Letter from the Chair
by Kathleen Benedict

We had a great meeting in San Diego last fall, with the opportunity to get to know several of our PPN members. During the meeting, we talked about visions and goals for the next year that focus on enhancing communications among members, creating a network of communication, sharing knowledge among members, encouraging members to become officers, and having fun!

During the open discussion several topics were discussed:

What is the best way to get information to the members?

Members at the meeting said they liked LinkedIn, but some said they did not have enough time to participate or that their firewalls at work prevented them from using it. However, posting information by topics on LinkedIn and responding to them can be very helpful for members. Other suggestions included creating a site for Parks and Recreation policy issues for online discussions, and using email blasts to address certain topics.

Which information should be included on the Parks and Recreation PPN’s webpage?

Ideas included providing a list of new park and recreation trends, posting each state’s rules on safety under “Resources,” and creating a library of applicable new reference books.
Another thought was to post the state each PPN member is from, which staff later explained is available on the PPN’s home webpage. (It’s on the right side, just below the LinkedIn ID box and is entitled, “See Parks and Recreation member contacts.”)  Another suggestion was to provide a place on the webpage to showcase students’ work and include more information on public practice for students. And should we have a Parks and Recreation Blog? What is the best method to start and keep a Park and Rec Blog going?

Questions we discussed about current topics and ways to strengthen the PPN.

We could collaborate with other professionals on Park and Rec issues, such as: What does a child need for a playground? How can we create multi-use recreation that benefits all age groups? And how can we design play areas for children that encourage risk-taking and yet still are safe? Another thought was to provide mentoring for students and attempt to have one issue of Landscape Architecture Magazine focused on Park and Recreation issues and designs.

I’d like to encourage everyone to come to Phoenix for the National Conference September 28th to October 1st. There are several exciting and interesting education sessions related to Parks and Recreation, and best of all, we will have another chance to meet each other at the Park and Rec PPN session on Sunday and the PPN reception Sunday night. ASLA will provide more information about both of those events, and others, in the upcoming weeks.

I certainly hope many of you can join us!

Kathleen Benedict
Senior Landscape Architect City of Fort Collins, Colorado
Parks and Recreation Professional Practice Network Chairperson

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Alison Jumper, ASLA, Chair
(479) 444-3469