December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11

distancing. While safety always has
been a top priority, the wide range
of updates and changes to safety
precautions worried many about how
the pandemic could impact agency
culture and employee safety.
The transition to working from
home was also an adjustment.
One professional stated that if they
could've changed anything their
agency did when the pandemic was
first announced, they would have
offered more employees the option
of working from home and removing
everything from their offices
that they would need. " We had no
idea it would last as long as it did, "
they explain.
The recreation profession often
diverse and dynamic
advertises
work environments as an attractive
benefit for new recruits. Initially,
the pandemic negatively affected
many of these opportunities, as
working from home became the
norm for many professionals. However,
as time passed, several professionals
shared how their agencies
were using this time to review and
update their flexible work policies.
For instance, multiple professionals
cited how impressed they were
with how many positions could
effectively work from home and
how this has triggered a thorough
review of their
current
flexible
work policies as they plan for postpandemic
working environments.
3. Providing Resourceful
Communication
Without the usual face-to-face interactions,
communication
Zoom have become the norm for
meetings, presentations and even
programming.
A
common
theme from
the professionals was the
implementation of regular
safety
briefings and updates. Social media
and local websites were the most
popular platforms for sharing these
updates. Professional networks and
listservs, such as NRPA Connect,
were identified as great resources
to share ideas, safety measures
and implementation strategies,
as well as engage in problemsolving
discussions. Others looked
to colleagues in the field to help
them deal with difficult COVIDrelated
scenarios. Through these
platforms, many professionals
reflected on the intense professional
development they received during
this time, as well as a rapid expansion
of
their
professional
networks
- both of which resulted in the
acquisition of new, marketable skill
sets while accelerating their career
development.
4. Being Prepared
Part of being
prepared for
the
COVID-19 pandemic was being
comfortable with change. Adaptability
and efficiency became critically
important for agencies. While
adaptability
and efficiency
are
lines
and strategies also have changed
with the pandemic. As one professional
asks, " Where would we be
without the internet? " Platforms
such
as Microsoft Teams and
characteristics needed in all professionals,
one could argue these traits
are synonymous with the " do more
with less " mantra that has been
pervasive in public parks and recreation
for decades. And yet again,
the park and recreation profession
has been well-trained for successfully
navigating these conditions.
For instance, many professionals
identified a need to adapt their
services to best meet the participants'
level of comfort. Participants'
comfort
level varied as it
related to their desired recreation
services. This led many professionals
to adapt and offer a variety of
service delivery formats, while carrying
out the necessary safety procedures.
For instance, some offered
a combination of virtual and faceto-face
programming, allowing
participants the option to select a
format that most aligned with their
level of comfort. Many professionals
mentioned how they had previous
experience in virtual service
delivery platforms, or how they
now have adapted and grown these
skills, which they can continue to
use in the future. Through these experiences,
COVID-19 made many
agencies operate more efficiently.
Looking Ahead
COVID-19 has been devastating,
and parks and recreation was not
immune to these changes. Despite
these challenges, a great deal of
innovation and growth occurred
while many recreation service areas
experienced significant upticks
in participation and usage rates.
Throughout these unique times,
several new ideas and service delivery
models emerged, empowering
professionals to maximize the
opportunities
lenging conditions.
fessional
within these chalAs
one pronotes,
" After reflecting
on the growth and innovation of
recreation professionals during this
pandemic, we have an unparalleled
power to make passionate, positive
changes! "
Sarah Krug is a Graduate Student at Illinois State University
School of Kinesiology and Recreation (slkrug@ilstu.edu).
Michael A. Mulvaney is a Professor and Program Director at
Illinois State University School of Kinesiology and Recreation
(mamulva@ilstu.edu).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | DECEMBER 2 0 2 1
| Parks & Recreation
11

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation

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

December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 25
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 26
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 31
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 32
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 37
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 38
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 39
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 40
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - 56
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2021 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
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
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