April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16

W E A R E P A R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N

Remembering Park and Recreation
Leader Laura Wetherald

O

n February 19, 2021, the park and recreation field lost a dedicated professional, Laura Wetherald.
" I have been fortunate to know Laura for almost 40 years.
Her love of life, love of her family, love of others and love of
our profession are her hallmarks, " says Jayne Miller, Certified Park and
Recreation Professional (CPRP), vice chair of NRPA's Commission for
Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). " Her passion
for our profession came through with her commitment to TR [therapeutic
recreation], CAPRA, training professionals and always giving back while
always having fun. "

PHOTOS COURTESY OF HOWARD COUNTY RECREATION AND PARKS

In 1977, Wetherald graduated
from James Madison University, and subsequently received her
master's degree in urban and therapeutic recreation from the University of Baltimore. She served
as a faculty member at Commu-

16	

Laura Wetherald
dedicated 34 years of
her career to Howard
County Recreation
and Parks.

Wetherald was a
nationally featured
speaker within the field
of parks and recreation.

Parks & Recreation

nity College of Baltimore County
Catonsville, Frostburg State University and Hood College. Most
recently, Wetherald was bureau
chief for Howard County (Maryland) Recreation and Parks, a position in which she had served since
1998, and an agency at which she
had worked for 34 years. In her
role as bureau chief, Wetherald
oversaw thousands of programs,
as well as 70 full-time employees
and hundreds of part-time staff.
Lynne Levin, who worked with
Wetherald during her time at Howard County Recreation and Parks,
writes on her tribute wall (tinyurl.
com/j78vcrza), " She was a person
who could always be counted on
to do the right thing, to do it well
and with good humor. Her positive
outlook and her wonderful laugh
could brighten your whole day. She
was an inspiration in so many ways
and will be deeply missed. "
During her career, Wetherald
published a number of articles on
therapeutic recreation and was a
nationally featured speaker within
the field of parks and recreation.
Wetherald exemplified her dedication to parks and recreation

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through her continued active involvement in the field, including as president of the Maryland
Recreation and Park Association
(MRPA) and as a CAPRA commissioner. " I can't think of anyone
more dedicated and passionate
about their role with CAPRA, "
says Troy Houtman, director of
park and recreation for City of
Wichita, Kansas, and CAPRA
Commission vice chair. " Her efforts have a lasting impact on our
industry and the future of parks
and recreation. "
Wetherald was a CPRP and was
an engaged member within the
NRPA Connect community, an
online network of park and recreation professionals. She received
many awards for her work, including the MRPA Distinguished
Fellow Award, Howard County
Employee of the Year and several MRPA Member of the Year
Awards, among others. She also
was inducted into the American
Academy of Park and Recreation
Administrators.
" Laura touched so many people's
lives as a mentor, teacher, coach and
friend, " says Cory Styron, CPRP,
MBA, director of community services for Los Alamos County (New
Mexico) and CAPRA Commission
chair. " She was just as passionate
about her parks and recreation career...helping organizations reach
their potential through the CAPRA
standards. We will miss her laughter and commitment to making everyone and everything a little better
by knowing her. "



April 2021 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of April 2021 - Parks & Recreation

April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
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April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
April 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com