episode, we know that our guests today are going to provide sage wisdom on all things elections...

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On this bonus episode of the podcast, we’re going to be diving deeper into one of the feature stories from the November issue of Parks & Recreation magazine, titled, “A New Approach to Parks and Recreation System Planning.” In this article, the author — and our guest on today’s episode — writes about how today’s environment is shifting our thinking about the future of parks and recreation. 

David Barth is no stranger to park an...

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With NRPA’s 2021-2023 Strategic Plan, we made a commitment to centering equity in all that we do. And we talked about this with our president and CEO, Kristine Stratton, on episode 70. The vital importance of focusing on equity has been put into the spotlight, as this year has underscored the many systemic inequities that exist in our world. Whether through the lens of public health, criminal justice, climate change or who has saf...

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We talk a lot about how important physical activity is, and we know this has been especially true throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, when people have taken to their local parks to not only maintain their physical well-being, but their mental well-being, as well. However, there is a form of physical activity that we don’t get to talk about as often: action sports.

Sports like skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding can be really grea...

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On this month’s bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we’re diving deeper into the cover story of the October issue of Parks & Recreation magazine, “Glenn Harris: An Advocate for Racial Equity and Social Justice.” In the article, NRPA’s executive editor, Vitisia Paynich, interviewed our keynote speaker for the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience, Glenn Harris. Glenn is the president of Race Forward, a national nonpro...

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On our previous episode of Open Space Radio, which was part one of our Great American Outdoors Act coverage, we spoke with Happy Haynes, the executive director of Denver Parks and Recreation, about what the passage of the Great American Outdoors Act meant for access to quality parks and recreation opportunities in her city and the country as a whole. On today’s episode — part two of our coverage — we’ll be speaking with two member...

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Last month, we witnessed history as the Great American Outdoors Act was officially signed into law. This legislation will definitively fully fund the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). LWCF is the most important source of federal funding to create and develop local parks, trails, boat launches, sports fields, and other recreation areas and park infrastructure that enrich our communities. Permanent full funding of LWCF has bee...

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On this episode of Open Space Radio, we’re celebrating our birthday! We started Open Space Radio a little over three years ago, and while many of you may have heard us talk about the early days of finding our podcasting groove — with not a whole lot of podcasting experience to pull from — we like to invite you, our listeners, in every once in a while to reflect back on some of our favorite Open Space Radio moments from the past. An...

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