December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 45

CONFERENCE
2023
ANNUAL
2023 NRPA Annual Conference Highlights
A look back at this year's gathering of park and recreation professionals
By Chris Brummett, Lindsay Collins and Alexandra Reynolds
O
n October 10-12, nearly 9,000 park and recreation professionals
and advocates came together in Dallas to learn, network
and celebrate at the 2023 NRPA Annual Conference. As we
approach the end of the year and look back on some of our
favorite moments, we also reflect on lessons learned and memories made
at this year's conference.
Opening General Sessions
To kick off the conference, attendees
filled the ballroom at the Kay
Bailey Hutchison Convention Center
the morning of Tuesday, October
10, to hear keynote speaker
Vernā Myers - an inclusion strategist,
cultural innovator, thought
leader and social commentator
- talk about diversity, equity, inclusion,
and what she believes to
be " one of the biggest barriers to
growing, " unconscious bias. " Part
of creating a community that can
thrive and grow is about asking the
question and listening. It's about
inviting
conversation;
it's about
thinking through - because you're
not going to know everybody's
needs and realities, " said Myers.
" The only way that you understand
what is necessary is by inviting
their voices in and actually examining
what is possible. "
Other speakers featured during
the Tuesday Opening General Session
included John D. Jenkins, director
of Dallas Park and Recreation;
Eric Johnson, mayor of Dallas;
Kristine Stratton, NRPA president
and CEO; and Jesús Aguirre, CEO
of Waterloo Greenway and chair of
the NRPA Board of Directors.
During her remarks, Stratton
stated that the theme of this year's
conference, " Where Community
Grows, " was " the perfect platform
for sharing stories and uplifting
the ways that parks and recreation
builds communities that thrive. "
This
sentiment was
reflected
in the remarks of Aguirre, who,
in acknowledgement of Hispanic
Heritage Month, shared stories of
Latino culture being integrated into
parks and recreation. He also shared
a personal story, stating, " Some
of you may know that I'm an immigrant
to this country. I was born
in Mexico, and when I was 5 years
old, my parents risked everything to
bring us to the United States.... I'm
absolutely convinced that my ability
to succeed really hinged on the
people in our community - people
like...y'all - people who took interest
in my success and worked hard
to help me succeed. Without...y'all,
millions of folks like me would not
succeed. "
Wednesday's Day 2 General
Session began by recognizing some
of the best in the field of parks and
recreation via the National Gold
Medal Awards, which are presented
by the American Academy for Park
and Recreation Administration
along with its partners, NRPA and
Musco Lighting. Winners of this
year's Grand Plaque awards include:
* Class I (population 400,001 and
over): Virginia Beach Parks and
Recreation, Virginia Beach, Virginia
2023 NRPA Annual Conference attendees
gathered to hear Vernā Myers' thoughts
on diversity, equity, inclusion, and what
she believes to be " one of the biggest
barriers to growing, " unconscious bias.
46 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 3
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
PHOTOS BY CAUGHT IN THE MOMENT PHOTOGRAPHY

December 2023 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2023 - Parks & Recreation

December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 7
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 8
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 9
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 10
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 11
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 12
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 13
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 14
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 15
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 16
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 17
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 18
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 19
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 20
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 21
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 22
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 23
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 24
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 25
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December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 27
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 28
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 29
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 30
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 31
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December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 33
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 34
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 35
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 36
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 37
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December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 41
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 42
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 43
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 44
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 45
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 46
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 47
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 48
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 49
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 50
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 51
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 52
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 53
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 54
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 55
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
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
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