192 episodes

Open Space Radio covers trends in parks and recreation, shares news from the field, and interviews park and recreation professionals making a difference in their communities. Open Space Radio is the official podcast of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) — Because everyone deserves a great park.

Open Space Radio: Parks and Recreation Trends National Recreation and Park Association

    • Business
    • 4.6 • 39 Ratings

Open Space Radio covers trends in parks and recreation, shares news from the field, and interviews park and recreation professionals making a difference in their communities. Open Space Radio is the official podcast of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) — Because everyone deserves a great park.

    Building Belonging: Neurodivergent Perspectives in Parks and Recreation (Part 2)

    Building Belonging: Neurodivergent Perspectives in Parks and Recreation (Part 2)

    As you may recall, our final episode of 2023 was part one of our conversation around neurodiversity and parks and recreation. It was a wonderful conversation with Kande Jones, the Development Director for Mulvane Recreation Commission, and Dave McDaniel, the Operations Coordinator for City of Mobile Parks and Recreation about their experience as neurodivergent individuals. Well, we’re finally back with part two of the conversation!
    The inspiration for these episodes came from a 2023 NRPA Annual Conference session, “Neurodiversity and Inclusive Workplaces: Insights from Park and Recreation Professionals.” The session explored the individual strengths neurodivergent professionals bring to their work and the strategies and accommodations that have helped them succeed, as well as ways to find workplace champions and allies.
    The presenters also offered suggestions for how organizations can better support and include neurodiverse individuals in the field in a number of ways, and we’re excited to chat with two more of the presenters on the show today: Tammy Schwab, manager of education and outreach for the resource management division of Fairfax County Park Authority in Virginia, and John McGovern, principal-in-charge for The WT Group, LLC Accessibility Practice.
    Tune in to our conversation below to hear from Kande and Dave as they share their experience as neurodivergent individuals and how it relates to their careers in parks and recreation. You’ll also learn:
    ·        How a career in parks and recreation can contribute to a positive working environment for neurodivergent individuals
    ·        Some of the challenges neurodivergent individuals face in the workplace (and solutions!)
    ·        How leaders, coworkers and peers can create a culture of belonging and safety for neurodivergent staff
    ·        What it meant to Tammy and John to have the opportunity to discuss neurodiversity at the 2023 NRPA Annual Conference, and much more!
    Related Links:
    ·        Building Belonging: Neurodivergent Perspectives in Parks and Recreation (Part I) — Episode 148
     
    Have feedback about this episode or Open Space Radio overall? Share it with us!
    If you enjoyed this episode or learned something that might help you make a positive impact in your community, please consider donating to NRPA to not only support our storytelling efforts, but also our mission to advance parks, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all at nrpa.org/donate.

    • 59 min
    Creating a World Where Humanity Stands Out

    Creating a World Where Humanity Stands Out

    On today’s episode, we’re talking with someone who has been making a big impact in the larger outdoor industry for a while now. Teresa Baker, founder of In Solidarity Project, is an outdoor enthusiast focusing on community engagement, creating events that encourage people to venture outdoors responsibly, and learning about our open spaces and what it takes to protect them.
    Teresa’s commitment to creating outdoor experiences that speak to culture, environmental responsibility and inclusion is something to be admired, and she is a staunch advocate for bringing underrepresented communities into the conversation and the work.
    Teresa has led various organizations and initiatives that support this work, such as The Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge, the African American National Park Event and the Outdoorist Oath, to name a few. We were so thrilled to have the privilege of talking with Teresa to learn more about her determination to make a difference in the work of diversity and inclusion in outdoor spaces.
    And, as 2024 marks the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act and the Wilderness Act, Teresa has created a campaign encouraging everyone to get outdoors, doing whatever they enjoy, between now and July. Be sure to share photos of you and your community getting outside on social media using #CivilRightsAct60 – the photos will be turned into a collage of the country celebrating and honoring the anniversaries. 
    Tune in to our full conversation below to learn more about Teresa and how her work may support your efforts to build more equitable, inclusive spaces and programs in your community. You’ll also learn:
    ·       How Teresa’s work in this space began with a call to the National Park Service to tell them, “you have a diversity problem”
    ·       How to have difficult conversations and get out of your comfort zone
    ·       Why partnerships are key to pushing diversity, equity and inclusion work forward
    ·       How to spend time outdoors (however works for you!) and be aware of your environmental impact
    ·       And much more!
    Related Links:
    ·       Follow Teresa on Instagram
    ·       Connect with Teresa on LinkedIn
    ·       In Solidarity Project
    ·       Outdoor Diversity Alliance
    ·       The Outdoorist Oath
    ·       The Outdoorist Oath on Instagram
    ·       Outdoor CEO Diversity Pledge
    Have feedback about this episode or Open Space Radio overall? Share it with us! If you enjoyed this episode or learned something that might help you make a positive impact in your community, please consider donating to NRPA to not only support our storytelling efforts, but also our mission to advance parks, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all at nrpa.org/donate.

    • 43 min
    Creating Space for Belonging in Juneau, Alaska — Episode 152

    Creating Space for Belonging in Juneau, Alaska — Episode 152

    March is Women’s History Month, and this year’s theme celebrates women who advocate for equity, diversity and inclusion. This year we are honoring women who lead change in their field, and today’s episode does just that. There are so many women who are leaders in parks and recreation and bringing positive change to their communities, and today we’re excited to talk with two women who are leading the way in Juneau, Alaska.
    Our guests today are Amanda Lovejoy, a recreation coordinator at the Zach Gordon Youth Center for City and Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation, and Lauren Anderson is the Treadwell Arena Manager for Juneau Parks & Recreation.
    Between having a primarily women-led team, facilitating programs that foster inclusion and belonging, and ensuring that every member of the Juneau community feels welcome, Juneau Parks & Recreation is doing some incredible work.
    Tune in to our full conversation below to learn more about this unique community and how Amanda and Lauren are truly building a space where you belong. You’ll also learn:
    How Juneau Parks & Recreation is providing opportunities for girls, women, and trans and nonbinary youth in the community How the “Weaving Our Pride” project is bringing the community together and celebrating Indigenous communities in Juneau How Juneau’s Gender Support Group and Mindfulness Matters programs are making an impact Why Juneau is such a unique community, and what challenges and opportunities that presents And much more! Related Links:
    City and Borough of Juneau Parks & Recreation Weaving Our Pride Website Weaving Our Pride Facebook Group Zach Gordon Youth Center Facebook Page  
    This episode of Open Space Radio is brought to you by support from CivicPlus. CivicPlus’ recreation management solution is the only comprehensive activity, facility, membership, staff and point-of-sale management solution designed exclusively for municipal parks and recreation departments by former local government parks and recreation leaders. Municipal recreation departments that choose CivicPlus increase department revenue from online transactions while fostering positive civic experiences. Learn more at www.civicplus.com.


    Have feedback about this episode or Open Space Radio overall? Share it with us!
    If you enjoyed this episode or learned something that might help you make a positive impact in your community, please consider donating to NRPA to not only support our storytelling efforts, but also our mission to advance parks, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all at nrpa.org/donate.

    • 53 min
    Having Fun and Doing the Right Thing in San Antonio

    Having Fun and Doing the Right Thing in San Antonio

    We know the importance of partnerships in parks and recreation, and on today’s episode of Open Space Radio, we’re diving into an exciting partnership between NRPA and Bobcat. As part of this partnership, Bobcat has extended five grants, each worth $50,000, to support five park improvement projects across the country. Today, we’re excited to learn more about one of these projects taking place in San Antonio, Texas.
    We were thrilled to speak with Caryn Odenbach, brand and experience specialist at Bobcat; Kristen Hansen, deputy director of parks and recreation at San Antonio River Authority; and Ayanna Williams, NRPA director of community and environmental resilience.
    Tune in to the full episode below to learn how this park improvement project will expand park access, build environmental resilience, engage the community and create a sense of belonging in the San Antonio community.
    You’ll also learn:
    How NRPA and Bobcat are working together to advance resilient park access in communities across the country How this partnership is improving and preserving Trueheart Ranch Park Why San Antonio will benefit from this grant and project How the community is being engaged throughout the project Why public-private partnerships are so important in parks and recreation And more! Related Links:
    Trueheart Ranch Park San Antonio River Authority Bobcat Company NRPA and Bobcat Partnership Builds Resilient Park Access: City of Stonecrest, Georgia Auburndale Park's Trail Revitalization with Bobcat and NRPA  
    Have feedback about this episode or Open Space Radio overall? Share it with us!
    If you enjoyed this episode or learned something that might help you make a positive impact in your community, please consider donating to NRPA to not only support our storytelling efforts, but also our mission to advance parks, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all at nrpa.org/donate.

    • 44 min
    Make an Impact by Leading with a Mentoring Mindset

    Make an Impact by Leading with a Mentoring Mindset

    As you may know, January is National Mentoring Month, and all month long, NRPA has been sharing content around how mentoring through parks and recreation is helping youth develop positive connections with trusted and caring adults, which we know can support their long-term success.
    National Mentoring Month is an annual opportunity to spread awareness of the power of mentoring. It serves as a reminder of the critical role park and recreation professionals play in providing youth development and youth mentoring services in local communities across the country.
    We were thrilled to have a conversation with three individuals who have a lot of experience when it comes to the power of mentoring: Katlin Okamoto, director of Coach-Mentor Training at U.S. Soccer Foundation; Char Barnes, a park and recreation professional who previously worked in Columbus, Ohio; and Kent Hunt, NRPA’s program manager of health.
    These three shared some wonderful insight on mentoring, and while they all shared from different perspectives, it all boiled down to one thing: Mentoring is essential, and park and recreation professionals are likely already serving as mentors in their communities, whether they realize it or not.
    Tune in to our full conversation below to hear from Katlin, Char and Kent. You’ll also learn:
    How mentoring changes the lives of youth and adults What it means to have a “mentoring mindset” How to embrace and implement a mentoring mindset approach in your programs Advice for starting a mentoring program in your community Resources available to support your mentoring programs And much more! Additional Resources:
    NRPA’s Mentoring Resources Contact NRPA’s Mentoring Team Contact U.S. Soccer Foundation’s Coach-Mentor Training Program Blog Post: Three Strategies to Engage Mentors to Support Youth Development Blog Post: Engaging Families Leads to Profound Impacts for Youth in Mentoring Programs Blog Post: Elevating the Spirit of Service in Youth

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Imposter Syndrome Is Real

    Imposter Syndrome Is Real

    Season two of Open Space Radio begins today! For the next year, we will focus on conversations around the 2024 NRPA annual theme, “Where You Belong,” and we’re so excited to kick off this season with a wonderful conversation.  

    On today’s episode, we’re joined by Gabby Vera, CPRP, the regional park superintendent for Maricopa County (Arizona) Parks and Recreation. Between her session at the 2023 NRPA Annual Conference and her Open Space blog post, titled, “You’ve Got This” — which explored practical strategies to boost self-confidence, overcome imposter syndrome and thrive in your leadership journey — we knew we wanted to have a conversation with Gabby on the podcast. 

    Tune in to our full conversation below to learn more about Gabby’s career journey as a park and recreation professional, as well as strategies she’s used to overcome imposter syndrome. You’ll also learn: 

    What imposter syndrome is and how it can show up in your life or career 
    How to create psychologically safe spaces that encourage staff to take on new challenges and ask for help 
    How to view challenges as opportunities to grow and learn new skills 
    How to support colleagues, acknowledge them for stepping up and celebrate their successes
    And much more! 

    Resources Discussed on this Episode:

    Book Recommendation: The Imposter Cure: You are not a fraud, you deserve success, you can believe in yourself 
    Book Recommendation: The Imposter Syndrome Workbook 
    Book Recommendation: Own Your Greatness: Overcome Imposter Syndrome  
    Book Recommendation: Type Talk: The 16 Personality Types That Determine How We Live, Love, and Work 
    American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration Mentorship Program 
    Connect with Gabby:
    Email Gabby 
    Connect with Gabby on LinkedIn 

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
39 Ratings

39 Ratings

colleen-sharkey-ohio ,

Love this Blog & Podcast!

As both an outdoors enthusiast and parks & recreation professional, I am impressed with Open Space! I just listened to the episode about Fireflies, in which their knowledgeable guests cover everything from family-friendly activites to park management conservation strategies, and so much more. This epidose inspried me to start thinking about how we might include fireflies in with the programming we offer at our parks. I am now a subcriber and am looking forward to every episode- Great work!!!

Mokeyt3/35 ,

Too liberal for my tastes

I am a Parks and Recreation professional, but I am a bit tired of such left leaning articles. I wish you would just keep liberal politics out of your content.

RB7285 ,

Surprisingly delightful

Didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did.

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