2020 Conference
Education Sessions

All regular education sessions are worth 0.1 CEU credits.

Mini Sessions & Summits do not qualify for CEU credits.

Tuesday Sessions | February 11, 2020 | 1:15-2:30 pm

1A: From One Young Professional to Another: Let's Talk Career Development
Taylor O'Neal, Portage Township Parks and Recreation, Leadership/Management
Tuesday | February 11 | 1:15-2:30 pm

Let's talk about the challenges a Young Professional may face in the Parks and Rec field and how you can overcome them to develop your career and personal brand.

1B: A League of Their Own: Highlighting Outstanding Youth Sports Programs
Kate Nematollahi, National Alliance for Youth Sports, Programming
Tuesday | February 11 | 1:15-2:30 pm

Parks and recreation professionals know the value of recreational youth sports programs. But families can be drawn toward competitive travel programs and many recreation departments are seeing their program participation drop. That does not have to be the story in your community. This session will highlight real life case studies of strong, successful recreational youth sports programs committed to the safety and wellbeing of the children in their community. The youth sports organizations featured have all earned the Better Sports for Kids Quality Program Provider designation and have been recognized as Excellence in Youth Sports award winners. Participants will learn what these youth sports leaders did to make their programs stand out and will be able to take best practices back to their own communities.

1C: Local Collaboration with Parks and Recreation Universities
Amy L. Gregg, Ball State University, Parks/Environment/Natural Resources
Tuesday | February 11 | 1:15-2:30 pm

The next IPRA conference provides opportunities for local expert stories to connect practitioners to a sense of place in a typical American town, with Muncie’s legacy as “Middle Town America.” Local cases provided from collaborative service projects with faculty and college students at a local university helped with Muncie’s park redevelopment. Examples include but are not limited to a prairie installation at Heekin Park, renovation of Tuhey Pool, and internships with the White River Greenway trails, where the university role helped local government agencies with new directions to market the parks. The lens for the presentation will be natural resource management that can be applied to local park systems and ways to market green infrastructure through Geographic Information System story boards. Local parks and recreation issues will be shared in the context of themes from across the state for local lessons to be applied in communities for enhancing their collaboration.

1D: Lugar Plaza: Where Design & Program Meet
Daniel Ligget and Anne Laker, Rundell Ernstberger Associates, Programming
Tuesday | February 11 | 1:15-2:30 pm

Lugar Plaza is a 1.8 acre renovated public space at the front door of the Indianapolis-Marion County Building in downtown Indianapolis. Beginning in the Fall of 2016, the design team began the design of this new public space with the goal of creating a “downtown backyard.” This session will discuss how programming was involved during the planning, design, and implementation of Lugar Plaza. Important topics of discussion will include how existing site opportunities and constraints required creative design solutions which would impact the programming of the space, how a programming plan was developed and then implemented, and the programming and design lessons learned of this particular project.

Tuesday Sessions | February 11, 2020 | 2:45-4:00 pm

2A: Students Showcase High Impact Practices in the Classroom: Innovative Projects Promoting Recreation Technology Use and Partnerships with Hoosier Communities
Julie Knapp, Indiana University, Innovation/Big, New Idea
Tuesday | February 11 | 2:45-4:00 pm

This interactive session will be presented by Indiana University undergraduate students majoring in Public, Non Profit and Community Recreation and their faculty instructor. The session will showcase two unique projects completed by students during the Fall semester of 2019. One project features the use of recreation cloud based software where students built a business and created programs and services utilizing recreation based technologies. The second project highlights a service learning initiative called Sustaining Hoosier Communities. Indiana University students designed youth based recreation programs to serve rural youth in Greene County Indiana. The student presenters will share their projects while recommending continued service learning based initiatives and partnerships that can be designed and implemented for park and recreation departments. These initiatives provide students with hands on experience and exposure to recreation programming initiatives early in their academic careers.

2B: We're from the State and We're Here to Help: DNR Grant Opportunities & Tips for Writing a Winning Application
Todd Blevins, Bob Bronson, and Lisa Herber, Indiana Department of Natural Resources, Fundraising/Sponsorship/Park Foundations, Indiana DNR Division of Natural Resources
Tuesday | February 11 | 2:45-4:00 pm

Are you looking for funding assistance for your next park or trail project? The grants team at the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation will discuss available grant opportunities while providing guidance on writing a successful grant application. The session will cover essential project components that will help applicants maximize scoring opportunities within program criteria.

2C: The Nature of Teaching: STEM-Based Nature Education
Jarred Brooke, Purdue Extension, Programming
Tuesday | February 11 | 2:45-4:00 pm

The Nature of Teaching is a Purdue Extension program that provides educators with STEM standards-based K12 curricula to teach about nature and natural resources. Topics covered include wildlife, health and wellness, and food waste. Session participants will learn about the program and experience some hands-on example activities they can use in their programs and parks.

2D: Small Department Group Event
Sally Pelto-Wheeler, Leadership/Management
Tuesday | February 11 | 2:45-4:00 pm

Wednesday Sessions | February 12, 2020 | 8:30-9:45 AM

3A: Creating Your Leadership Pipeline
Chris Nunes, The Woodlands Township (Texas), Administration/Governing Body/Elected Officials
Wednesday | February 12 | 8:30-9:45 am

Succession planning in parks and recreation field has been negated management tool, however the profession is facing a large segment of its leadership beginning to retire. These retirements require departments and commissions to review their internal human capital so that they can be fully prepared. This session will focus on succession planning at all levels of an organization and how to implement planning through developing an understanding of your current and future tasks, competencies at all levels of an organization and ways to develop staff that are economically feasible in an agency

3B: Call of the Wild
Becky Higgins and Leslie Brinson, Bloomington Parks and Recreation, Programming
Wednesday | February 12 | 8:30-9:45 am

Take a walk on the wild side as Call of the Wild returns to stimulate your creativity. Programmers just like you share their own innovative program success stories while we keep your attention with a fun environment and some laughs!

3C: Promenade Park- A Reclaimed Riverfront

Alec Johnson, Chuck Reddinger, Rachel Vedder, Fort Wayne Parks & Recreation, Innovation/Big, New Ideas

Wednesday I February 12 I 8:30-9:45 am

In the early 1900's, Fort Wayne turned its back on its downtown rivers. The St. Mary's, St. Joseph, and Maumee Rivers comprise the largest watershed feeding into the Great Lakes. A renewed focus on this significant asset began in 2014 when Fort Wayne's Downtown Riverfront development rose to the top of the community's wish list. A conceptual master plan was completed by SWA Group in 2015. The first $20 million phase identified was a public park at the midpoint of the downtown pool- this was to become Promenade Park. A multi-disciplinary team, Riverworks Design Group, was hired to develop construction documents for the park. After 24 months of construction, Promenade Park was opened with great fanfare on August 9, 2019. The park has been hailed as a world-class game changer for Fort Wayne and the region. Join us for a recap of the messy details behind the scenes that made this park possible.

3D: Real-Life Ways to Engage Your Board
Meghan Stritar, Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, Leadership/Management
Wednesday | February 12 | 8:30-9:45 am

Having trouble getting a quorum, or just need your board members to be more engaged? Here are 7 quick ways to engage your board members to keep them focused and energized on your mission.

3E: A Higher Level of Inclusive Play
Jill Moore and John McConkey, Landscape Structures, Parks/Environment/Natural Resources
Wednesday | February 12 | 8:30-9:45 am

The playground should be a place for laughter, friends and fun, for all. Playgrounds are a place for play and learning, where children develop physical and cognitive skills, and where they build valuable social relationships. Unfortunately traditional playgrounds do not meet the needs of a growing population of children and their families. Many parents of children with physical, emotional and developmental disabilities report they simply do not go to the playground. This presentation will focus on the opportunity parks and recreation professionals have to design playgrounds with taught best practice design elements offering a higher level of inclusive play.

3F: What You Need to Know About Park & Rec Construction
Dan Lawson, Meyer Najem, Maintenance/Facility/Management/Operations
Wednesday | February 12 | 8:30-9:45 am

Deciding how a project will be designed or constructed is an important step for any decision maker to make before embarking on a construction project. Learn more about how choosing the right delivery method and partnering with a trusted advisor can impact the overall objective and goals.

M1: Mini Session- Making Indiana a State that works for all Hoosiers

Asher Weaver, Ability Indiana, Mission/Vision/Values

Wednesday I February 12 I 8:30-9:45 am

This presentation will focus on Ability Indiana's overall mission of providing sustainable and meaningful employment of people with disabilities and how parks departments around the state can help with this mission through purchasing and hiring. It will also focus on the partnerships Ability Indiana has developed with cities, towns, and local municipalities.

The Ability Indiana Program allows state, county, and local units of government agencies to purchase products and services from Certified Ability Indiana Organizations. Ability Indiana is established under IC 16-32-2. Through Ability Indiana's partnership with the Indiana Department of Administration (IDOA), city and town officials are able to take advantage of state QPA prices. With updates to the OneIndiana website, officials can make their cost effective purchases through one central website.

Purchasing services or products through the Ability Indiana Program results in direct employment of Hoosiers with disabilities. Many of these individuals are employed in their local cities or towns. Ability Indiana is helping to fight the 80% unemployment rate of people with disabilities one purchase at a time, making Indiana a State that Works for all Hoosiers.

M2: Mini Session- Project Success Begins with the Correct Construction Delivery System Bart York and Scott Cherry, The Skillman Corporation, Maintenance/Facility Management/Operations Wednesday I February 12 I 8:30-9:45 am

Each construction project based on size, scope of work, complexity, and cost may suggest having one delivery system over another. Items during the presentation will include: when should the selection occur, owner vs. contractor risk and owner vs. contractor control. During the presentation we will address which delivery system provides the most team involvement, stakeholder input, and transparency. Graphs will be utilized showing contractual relations between the owner, architect, and contractor. Examples of projects will be presented discussing the delivery systems that were utilized.

Wednesday Sessions | February 12, 2020 | 10:45-12:00 PM

4A: More Bang for Your Buck: Purchasing Tips and Tricks
Chris Nunes, The Woodlands Township (Texas), Programming
Wednesday | February 12 | 10:45-12:00 pm

When buying something for our own personal use, we scourge website or hit multiple stores to bet the best price. Do we do the same when it is taxpayer’s money??? When purchasing for work related goods and services there are basic and detailed components that need to be included in the bid or RFP solicitation- all to get the best price for our agencies. This session will identify the must haves in your bids to drive down the cost of your purchases.

4B: The Indianapolis Greenways Partnership: Indy's Public-Private Model for Trail-Related Programming
Ron L. Taylor, Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, Programming
Wednesday | February 12 | 10:45-12:00 pm

In 2018, the City of Indianapolis, the Indianapolis Parks Foundation and Taylor Siefker Williams Design Group, established the Greenways Partnership, a public-private partnership to provide programming on Indy’s greenways. The effort was based upon research, case studies and data that show that greater engagement leads to greater investment and demand for trail-related activities. With Indianapolis’ planned expansion to 250 miles of trail, this effort helps demonstrate the broad public impacts greenways and trails can have on a community. The partnership was established to attract greater engagement with specific under-served user groups, most notably the elderly and families with children. In 2018, a one-year pilot program was initiated to demonstrate programming possibilities across a spectrum of program types and to measure the costs and rate of investment for this type of programming and to serve as a model for ongoing trail programming in Indianapolis.

4C: Followers Aren't Enough Anymore, You Must Build a Community of Fans
Anna Stumpf, Anderson University, Marketing/Social Media
Wednesday | February 12 | 10:45-12:00 pm

Webster defines "follower" as: an adherent or devotee of a particular person, cause, or activity. But, we know that isn't true. Followers aren't devoted or loyal. Fans are. There is a difference. Let's talk about to to build a social media strategy that creates a community. Facebook groups, email, video, and more tactics will be discussed for building a brand community.

4D: Building Bridges with Youth and (Partner) Officers
Chantell Davis and Mitch Sheppard, Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation, Innovation/Big, New Ideas
Wednesday | February 12 | 10:45-12:00 pm

Our session will describe:

* How we determined the need for the program

* How the program content was developed to work seamlessly with the programs already in place at our after school youth centers

* How relationships formed between the youth and partner officers

* How we recruited partner organizations including the police department

* How we reached out to funders

* Year 3- How we trained the officers to asses a program they would facilitate

* Reflections from an officer

4E: Using Parks to Promote Active Living
Pete Fritz and Kim Irwin, Indiana State Department of Health, Parks/Environment/Natural Resources
Wednesday | February 12 | 10:45-12:00 pm

Indiana residents continue to have low rates of physical activity, which has contributed to making Indiana one of the least healthy states in the nation. In 2019 the Indiana Active Living Guidebook was published by Health by Design and the Indiana State Department of Health to assist communities in addressing this issue.

This session will provide guidance on how park and recreation professionals can use the recommendations in the guidebook to plan and conduct their own active living initiatives to help lead their communities to better health outcomes. Attendees will learn how park departments can be key partners in these efforts while creating new collaborations to move their communities toward positive change.

The session will end with an interactive discussion on ways that attendees can address change in their communities supporting active living. All session attendees will receive a personal printed copy of the Indiana Active Living Guidebook.

4F: Lighting Your Parks
Jed Davis, Maintenance/Facility/Management/Operations
Wednesday | February 12 | 10:45-12:00 pm

M4: Mini Session- Utilizing Apps: Introducing Mobile Technology to the Great Outdoors Ryan Branciforte, OuterSpatial, Marketing/Social Media Wednesday I February 12 I 10:45 am- 12:00 pm

People are increasingly recognizing the health quality of life, environmental, and economic benefits that recreation offer. As a result, now more than ever it's important to connect people to the outdoors.

Most organizations actively communicate with their visitors through traditional channels such as newsletters, website updates, and social media, but most are missing out on the increasing visitor engagement with mobile apps. Millions of park users actively using mobile apps every day, but public agencies and their non-profit partners are missing out on an important communication channel.

Specifically, we'll talk about how OuterSpatial is leading an approach to mobile apps that gives stewards of our open spaces- including government agencies and nonprofits- control over what information is presented and how it's presented. We'll feature a number of state and local organizations actively leveraging mobile apps in California, Oregon, Alaska, Massachusetts and others throughout the country.

M5: Mini Session- Meeting the GOLD Standard of Background Screenings Lauren Sloan, Leadership/Management Wednesday I February 12 I 10:45 am-12:00 pm

Over the last 10 years, there has been an abundant number of deficiencies identified in the traditional methods utilized to screen volunteers. These deficiencies are falling significantly short of the due diligent employment screening practices, which have placed all volunteer dependent organizations and their members at serious risk! Addressing the need to upgrade background screening for volunteers can no longer be pushed to the side. City departments need to keep known as "high-risk" individuals from gaining access to children on public facilities under their control. Low cost or local law enforcement programs leave a dangerously large number of criminal records going undiscovered and leaving the agency at risk for falling under the national standards. In this session, learn more about this issue and ways to protect your city and youth programs.

Wednesday Sessions | February 12, 2020 | 3:30 - 4:45 PM

5A: Tips and Tricks: Project Management

Chris Nunes, The Woodlands Township (Texas), Parks/Environment/Natural Resources
Wednesday | February 12 | 4:00-5:15 pm

This session will focus on project management approaches once the project is approved by a Council or Commission. We will review and discuss several specific communication, documentation, and monitoring techniques that are the fundamental tools to keep a project on track from project initiation to project completion. Examples of both successful and unsuccessful project execution will be shared and discussed, and participants will have the opportunity to discuss one of their current challenging projects with the group.

5B: Be the Change
SaulPaul, SaulPaul Productions, Innovation/Big, New Ideas
Wednesday | February 12 | 4:00-5:15 pm

Prepare to move in this interactive experience where SaulPaul combines strategic storytelling, inspirational speaking, music, audience participation and the power of theater to share how parks and recreation shaped his life and the important role it plays in shaping all lives. He’ll discuss the application of the C.H.A.N.G.E (an acronym for Choose, Help, Accept, Notice, Go, Empower) technique.

5C: Change Your Words, Boost Your Bottom Line
Deb Schmucker, Cornerstone PDS, Marketing/Social Media
Wednesday | February 12 | 4:00-5:15 pm

How to improve your promotional messaging for events and programs that will increase participation and your bottom line.

5D: Bold Boulevard: Transforming the Monon Greenway into a Signature Asset
Carl Kincaid, Jeremy Kashman, & Michael Klitzing Rundell Ernstberger Associates, Innovation/Big, New Ideas
Wednesday | February 12 | 4:00-5:15 pm

Communities nationwide are seeking innovative strategies to inspire recreation, motivate physical activity, create opportunities for active transportation and spur economic development. In response, Carmel, IN has leveraged and expanded its existing Monon Greenway as a signature asset to the community. City and Parks staff, along with the project’s designers will explore and discuss the vision of Monon Boulevard & Midtown Plaza, demonstrating how an amenity-rich, highly programmed linear park space can be a catalyst for redevelopment and reinvestment to the tune of more than $300 million. The team will also discuss how an urban transportation corridor can move beyond a simple utilitarian function and become a signature destination in and of itself – an organizing spine for placemaking, multimodal connectivity, and innovative green infrastructure solutions.

5E: Learning about Indiana's Plants and Animals: Environmental Literacy, Empathy, and Fun
Mindy Murdock and Melissa Moran, The Nature Conservancy, Programming
Wednesday | February 12 | 4:00-5:15 pm

Many fascinating species call Indiana home, yet we sometimes know more about exotic species than we do about what lives in our backyard. Using native plants and animals as examples, we will lead several engaging activities about native species and apply the Environmental Literacy Guidelines, which describe what kids should know about their natural world.

An environmentally literate citizen can weigh various sides of environmental issues to make responsible decisions. Environmentally literate citizens:

1. Understand the Earth’s systems and how human societies affect these systems.

2. Apply critical thinking skills and can interpret and synthesize information.

3. Understand the principles of citizenship needed to participate in resolving issues.

4. Are motivated and empowered to act, knowing that the choices humans make can help or harm the environment.

Resources that encourage children to explore nature and the outdoors will be shared, so that their learning continues after your program has finished.

5F: Project Delivery Methods - How to Choose the Best One!
Tim Jensen and Fred Prazeau, Veridus Group, Inc., Leadership/Management
Wednesday | February 12 | 4:00-5:15 pm

This session will review the various project delivery methods allowed by law and the pros/cons for each. We will walk through some of the newer methods which provide public owner's greater control in selecting which statute to utilize for their project. We will talk about minimizing risk and how to manage difficult projects and contractors!

M7: Mini Session- All Kids Swim- Using Grant Funds to Meet Community Needs Jess Klein, City of Bloomington Parks & Recreation, Aquatics Wednesday I February 12 I 4:00- 5:15 pm

Swimming ability and access to swim lessons are strongly associated with socio-economic status and race, and drowning is a pressing topic in pubic health today. This presentation will offer insight on identifying viable grant opportunities to help your department meet community needs, especially those related to increasing social equity in swimming. We will also discuss what factors to consider when designing a swim lessons program, including: staffing, supplies, outreach, and evaluation.

M8: Mini Session- Beyond Chlorine & pH- Water Balance Is The Key Michael Shepherd and John Foley, Spear Corporation, Aquatics Wednesday I February 12 I 4:00-5:15 pm

As important as it is to maintain proper sanitation an pH levels in pool/spa water it is just as critical to maintain proper water balance. Properly balanced water optimizes sanitation while providing protection for the pool components as well as providing the best possible experience for your patrons. This session will address the problems of unbalanced water and understanding the factors that contribute to and the process of obtaining and maintaining balanced water.

Thursday Sessions | February 13, 2020 | 9:00-10:15 am

6A: Can You Hear Me Now?? Designing Performance Venues in Public Parks

John Jackson and Keri Van Vlymen, RATIO, Programming
Thursday | February 13 | 9:00-10:15 am

Performance venues help to activate public spaces, build community through shared experiences, provide revenue generating potential, and serve to create important emotional connections to our parks. Once upon a time, a band shell might have sufficed as a performance venue. Modern performance venues must accommodate a broader range of needs, from Shakespeare in the Park to Beethoven’s 5th to Loverboy. This session will explore the components of contemporary performance venues through case studies, and will prepare anyone thinking about a new venue with an understanding of what questions to ask, how much room to plan for, and how much to budget for new venues.

6B: Bond, Park Bond...
Ryan Cambridge, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf, Inc, Fundraising/Sponsorship/Park Foundations
Thursday | February 13 | 9:00-10:15 am

This session will explore the unique alternative funding sources available to municipal agencies in Indiana, including bonding. As a case study, this session will recap the processes leading up to the successful passing a $150M parks-specific bond referendum in November of 2018 in Doral, FL - a community of less than 15 square miles! Since its incorporation in 2003, Doral’s population has increased more than 155%, making it one of the fastest growing communities in the U.S, leaving the Doral Parks Dept. in a constant state of “playing catch up” to meet the needs of its users. Doral's most recent parks system plan indicated that without a major influx of taxpayer-supported funding, it was unlikely that the Department would ever break out of this reactive operating model. Acting upon this concern, the City partnered with the Trust for Public Land and their park planning consultants to pass one Florida's largest park bonds in history. This session will explore - through multiple lenses – what factors and strategies helped make this historic bond referendum successful and how communities of all sizes and geographies can apply them within their own unique context.

6C: How to Compete with other Non-Profits in Your Community for Monetary Donations
Megahan Stritar, Parks Foundation of Hendricks County, Fundraising/Sponsorship/Park Foundations
Thursday | February 13 | 9:00-10:15 am

Studies have shown us that only 3-4% of overall donations are given to agencies that help parks and the environment. So how do we compete to get a bigger piece of pie? In this session, you will discover ways to encourage, engage and keep donors by setting yourself apart from the other non-profits in your community.

6D: Partnering with American Indian Tribes to Interpret Their Story at Your Site
Angie Manuel and Diane Hunter, Indiana DNR - State Parks, Programming
Thursday | February 13 | 9:00-10:15 am

Interpreting an American Indian tribe or historic event, one whose heritage or story is not your own, requires collaboration and planning with tribal partners. We'll discuss examples of how the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma and Indiana State Parks have partnered on projects in order to work towards accurate, authentic, and respectful historic interpretation.

Thursday Sessions | February 13, 2020 | 10:30-11:45 am

7A: Outdoor Recreation and Recreation Programs: The Planning, Executing, and Review to Create a Sustainable Program

Ben Peak, Programming
Thursday | February 13 | 10:30-11:45 am

7B: The Proof is in the Paper
Matt Haynes, American Red Cross, Aquatics
Thursday | February 13 | 10:30-11:45 am

When was the last time you took an in-depth look at the documents and signs essential to the safety of your facility? Do they need updating? Should they be posted? Are they clear and consistent with the latest industry trends and regulations? All these questions and more will be answered in an interactive lecture designed to help you make sure the right message reaches your patrons and staff in a clear and concise manner.