2019 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 19, 2019 | 3:15-4:30 pm

A1: Invasive Plants on the Rise: Don't Wait Until It's Too Late
Jacob Brinkman and Brenda Howard, Department of Public Works- City of Indianapolis
Tuesday | February 19 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 209 Reagan

This presentation will cover the issue of invasive plants in Indiana. Indianapolis Land Stewardship Ecologists Brenda Howard and Jacob Brinkman will share information with the audience about why invasive species are a problem and how communities can work toward a solution.

A2: The Nature of Teaching: Connecting Youth with Nature
Rebecca Busse, Purdue University
Tuesday | February 19 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 207 Ford

The Nature of Teaching provides educators with formal (standards-based) and informal (activity packages) curricula about wildlife, food waste, and health and wellness. The curricula target youth grades K-5. Workshop participants will be guided through select activities and walk away with example materials to use in their programs, at their park, or nature center.


A3: No One Cares About Your Park Project: Changing the Way We Talk About What We Do and Why
Ryan Cambridge, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf
Tuesday | February 19 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 205 Nixon

This session will explore the importance of the way that we, as parks and recreation professionals, talk about “what we do,” and why we do it. It’s easy to see that the “benefits” of parks extend well beyond play alone, and we must begin talking about them in that way if our case for investment in parks is ever to be clearly heard.


A4: Public Place and Public Process: Encompassing the Diverging Views on Parks and Justice
Jonathon Geels, Troyer Group
Tuesday | February 19 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 206 Johnson

Over time parks and public spaces have engaged in justice movements at many scales. With continued threats to environmental and social issues, we face increased responsibility. How can we mobilize our communities to address equity? This session will discuss the interplay of advocacy, planning, design, and implementation of parks and other public spaces in these movements.


A5: Creating Paths for Wellness: Working with Local & State Agencies to Provide Opportunities for Wellness
Jess Klein and Kelsey Barrick, Bloomington Parks and Recreation
Tuesday | February 19 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 204 Eisenhower

In this presentation, attendees will learn how Bloomington Parks and Recreation and the Indiana State Department of Health has collaborated with local entities and use grant funds to provide unique health and wellness opportunities to underserved populations.


A6: Funding Your Next Park or Trail Project: How DNR Can Help
Todd Blevins, Bob Bronson and Lisa Herber, Indiana DNR Division of Natural Resources
Tuesday | February 19 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 202 Roosevelt

Looking to build that next splash pad, playground, or trail extension? Learn how the Next Level Trails program, Land and Water Conservation Fund, Recreational Trails Program, and other funding sources available through the DNR Division of Outdoor Recreation can help expand outdoor recreation opportunities in your community.


Wednesday Sessions | February 20, 2019 | 8:30-9:45 AM


B1: Planning Your Plan: Getting the Most out of Your 5-Year Parks Master Plan
Ryan Cambridge, Browning Day Mullins Dierdorf
Wednesday | February 20 | 8:30-9:45 am | 209 Reagan

This session will dive into value-added strategies which can be used in addition to the IDNR 5-Year Master Planning approach, sometimes at minimum to no cost. These strategies include re-thinking the way we collect/use data and evaluate levels of service, the use of innovative public engagement techniques in the digital age, and objective site assessment techniques.


B2: Effective Boards: A Perspective from Both Sides of the Table
Michael Klitzing, Carmel Clay Parks
Wednesday | February 20 | 8:30-9:45 am | 207 Ford

Boards that are visionary, maintain a big picture perspective, and understand where their role ends and staff’s begins are best positioned to guide their agencies. Explore how your board can become more effective based on the perspective of a former board president who is also an executive for another agency.

B3: Kids Run the Show: Dramatic Plays Place in the Parks
Kara Mackey, Lake County Parks
Wednesday | February 20 | 8:30-9:45 am | 205 Nixon

Have you ever noticed a child getting a food order from an adult then returning to them with a handful of dirt complete with grass sprinkles? That's Dramatic Play! Learn to see it happen naturally and play with how to add it thoughtfully for a really dynamic program experience.

B4: Park Foundations: What Are They? How Do You Work With Them?
Lori Hazlett (and Panel), Indy Parks Foundation
Wednesday | February 20 | 8:30-9:45 am | 206 Johnson

This is a primer on what park foundations are, and how one city works with their foundation to make world class recreation opportunities. We will look at why park foundations are growing in popularity. There are many types of park foundations. We will discuss these different types and how their goals vary.The leaders of two organizations in one major city will discuss how they work together.

B5: My South Bend Parks & Trails Project
Aaron Perri, South Bend Venues Parks and Art
Wednesday | February 20 | 8:30-9:45 am | 204 Eisenhower

With over $50 million of park and trail improvements planned for South Bend in the next 3 years, My South Bend Parks & Trails is fundamentally changing the landscape of the city’s public spaces. This session will look at how stakeholder engagement, creative financing and some of the most unique features in the world resulted in the largest investment in parks and public land in the city’s history.


B6: Event Safety - Preparing for Today's Reality
Mike Hoffmeister, Noblesville Parks and Recreation
Wednesday | February 20 | 8:30-9:45 am | 202 Roosevelt

The Departments within the City of Noblesville work collaboratively to create some of the best special events in the area. We're going to discuss what today's reality of Special Events are: planning for proper permitting and the special event safety.


Wednesday Sessions | February 20, 2019 | 10:45-12:00 PM


C1: How Much is This Going to Cost?!?! Cost Center Planning
Chris Nunes, The Woodlands Township
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 209 Reagan

Participants will gain knowledge of the key components of a cost center plan and will be given examples of what information needed in their plan.


C2: Crowdsource Your City: Expanding Impact Through Collaboration
Jonathan Jones and Kara Wood, South Bend Venues Parks and Arts
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 207 Ford

The benefits of unifying community culture to increase agency impact, exploring innovative approaches to programming using crowdsourcing techniques.


C3: Attracting Skilled Volunteers to Your Park Through the Indiana Master Naturalist Program
Brittany Davis and Jennifer Boyce, Indy Parks
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 205 Nixon

Are you in need of skilled volunteers to help with nature programs at your park? We have recruited many valuable volunteers through the Indiana Master Naturalist Program while expanding our involvement in the local community. Learn how you can bring this mutually beneficial program to your property, whether you have nature center or not.

C4: The College Student Myths You Need to Ignore: Park and Recreation Majors Tell All
Julie Knapp (and IU Students), Indiana University
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 206 Johnson

This interactive session will be presented by Indiana University undergraduates majoring in Public, Non Profit and Community Recreation and their faculty coordinator. The session will explore and address common concerns related to professionalism, academic preparation and skill gaps while creating an open dialogue with the audience to discuss existing attitudes about new professionals entering the field of Parks and Recreation. In addition, results will be shared from an ongoing Indiana University research study exploring the preparation of undergraduate interns for the professional internship, and discuss competence and satisfaction levels during the internship experience. Results will also be presented exploring both the student intern and intern supervisor perceptions related to preparedness, competence and satisfaction levels during professional internship experiences for Park and Recreation focused majors.


C5: Play on Player: Overcoming Disability with Play
Jill Moore, Landscape Structures, Inc
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 204 Eisenhower

We gotta drive back, we forgot her wheelchair. Growing up with a mobility impairment opens the door for quite a few you live and you learn moments. 2015 Team USA racer Jill Moore shares her story of how these moments shaped a life that went beyond disability and became something truly extraordinary.


Mini Session 1A: Play it Cool: How to Have Fun in the Sun
Justin Meinke, Landscape Structures, Inc
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 202 Roosevelt

Parks today face the challenge of providing environments where all visitors feel safe, secure and fully engaged. Shade is increasingly important in a range of outdoor recreational environments. Shade structures increase the safety, functionality and longevity of everything they cover and protect. Participants will discover how to plan, budget and specify for the most appropriate shade elements to meet their unique needs.

Mini Session 1B: Camping In Our Parks
Jameson Hibbs and Elaine Taylor, Daviess-Martin Joint County Park Department
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 202 Roosevelt

To educate the audience of the importance of campgrounds in outdoor recreation and tourism. Examples from at least two IN campgrounds will be used to inform our audience about the importance of adequate services, amenities, programming, and partnerships required to operate a successful campground.

Mini Session 1C: Creating an Accessible Park: Case Example
Sara Hicks, DLZ Indiana LLC
Wednesday | February 20 | 10:45-12:00 pm | 202 Roosevelt

Educational session will utilize an existing Town Park in Indiana as an example of the process a community may follow to create an accessible park. Presentation will include real-life examples of the park’s non-compliances, potential alternatives for increasing accessibility, sample prioritization, and other accessibility related considerations.


Wednesday Sessions | February 20, 2019 | 1:45-3:00 PM


D1: Crowdfunding for Parks and Recreation: Learn from Your Peers
Carmen Lethig, Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority; Bridget Anderson, Patronicity; Phil Blasko, Mishawaka Parks & Recreation; and Denise Retz, Richmond Parks & Recreation
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 209 Reagan

Join an in-depth discussion about crowdfunding with the people who know the process best: parks and recreation leaders who have run successful crowdfunding campaigns. Panelists will discuss project planning, how campaigns are implemented, what happens after a campaign ends and what they wish they'd known before starting the process.


D2: Maximizing Economic Impact Fees to Support Your Capital Improvement Needs
Leon Younger, PROS Consulting and Matt Eckerle, Umbaugh
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 207 Ford

This program will review the best practices for assessing your impact fees to support your new capital improvement needs for your agency using a proven process supported by Umbaugh's approach to assessing impact fees in a city or town.


D3: Hot Trends in Aquatics: Roundtable Discussions
Terese McAninch, Carmel Clay Parks and Bill Ramos, IU Dept. of Rec, Park and Tourism Studies
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 205 Nixon

Aquatic professional always are looking for answers to help them learn and develop their staff, programs, facilities and professionally. We will bring to the group the main trends and hot topics facing aquatic professional to help facility a lively and informative roundtable discussion.


D4: Working with Your Local Officials
Tricia Leminger, Frost Brown Todd
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 206 Johnson


D5: Partnerships: Do You See the Potential?
Nichole Haberlin, Noblesville Parks and Recreation
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 204 Eisenhower

Looking through your community to find value in a partner. How to evaluate good partnerships and hold partners accountable for balanced trade all while improving your programs and events.


D6: So You Mean I can Fire a Volunteer?!?!?!?!
Dr. Nathan Schaumleffel, Driven Strategic LLC
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 202 Roosevelt

This session will illuminate the sub-profession of volunteer management for recreation professionals. The volunteer management profession has its own literature and CVA certification. This session will focus on volunteer evaluation and the awkward need to fire volunteers. Strategies to redirect, retrain, and retire volunteers before dismissing them will be discussed.


Mini Session 2A: Understanding Toilet Partition Materials
Amy Baker, William Baker Company
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 201 Truman

Learn more about the differences of Toilet Partition Materials - how are they made, what differences are there and what material is best to use for your application.


Mini Session 2B: Maintaining Your Synthetic Turf
Bruce Heldt, Sport Aide
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 201 Truman

We discuss the benefits of proper synthetic turf maintenance in our presentation, based on our having cleaned over 200 fields.


Mini Session 2C: Permeable Surfaces: Storm Water Management
Austin Keay, Oberfields
Wednesday | February 20 | 1:45-3:00 pm | 201 Truman

This presentation is designed to help with the design and proper installation of permeable paver surfaces.


Wednesday Sessions | February 20, 2019 | 3:15-4:30 pm


E1: What You Need to Know About Park & Rec Construction
Dan Lawson, Meyer Najem
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 209 Reagan

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.


E2: The Nature of PLAY: Preschool Learning Activities and You!
Samantha Ooley, Indiana Council of Preschool Cooperatives
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 207 Ford

Focus on the advantages of self-guided play in child development and how that can be applied to nature programs to enhance child involvement and active learning. We will discuss basics of brain development and research based evidence that endorses the importance of outdoor, self-led, exploratory play in preschool and kindergarten aged children.


E3: Unleashing Your Secret Weapon...Marketing and Promotions

Chip Orner, Franklin Parks and Recreation
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 205 Nixon

Join us as we explore creative approaches to marketing & promoting Parks & Recreation in your community. We will discuss how to get started in the marketing game, how marketing & promotions can enhance your revenue potential and most importantly, share marketing & promotions ideas you can take back home.


E4: Understanding Your Role in Having a Successful Park Foundation
Donald Ortale, National Association of Park Foundations
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 206 Johnson

'Understanding Your Role in Having a Successful Park Foundation' session will start off briefly defining the legal and other requirements necessary to establish and maintain a Park Foundation. Following that will be a discussion of what role a Park and Recreation Professional has in supporting the activities of a Park Foundation. The session will end with defining what are the characteristics of a successful Park Foundation in the areas of board governance, fund development, public relations and marketing.

E5: Transformation in the Heartland: The Switchyard's Journey from Brownfield to Signature Urban Park
Kevin Osburn, Rundell Ernstberger Associates
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 204 Eisenhower

Switchyard Park demonstrates how a bold vision can lead to the transformation of a highly compromised industrial site into a signature urban park through innovative design and restorative environmental strategies, catalyzing reinvestment and revitalization in the surrounding community, reconnecting the city and inspiring civic engagement and celebration.


E6: Using Economic Impact Data to Demonstrate an Agency's Relevance
Chris Nunes, The Woodlands Township
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 202 Roosevelt

The goal of this session is for the professional to develop a study that can be used for a variety of events and facilities.


Mini Session 3A: Trends in Play Space Design: Activity, Engagement, Involvement
Justin Meinke, Landscape Structures, Inc.
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 201 Truman

Parks today face the challenge of providing environments that will attract children and families to engage, play and stay. To compete with indoor, more sedentary activities. In this session, we will examine playground trends that create kid magnets, that facilitate multi-generational interaction, or signature playgrounds that tell a community story.

Mini Session 3B: Are you meeting the GOLD standard of Background Screenings?
Lauren Sloan, SSCI- Southeastern Security Consultants, Inc.
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 201 Truman

Professionals want to keep known “high-risk” individuals from gaining access to children on public facilities under their control.

Mini Session 3C: Managing Golf Clinics and other Outdoor Programs with a "Public Health" Focus
David Smiley, Indiana University Bloomington
Wednesday | February 20 | 3:15-4:30 pm | 201 Truman

The program will introduce instructors in outdoor recreation programs (specifically golf), methods and tools to heighten their participants awareness of public health strategies.


Thursday Sessions | February 21, 2019 | 9:00-10:15 am


F1: Signature Park Planning: How to Succeed Through Distinctive Design
Mark Underwood, Hitchcock Design Group and Austin Hochstetler, PROS Consulting
Thursday | February 21 | 9:00-10:15 am | 209 Reagan

The needs of parks and recreation programming can sometimes fall to the bottom of the budgetary list. But what if that renovation or new park could be financially self-sustaining and even help improve the surrounding community? A distinctive play environment can be more than just a fun place to play, it can foster growth and flourish as it becomes a destination for families in that community as well as those in the surrounding areas. This session will focus on how several park and recreation providers have designed and built creative and unique play environments that have added measurable, positive outcomes to their communities. The proforma surrounding these spaces will also be shared and discussed as well as how they were able to succeed.

F2: Safe Routes to Parks: Creating Safe Equitable Access to Indianapolis Parks
Kim Irwin, Health By Design
Thursday | February 21 | 9:00-10:15 am | 207 Ford

This session will discuss lessons learned by Indianapolis as a grantee for the first Safe Routes to Parks, Activating Communities program. Using Health by Design’s Pedestrian Safety Zone Analysis, and partnering with the YMCA, and Indianapolis Parks and Recreation, key parks were selected to activate, and a system-wide action plan was developed.

F3: Expanding Your Programs Through Community Partnership
Pam Vanderkolk, Bluffton Parks and Recreation
Thursday | February 21 | 9:00-10:15 am | 205 Nixon

In this session, we will discuss how a small department can expand the programs they offer to their community while promoting their local businesses and other community entities. We will show examples of these partnerships that we feel are also great economic development tools.


F4: Considerations When Planning a Large Festival
Sarah Burns, Whitestown Parks and Recreation
Thursday | February 21 | 9:00-10:15 am | 206 Johnson

When planning a large event, there are a number of important key elements to consider. Will there be food? Will there be alcohol? Will a separate insurance policy be needed? This interactive presentation will cover all of this and more. Attendees are encouraged to share their ideas and input.


F5: Themes from surveys of Indiana’s local park and recreation agency leaders that contributed to writing the state comprehensive outdoor recreation master plans from 2003-2018Themes from surveys of Indiana’s local park and recreation agency leaders that contributed to writing the state comprehensive outdoor recreation master plans from 2003-2018
Amy Gregg, Associate Professor of Parks and Recreation, Ball State University
Thursday | February 21 | 9:00-10:15 am | 204 Eisenhower

Local park and recreation leaders have innovative ideas to share about their management decisions. They have to find alternative strategies to solve challenges with park and recreation resources, funding, staffing, facilities and programs. Repeated surveys of local park and recreation leaders have been conducted from 2003-2018 to provide input into writing the statewide comprehensive outdoor recreation plan (SCORP) written by Indiana every five years. Each state master plan has to document supply and demand for outdoor recreation to qualify for federal grants to states and localities. Park and recreation leaders represent the supply side of the equation, and their voices are often unheard through traditional academic research journal articles that tend to favor the demand side of outdoor recreation users. The results of local agency leader surveys collected every five years show the complexity of managing parks and recreation and reveal patterns in how local leaders prioritize their decision making.


Thursday Sessions | February 21, 2019 | 10:30-11:45 am


G1: Including All Abilities
Michelle Yadon, Carmel Clay Parks
Thursday | February 21 | 10:30-11:45 am | 209 Reagan

Let's include all in the fun! Ever feel confused on where to start with inclusion, adaptive programs, or requests for modification in your organization? No problem! Come to a session led by two Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist that focus on including all abilities in recreation programming. Leave the session with ideas for modification in your facility, specific modification process that you can utilize in your organization, and adaptive programming ideas.


G2: Cinderella Story: Master Planning the Indy Parks Golf Course System
John Jackson and Keri VanVlymen, Ratio
Thursday | February 21 | 10:30-11:45 am | 207 Ford

The Indy Parks golf course portfolio includes 13 courses, 225 holes, over 175,000 square feet of structures, and encompasses over 1800 acres of parkland. The system is unique in that since the early 1990s, the courses have been privately managed and operated. In late 2017, Indy Parks embarked on a comprehensive study of the system to determine what the decline in golf participation nationally might mean for the system, whether there were courses that should be re-purposed to other uses, and how private concessionaire agreements should be changed. The session will outline the process and outcomes of the study. The presentation will also provide attendees with information that will help them prepare for the projected continued decline in golf participation nationally, and equip them with some strategies for re-purposing golf courses if necessary.


G3: The Main Attraction: Transforming Your Community Pool With The Waterpark Model
William Smith, Vortex Indiana
Thursday | February 21 | 10:30-11:45 am | 205 Nixon

As you can appreciate, swimming and wading pools are so essential to attracting new families and maintaining the vitality of a park or other community space. Whether they date back to the 70s or were more recently built, sooner or later they’ll be in need of updating. A major pool overhaul, however, can be daunting for many municipalities, especially in terms of cost. But there’s another solution that doesn’t involve any major reconstruction and can be cost effective, easy to implement and can rejuvenate that old pool and have it back in action in no time at all. Why not consider refreshing your pool by adding new and attractive water play features and elements in or around it? Or go big with an aquatic play structure? Hundreds of municipalities have taken the plunge and added loads of play value with these simple additions that can fit into your budget and your pool’s normal maintenance schedule. You can usually just walk the elements in, hooking up to existing infrastructure can be simpler than you think.

G4: Managing Perspective and Expectation in Today's Parks and Recreation Industry
Austin Hochstetler, PROS Consulting
Thursday | February 21 | 10:30-11:45 am | 206 Johnson

The parks and recreation industry has evolved over the years but there are certain sentiments that seem to linger and can cloud our perspective as park professionals, and even our industry in general (to an extent). We are all too familiar with phrases such as, “You have to be proactive instead of reactive!” or “I’ve put a lot of time in this, so it should be good quality.” These are benign statements of fact, but at the end of the day are they really factual? This session will explore various “statements of fact” and unpack the different perspectives, or point of views, that can help our staff, our organizations, our communities, and our industry to continue realizing progress.

G5: Getting it Done - An Innovative Appproach to Getting Parks Projects Built
Cory Daly, HWC Engineering and Greg Martz, GM Development
Thursday | February 21 | 10:30-11:45 am | 204 Eisenhower

There are many challenges to being able to successfully get a new park project built. This presentation will review the innovative methods used on one project to overcome years of delays and hurdles to finally get the project built.


2019 IPRA Education Session Committee Members

Chair: Austin Hochstetler, PROS Consulting

Stephani Mass, Washington Township Parks

David Bault, Greencastle Parks and Recreation