Monday, September 29, 2014

VRPS Foundation - History & Purpose

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

VRPS Foundation

Since 1956, the Virginia Recreation and Park Society has acted as the unified voice of Parks and Recreation issues throughout the Commonwealth.  Through diversified individual memberships the Society has provided and encouraged continuous developmental training opportunities for its members in order to improve recreation, parks and leisure services to the public.
A special committee studied the need to establish an independent charitable foundation to adequately address the exclusive responsibilities of educating the public to the importance of parks, recreation and leisure pursuits in the lives of all persons in the Commonwealth.  In 1985, the IRS approved the 501(c)3 Foundation of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society as a public, non-profit organization.  The Foundation is also registered with the State Corporation Commission.
This public non-profit Foundation was created in June 1984 to further enhance the image of parks and recreation in leisure services.
The Foundation:
  • Informs the public on critical concerns affecting parks and recreation.
  • Educates the public as to the benefits of healthy leisure pursuits.
  • Educates the public as to the importance of proper use and preservation of our natural resources.
  • Supports students in an accredited park and recreation curriculum through a continuing scholarship program.
  • Provides professional scholarships to practitioners in the field of parks and recreation through appropriate scholarships and grants.

The Foundation of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society operates exclusively for the benefit of, and to carry out the purposes for, the leisure movement in Virginia by:
  • promoting and improving leisure opportunities and amenities in Virginia;
  • furthering the course of research and development in all areas of leisure in Virginia;
  • providing scholarships on a non-discriminatory basis to worthy students and professionals in the parks, recreation and leisure services profession or related field; and
  • promoting leisure awareness among the general public of Virginia.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Ugly is in the Eye of the Beholder

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

The 60th Annual VRPS Annual Conference takes place this year Saturday, December 6 - Tuesday, December 9.  One of the most-anticipated events, no doubt, is the Ugly Sweater Welcome Social on Saturday from 8-10pm, sponsored by the VRPS Western Service Area.

So, in preparation, one might ponder as to where to procure an "ugly sweater".  This VRPS blogger did a little research, and found an excellent resource in Central Office's own Lori Haislip.  Lori is a former Ugly Sweater Winner herself, as well as a proficient ugly sweater shopper.  She offers these tips:

  • Shop Goodwill, Salvation Army, or any thrift store.
  • Yard sales work too; just don't spend a lot.
  • Don't overlook vests - they are more likely to fit.
  • Look for "ugly" components, to include:
    • Cheap fabric
    • Loud colors
    • Dated patterns
    • Appliques and funky embroidery work
    • Teddy bears, bunny rabbits, and other equally quirky and age-inappropriate garb

Additional tips to follow:

  • MEN, look in the ladies' sections
  • Use caution:  one person's "ugly" is another's treasure....

Sunday, September 14, 2014

VRPS/DCR Webinar Series - FREE to Members!

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

VRPS/DCR Webinar Series

Virginia Recreation and Park Society is pleased to announce a joint workshop effort with the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation.  This 2-webinar series is FREE to VRPS members and focuses on the educational theme of planning.  Click HERE to register.

The series is targeted for the following individuals involved with recreation:

  • Administration/Management
  • Citizens/Board members
  • Natural Resource professionals
  • Programmers
  • Students

  • Monday, October 6, 2014, 11-11:45am:  2013 Virginia Outdoors Plan (VOP)
  • Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 11-11:45am:  Economics of Outdoor Recreation

Session length:  Two 45-minute webinars:
  1. VOP and conducting local assessments using this document
  2. Economics of outdoor recreation in Virginia

Learning outcomes
  • Ways to use the 2013 Virginia Outdoors Plan
  • How to use the VOP Mapper
  • How to use economic data to promote and expand outdoor recreation programs & facilities
  • Steps to conduct economic assessments

Monday, October 6, 2014, 11am:  2013 Virginia Outdoors Plan (VOP) - 45 minutes - Topics to be Covered:
  1. VOP purpose and use
  2. Overview key outdoor recreation topics (Trails and water access, historic resources, scenic resources, environmental education)
  3. Overview outdoor recreation providers (Local parks and recreation, state parks , Natural Heritage Program, state fish and wildlife management, state forests, National Park Service, National forests, National wildlife refuges and fish hatcheries, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)
  4. Introduce VOP regional sections
  5. VOP Mapper
  6. Questions - follow-up (An online  survey will provide evaluation opportunity of the session)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015, 11am:  Economics of Outdoor Recreation -  45 minutes - Topics to be Covered:
  1. Why it is important to understand and incorporate the economics of outdoor recreation in program and facility planning
  2. National outdoor recreation economic statistics
  3. Virginia's outdoor recreation economic statistics
  4. Ways to use economic data to promote outdoor recreation (grant funding, direct county dollars to parks and recreation, create partnerships with tourism, promote private sector businesses, influence housing and transportation decisions) 
  5. Steps to conduct an outdoor recreation economic assessment
  6. Questions - follow-up (An online survey will provide evaluation opportunity of the session)

About the Speakers
Planner for the Planning and Recreation Resources Division
Department of Conservation & Recreation
Janit is a landscape architect working for the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) as the project manager for Virginia's State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) - the Virginia Outdoors Plan (VOP).  She is also involved in state park master planning, specializing in new parks.  Janit provides technical assistance to localities, regions and non-profits for water trail coordination and recreation planning.  She is currently working on a site planning 101 series and has published online articles about health and outdoor recreation and the economics of outdoor recreation.  Janit is active with the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals and currently serves on the board of directors.
Janit is a swimmer and also enjoys canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping and walking her greyhound. On the weekends, look for Janit and her family plus their retired racing greyhound in one of Virginia's state parks.                                                   
  • BA, Biology - Converse College
  • MLA, Landscape Architecture - University of Georgia
  • Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute

Planner for the Planning and Recreation Resources Division
Department of Conservation & Recreation
Lynn is a landscape architect whose public practice career spans planning, multi-disciplinary engineering, landscape construction and nursery work.  Her work at the Virginia Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) includes parks and recreation, environmental permitting and development review, and local, regional and Crime prevention through environmental design planning.  Lynn administers the Virginia scenic river and byway programs and is the scenic resources specialist for the Virginia Outdoors Plan.  Her current responsibilities includestate park master planning where she specializes in new park development. Lynn is active with the American Society of Landscape Architects and has served the organization in local and national level leadership positions. 
Lynn is an avid hiker and is quite knowledgeable about many Virginia trail destinations.  She has visited all of Virginia's state parks where she enjoys nature and her love for cabin cooking.
  • Registered Landscape Architect
  • BLA, Landscape Architecture - 1977
  • MLA, Landscape Architecture - 1995
  • Virginia Natural Resource Leadership Institute

Monday, September 8, 2014

VRPS Director's Forum

by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

VRPS Director's Forum

VRPS is preparing to convert to a new website.  Part of the conversion is cleaning up the old one, including the Director's Forum subscription list.  Directors who are primary contacts for their member agencies are eligible to subscribe to the forum.

The Director's Online Forum provides a venue for professionals to share ideas, experiences, and sources.  A user posts a topic upon which to open conversation.  Subscribers are emailed the post and have the opportunity to respond as part of a continuing thread of conversation.
  1. Login to VRPS.
  2. Go to Services-->Forums
  3. Select "Directors Only"
  4. Enjoy the results.

A sampling of past post topics include:
  • Non-Profit Park Foundations
  • Naming Rights for Park Amenities
  • Boys & Girls Clubs
  • Sprayground Costs
  • Contracted or Seasonal Grounds Maintenance
  • Sample Contracts/Agreements
  • New or Adoptive Reuse of a Building for Recreation Center and Senior Housing
  • Capital Gift Giving for Community Centers
  • School Use Agreements
  • Facilities and Services Master Plan RFP
  • 14 Passenger Mini-Bus
  • Use of Facilities by Travel Teams
  • HR Functions
  • Outdoor Art/Sculpture Bases
  • Parks & Recreation and YMCA
  • Alcohol in Rental Facilities
  • Event Staff
  • Radio-Controlled Flying Aircraft
  • Fees for Shelters and Pavilions
  • Volunteer Programs in Exchange for Reduced Fees
  • Community Needs Assessment
  • Beehive Boxes in Parks
  • Sponsorship Policies

Wednesday, September 3, 2014


by Nancy Turnage, VRPS Central Office

Photo Courtesy of Shenandoah County Parks and Recreation
Early September is a favorite time of year.  Yes, the little ones are back in school ... the temperatures are (supposedly?) dropping ... the summer corn couldn't be better....  But most importantly, after the Labor Day closeout of the summer pool season, things go to the dogs:  many municipalities open their swimming facilities and host pool parties - exclusively for man's best friend.

A frenzy of drool, hair, and overall frantic mayhem couldn't be more fun.  As with people, there's a full range of swimming prowess, from the water-obsessed (labs) to the hydrologically challenged (bulldogs).  Add cutsey names and nominal fees, and it's a jocular conclusion to swimming pool season.

Banner Courtesy of  Winchester Parks and Recreation