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.

Episodes

May 19, 2022 41 min
The June issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode of the podcast, we’re diving deeper into one of this month’s feature stories titled, “Making Wellness More Inclusive.”

The story highlights a new inclusive wellness center that is part of the parks and recreation department in West Lafayette, Indiana, and today I’m joined by two individuals who were critical to its design. Today’s guests are ...

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In the spirit of registration opening yesterday for the 2022 NRPA Annual Conference, I wanted to replay one of our Coffee Talks from last year’s conference, when I had the opportunity to talk with Ignacio Gallegos and his grandmother, Leticia DeLaFuente.

Ignacio has been a participant in the programs through Fox Valley Special Recreation Association in Illinois for the last 11 years, which he says has helped him find purpose in lif...

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The May issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode of the podcast, we’re diving deeper into one of this month’s feature stories, “Recognizing Water Safety Month.” In celebration of May being National Water Safety Month, the article explores best practices for safety in and around the water, with an emphasis on equity and inclusion. On today’s show, I am joined by the author of the article, Tar...

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On today’s episode, I’m excited talk about something that plays a critical role in building environmental resilience, cooling our neighborhoods, and improving the health of our communities: trees. Trees are critical infrastructure, but due to decades of redlining and other discriminatory policies, there are fewer trees in low-income communities and communities of color.

Which is why I am thrilled to talk about tree equity with toda...

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As we wrap up Women’s History Month, I wanted to revisit an episode we released around this time last year, with three women who created quite a force in the world of parks and recreation – a group known as Women in Parks and Recreation, or WiPaR, which started as a Facebook group for women in the field to come together and share their ideas, struggles and triumphs. It has now grown into a 501©3 nonprofit charitable organization wi...

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The April issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode we’re diving into one of this month’s feature stories, “Celebrating Earth Day.” which explores how park and recreation professionals across the country are bringing Earth Day events to their communities during the month of April and on Earth Day, which takes place on April 22 – and, this year is the 52nd anniversary of Earth Day.

Joining me ...

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With around 65,000 people around the world supporting the quality of life for United States Armed Forces personnel and their families, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (or MWR) — a.k.a. Armed Forces Recreation — is a network of park and recreation professionals who serve in the military and offer everything you would see at a traditional, community-based park and recreation agency. It also is a sector of the park and recreation world...

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Regular listeners of the show know that I have a love for skateboarding, and, as many NRPA members and park and recreation professionals have been inquiring about the benefits of bringing skateparks to their communities, I’m excited for today’s episode. And, I believe you’re going to get a lot out of it if you’re one of those professionals advocating for a skatepark at your agency. On today’s episode, I’m thrilled to welcome Alec B...

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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 one of this month’s feature stories, titled, “Blazing a Trail in Bristol, Connecticut.” The story highlights a mountain bike pump track in Bristol that became a reality thanks to the advocacy of community members, buy-in from the local park and recreation department, and funding from NRPA’s Youth Sport...

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If you’ve been listening to the show for a while now, or if you joined us at the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference, you may be familiar with today’s guests. On today’s episode, we’re replaying my Coffee Talk from the conference with Dr. Kim and Claude Walker, the founders of Abundant Life Adventure Club.

Abundant Life Adventure Club is an outdoor adventure company whose membership and adventures help Black people who want to live an acti...

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The February issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and I’m excited to finally be back with a bonus episode since we had taken a break on bonus episodes over the last few months. And, the reason I’m so excited about it is that we are celebrating the second annual 30 Under 30!

Parks & Recreation magazine’s 30 Under 30 honors the top young park and recreation professionals who serve as everyday superheroes in their...

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I am so excited for today’s episode for a few reasons. One, I’m always excited when I get to have a wonderful conversation for an episode of Open Space Radio. Two, I really enjoy learning about the innovative things happening in parks and recreation that are helping to create stronger, healthier, more resilient communities. And three, I’m joined by one of my all-time favorite guests of the show today, Neelay Bhatt.

Neelay is Vice P...

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We are back for a new year of amazing stories and I can’t wait for all the conversations taking place this year on Open Space Radio! To kick off 2022, I’m thrilled to welcome someone who is making some big waves in the outdoor recreation industry.

Dani Reyes-Acosta is a mountain athlete and storyteller rewriting the narrative of who plays outside and how we build community with others on this planet. Originally from Southern Califo...

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It’s so hard to believe that we’re coming to the end of another year. And, with all the hope we had going into 2021 after a traumatic 2020, I think it’s safe to say that this was also a very difficult year. That’s not to say there weren’t a lot of positive things to happen this year, but I just wanted to start by acknowledging the fact that 2021 was hard — for me, for a lot of you, for us. But, if you’re still showing up, whatever ...

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On today’s episode of Open Space Radio, I’m excited to be replaying one of the Coffee Talks I hosted at the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference back in September. So, if you weren’t able to join us at the conference, I’m glad you’ll be able to hear this conversation today with Luis Romahn. Luis is the president, CEO and founder of Parques de México and the National Association of Parks and Recreation Mexico, also known as ANPR.

Luis has le...

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Last week we celebrated National Take a Hike Day, and today on the show we’re continuing our celebrations of the Hike Your Turf campaign in partnership with our friends at Merrell. All month long, we’ve been discussing the importance of getting outside and the need for equitable access to parks, trails, green spaces and more.

On today’s episode, I’m so excited to welcome one of Merrell’s ambassadors to chat about her journey to bec...

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It’s hard to believe, but it is already November. One of my favorite things to do this time of year is get outside and take in all the beautiful fall foliage and crisp air here in Virginia, and I’m fortunate to have some great trails close to my home, which has really benefitted my physical and mental health. So, I’m thrilled that NRPA is once again partnering with Merrell for the Hike Your Turf campaign this month, which focuses o...

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Today, I’m excited to once again be sharing a replay of one of the Coffee Talks I hosted during the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference back in September. As you may know, last week NRPA released a new resource – the Equity Language Guide. We know that words matter and that language has the power to uplift as well as marginalize – but sometimes finding the “right” words to use can be difficult. The guide serves as a glossary of terms to he...

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First, I want to take a moment to mention that today’s episode is episode 100 of Open Space Radio! We’ve technically released more than 100 if you include bonus episodes, but since this is “officially” episode 100, I just wanted to thank YOU for listening to the podcast every other week and continuing to show your support.

As you may know, a few weeks ago at the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference, I had the privilege of hosting Coffee Tal...

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One of the core elements of parks and recreation is not something super profound or complicated, but it is absolutely essential. When we get down to it, parks and recreation is about play. Play is an essential component of learning, development, creativity, connection, health and well-being, and so much more – and especially for kids.

But, the reality is that there is a long history of Black, Indigenous and people of color being sy...

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