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Let's Talk Parks Podcast: Stories of Purpose-Driven Parks and Recreation Professionals

Let's Talk Parks Podcast: Stories of Purpose-Driven Parks and Recreation Professionals

By Let's Talk Parks
Sharing the stories of purpose-driven Parks and Recreation professionals. We believe every professional has the potential to make a difference in their organization and in their communities. These are the stories of the future leaders who are navigating their career and finding their purpose through Parks and Recreation. (Previously: Becky Talks Parks)
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#OpenToWork - Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job

Let's Talk Parks Podcast: Stories of Purpose-Driven Parks and Recreation Professionals

#OpenToWork - Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job

Let's Talk Parks Podcast: Stories of Purpose-Driven Parks and Recreation Professionals

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[100th episode!] Inclusive Play by Design with Jill Moore
In this episode, Becky sits down with Jill Moore, Inclusive Play Specialist at Landscape Structures, to discuss what a playground really means to be inclusive.  We talk about the definition of accessible versus inclusive (and why they're so different!).  Jill opened my eyes to our need to involve people of all backgrounds and abilities to the table when it comes to planning and designing our parks.  There is so much to learn when designing our parks to be safe spaces for our children to take risks and grow as human beings. I am so excited to share this episode with you!  A big thank you to Landscape Structures for sponsoring this video! https://youtu.be/1LXaKddy0E4  Thank you to our sponsor, Landscape Structures for sponsoring this episode.  Learn more, find a playground consultant, and earn CEUs by visiting playlsi.com.  Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/ Sponsorships: off for this
40:14
December 3, 2021
Programming for Hybrid Nature Experiences
Did your agency pivot to virtual programs during the height of the pandemic?  Are you still using those programs today?  On this episode, Nate Bibat, Senior Naturalist at the Dunes Nature Center, comes on the Let's Talk Parks show to share how his organization was able to quickly pivot to online environmental education programs.  He shares the various tools and methods they used for the hundreds of students in their programs - including making videos on YouTube, launching a podcast, creating virtual tours on Google Earth, and so much more!  He also talks about how him and his team made those online programs more accessible for those with hearing or visual impairments.  Tune in to learn how these programs continue to evolve into hybrid learning experiences, where online pre-visits serve as a helpful way to introduce students and teachers to the content before they travel on-site. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=evzYMOQ-0jo Thank you to our sponsor, Landscape Structures for sponsoring this episode.  Learn more, find a playground consultant, and earn CEUs by visiting playlsi.com.  Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Nate on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/nathanielbibat/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
53:32
November 18, 2021
Making Your Playgrounds More Inclusive and Inviting For All
In this episode, Dustin Graham and I talk about the risks and rewards of intentional playground design. We talk about how we can make our playgrounds more inviting, and share some examples of different parks across the country that have used their cultural heritage as part of their community space design.  While the audio version will give you a taste of this topic, you’ll want to head over to the video to SEE these parks and truly experience them for yourself!  https://youtu.be/-Z8spRYJtGQ Thank you to our sponsor, Landscape Structures for sponsoring this episode.  Learn more, find a playground consultant, and earn CEUs by visiting playlsi.com.  Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Dustin on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/dustin-wants-to-build-your-playground/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
52:07
November 11, 2021
Upcoming Series: Innovative & Inclusive Parks
This is a quick preview to a new upcoming series on the podcast about how to make our parks and playgrounds more inclusive and innovative. I can't wait to share these new interviews with you soon! Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
04:26
November 4, 2021
Do you suffer from "imposter syndrome?"
In this episode, Marissa and Becky talk about how imposter syndrome has impacted them throughout their careers.  If you think that you've suffered from this, be sure to tune in for how this might affect your work within the parks and recreation field. This episode was inspired by Jai Cole from Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission who had a recent session at NRPA about this topic. Here is the link to the recent article about imposter syndrome from HBR magazine and some strategies for reducing this phenomenon in the workplace - and finally, the link to the Brene Brown podcast which dives deeper into this topic with the authors from the article. Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
35:48
October 28, 2021
Do You Really Need Public Speaking in Parks and Recreation?
The answer is yes! Marissa went through middle school, high school, and college assuming that she would never need to get in front of a crowd to present information. She was totally wrong and gets on the mic during this episode to explain the times you may be faced with public speaking and what you can do to overcome that hurdle.  Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LinkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
13:57
October 21, 2021
Embracing the Seasons of Your Career
The field of parks and recreation is very seasonal. But so are you!  In this episode, Becky talks about how to embrace the season of your career wherever you are.  Whether you've been feeling burnt out or in need of a change, hopefully you find a bit of peace in knowing that it's all a part of your rich and unique career experience. :) Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
17:09
October 14, 2021
5 Alternatives to the Mailed Recreation Guide
So many agencies rely on the mailed recreation guides to get out seasonal information to their residents.  But as budgets change, you may want to consider alternatives that can save you money and time.  Be sure to tune in to hear five creative alternatives and ideas to the mailed recreation guide.   Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
15:13
October 7, 2021
Educating the Next Generation of Parks & Recreation Professionals
PODCAST REPLAY - Throwback!  In this episode, Marissa sits down to talk with Dr. Jeremy Robinette from Western Illinois University about educating our communities about Parks and Recreation. I think so many of us ended up falling into this field. We didn't know that this was a profession until we were in college, or maybe we were already graduated from college and had a degree in something else.  This episode is how we educate our communities about what we do and how to encourage more people to get their degree in parks and recreation. We need to tell our story, share the impact we make, and talk about why it's important. Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
56:23
September 30, 2021
Turn Inspiration into Action
Feeling inspired from conference?  It's this time of year when Fall is just around the corner - and the NRPA conference arrives - that we typically feel a rush of new energy and inspiration. But what happens when you get *all the ideas* and you're not sure how to actually move them forward?  In this episode, Becky talks about the four steps that she takes to turn inspiration into action.  From reflecting on your conference experience, to organizing those ideas, to taking inventory of everything that's involved, and finally to sharing those ideas with your team - this episode covers all that and more! Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
17:28
September 23, 2021
Make the Most of Conferences
With the help of over 20 women in parks and recreation, we’ve compiled an awesome list of tips and advice for those who may be attending conference for the 1st (or 100th) time.  In this episode, Marissa and Becky go over these tips, focusing on three primary areas – networking, planning ahead, and taking action. While this year will look different, especially if you're attending virtually, it will certainly be memorable. Try to make the most of it! Thank you so much to the Women in Parks & Recreation Facebook Group for contributing to this list. Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
33:25
September 16, 2021
Changing the Maintenance Game with Productive Parks
Maintaining our parks and facilities is at the core of providing quality experiences for our community members.  In many of our parks and recreation agencies, we need to "take care of what we have" before building new amenities.  But oftentimes, the most important details fall through the cracks. The system for communicating, tracking, and analyzing the productivity of our maintenance in our parks just isn't up to par.  The solutions are either too big, too expensive, or don't fit the needs for our agencies.  And then along came Productive Parks, a maintenance management software specifically designed for Parks and Recreation Agencies.  If you've ever wondered about the future of maintenance in our field, take a listen and learn how Productive Parks can change the game for you.   A big thank you to Productive Parks for sponsoring this episode!  The support of our sponsors help to continue to bring value to parks and recreation professionals like you. To Learn More --> www.productiveparks.com
39:25
September 9, 2021
Why We Love Working with Active Adults
Marissa sits down with Kate Darcangelis from What the Rec to discuss all things active adults, or as many refer to them as: seniors. Marissa and Kate are both passionate about working with this age group and hope to encourage young and seasoned professionals to give this age group a try.  There are so many benefits to working with this age group, so take a listen! Learn more about Kate from What the Rec -->> https://whattherecofficial.com/  Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
37:60
September 2, 2021
Play To Your Strengths
This week on the podcast, Becky jumps on the mic to talk about how to best utilize your strengths and interests to do more of what you love in your job. While many of our roles in Parks and Recreation allows you to be a "Jack of all Trades" - there can be benefit and opportunities to specialize.  If you've been thinking of narrowing your focus in your career, take a listen and reflect on where this new perspective might be able to take you!  Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/  Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/  Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/  Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
24:22
August 26, 2021
Evolution of Podcasts in Parks & Recreation
In collaboration with Cort Jones from Open Space Radio and Paul Gilbert from Strategic Leadership, this episode is about podcasts in the field of Parks & Recreation.  We talk about why we are so passionate about podcasting, the different types of resources in the field, and how this information sharing is truly raising the bar.   Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect with Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/ Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
46:52
August 19, 2021
Raising the Bar 2021 Style
In this episode, Marissa and Becky share a preview of what's to come for the rest of 2021 - and how we see the field of Parks and Recreation adapting and raising the bar.   Join our weekly newsletter -->> https://letstalkparks.com/ Follow us on Instagram -->> https://www.instagram.com/lets_talk_parks/ Connect on Becky on LinkedIn --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap/  Connect with Marissa on LInkedIn--> https://www.linkedin.com/in/marissa-moravec-cprp/
22:58
August 12, 2021
Have more fun at work
We're wrapping up season 3 with an episode about FUN. In this episode, Marissa and Becky discuss ten different ways to have more fun at work. Join our newsletter and follow us on Instagram for more content like this! Be back in August!
26:13
July 15, 2021
Advantages of Parent Involvement During the Hiring Process
Marissa sat down with Corrine Daut, Recreation Coordinator at Raymore Parks and Recreation to discuss the challenges and advantages of hiring entry level staff...and sometimes their parents too.    This episode came about when Marissa was reading through a thread on the Women in Parks and Recreation Facebook page. The discussion was about interviewing and hiring seasonal staff after their parents had involved themselves in the application process. Even as younger professionals ourselves, we can sometimes have biases against other generations and what comes with them when they apply as our support staff. Not all interactions with parents of our staff has to be negative. It can be to the benefit of the staff member as well as the district for parents to get involved in the hiring process. 
20:37
July 8, 2021
Gaining Influence In Your Agency with Chris Dropinski
It's in our DNA to want more influence. Especially as Parks & Recreation professionals, we want our voice to be heard.  We want our share our ideas, relay insights from our patrons, and be respected as a leader in our agencies.   Too often, we wait for a promotion or status to decide that we have *enough* power to influence.  But as Chris Dropinski points out in this week's episode, real power is something that is earned, not given. "Effective influencing is a skill and a very valuable one; power is not a skill, it is a result."   This means that TODAY we each have an opportunity to influence others.  In fact, we influence all the time.  Everything we do can cause a chain reaction - just imagine the impact you've already made. Knowing that you already have influence, the key now is to use it for good.  This week's episode is an in-depth conversation around how to influence without alienating others. Enjoy!   Meet Chris Dropinski: Her current role as co-owner and Senior Principal at GreenPlay, spanning 20 years, builds on a strong foundation of 24 years of Parks and Recreation administration with nearly half of that as Director of the City of Boulder, Colorado, Parks and Recreation Department.  Armed with a teaching degree in addition to her P&R Administration degree, Chris has passionately helped move our profession forward, taking advantage of opportunities to serve in leadership and faculty positions ranging from non-profits and foundations, to the NRPA Rocky Mountain Revenue and Management School, and the National Association of Park Foundations. As a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive, a fellow of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, and experienced consultant she continues to help organizations remain relevant in our ever-changing environment.  Living in Colorado with her husband Mike is extraordinary, and motherhood has been the joy of her life.
51:19
July 1, 2021
Managing Public Complaints (and your sanity)!
When you work in local government, you are bound to run into complaints and less-than-positive feedback. That's just part of the territory as a Parks and Recreation professional. But if you're someone who truly cares, It can be hard not to personalize their comments. In this episode, I go over 6 tips around how to overcome public complaints so that you can use them as motivation and learning experiences.
39:14
June 24, 2021
Take Action! Making Progress Through Red Tape
In this episode, Marissa and Becky discuss how we have found success in moving ideas forward in the field of Parks and Rec.  We talk about the barriers of red tape, the surprising pros and cons of it, and how to move past it.  We hope this episode is useful if you've been wanting to make progress on an idea or program, but haven't made traction.  Sometimes just changing your mindset can give you new energy and perspectives to keep going. 
30:20
June 17, 2021
What's it like to be a consultant in the field?
It seems I've been getting more questions about being a consultant in the field, so in this episode I talk about why you might consider moving into a consultant role.  As a project consultant for GreenPlay LLC for the last five years, I feel very fortunate to work for a company that provides a great and supportive workplace culture. Although every role is different, I wanted to share my own personal experience so you can see if it might be a good fit for you. 
22:20
June 10, 2021
When it okay to disengage?
Today I want to talk about something that I think is really important, but I couldn't really find anyone talking about this at all. Its the idea that sometimes it's ok to be disengaged at work. As a supervisor, you never want your employees to disengage. But if you are a high achiever, intentionally disengaging can be a good thing. It can prevent you from burning out. It can prevent you from making irrational decisions.It can prevent you from resenting your job.  Engagement has to do with how motivated you are at work. Apparently only 13% of employees are engaged.  When you are engaged, you are excited to come to work. You are full of ideas, of energy, of enthusiasm. You are moving your organization forward. You are making valuable contributions. You are aware of the big picture, and you are motivated every day to help get your organization to a better place.   That means 87% of employees are disengaged. Many of our listeners are highly engaged employees. After all, they are listening to a podcast about the field. So knowing that you are usually really engaged, I want to recognize that we all have seasons of motivation, right? Some of us experience waves of energy and enthusiasm for our work on a weekly, monthly, or annual cycle. If you take time to notice your patterns, your moods, or your work output, you will find that it goes in cycles. You can't be ON all of the time. You are not a machine.  So knowing this, you can know that trying to be engaged ALL of the time is actually a recipe for burnout.
19:49
June 4, 2021
Fresh Ideas for Recruiting Quality Seasonal Employees
In this episode, Marissa and Becky talk about fresh ideas for recruiting seasonal employees.  Check out all of the ideas that we talked about on our blog: https://letstalkparks.com/fresh-ideas-to-recruit-seasonal-employees/
44:44
May 27, 2021
Prioritizing Important > Urgent
How many times over the last year have you gotten an urgent phone call or email that needed your attention right away?  Probably way more than you ever imagined.  We hope that as work relaxes into summer (or at least as things get a little more predictable), you have the chance to move out of the urgency that has been 2020.  Instead, in this episode, we talk about what it would look like to focus on what’s important rather than urgent. Although *urgent* and *important* sound very similar, they reflect the difference between being reactive and being proactive.  Living in a constant state of reactivity causes more stress and can prevent you from reaching your important career and organizational goals.  Instead, by being proactive, you get to be more in control of your days. We hope that this episode is a reset for those of you (AND US) that have been in a reactive mode the last year or so. Personally, I’m looking forward to returning to a state of clarity, where I can prioritize planning, professional development, goal setting, and making time for my family. - Becky Join us for our weekly newsletter every Thursday: www.letstalkparks.com
36:09
May 20, 2021
Mindfulness for Parks & Recreation Professionals
In this episode, Katie Garrett and Becky sit down to talk about the important of mindfulness in Parks & Recreation. If you've been struggling with burnout, overwhelm, or exhaustion then this episode is for you!  So often, professionals that are deemed "essential" become overworked when budgets, timelines, or resources get tight.  Parks and Recreation Professionals have been asked to step up in new ways - many of them more demanding than ever.  How do you keep your cool and stay calm when everything constantly seems urgent?  How do you practice mindfulness on a daily basis when everything around you seems demanding and too difficult to manage?  In this episode, I sit down with Katie Garrett, CPRP, from McHenry County Conservation District to talk about how we can practice mindfulness in our day-to-day work.  We could all use this reminder, so I hope you'll take a few minutes to listen to this episode when you get a chance! If you’re new here, welcome, and if you’re a long-time listener, welcome back!  Let’s talk Parks is a podcast where we share the stories of purpose-driven parks and recreation professionals who are committed to challenging organizational norms and raising the bar in the field.  We are an evolving resource to not only educate but also inspire up and coming Park and Recreation professionals to raise the bar in their agencies so that they can make a positive difference in their communities.  We also have a pretty cool newsletter that gets sent out every Thursday morning with this week’s podcast and a few other awesome stories- and you can sign up for that at letstalkparks.com if you haven’t already!
47:39
May 13, 2021
The Past, Present, and Future of Women in Leisure Services
Women in Leisure Services (WILS) was started in 1935 as Chi Kappa Rho, a sorority for women in the field of parks and recreation by Helen I. Pontius.  She believed that women engaged professionally in the various fields of recreation could come together to promote unity of purpose, high standards of achievement, and a better understanding and appreciation of related endeavors for the attainment of professional goals. Such a group could also provide an opportunity to foster friendship and sociability, stimulate mutual helpfulness and loyalty, and provide professional services. In this episode; Marissa sits down with three distinguished WILS members: Sonya Young-Jimenez from The City of Los Angeles Parks and Recreation, Ashley Wysocki from the City of Huntington Beach, and Dorothy Meyer who is a lifetime WILS member.  This episode is a  reminder of how far women have come in the field of recreation over the last 86 years. These powerful female leaders give us the history of the organization and why it was so important for bringing up women in the field of parks and recreation. This organization has been developing a blueprint for the next 15 years, to continue pushing women in the field or parks and recreation forward. 
39:47
May 6, 2021
A Must Listen Before Summer
This week I am bringing back one of my FAVORITE episodes ever on the podcast.  This is an episode that EVERY professional in the field should listen to, especially before summer.  Whether you are a supervisor or an emerging professional, all I can say is that you will benefit from the wisdom that Angela Summers shares on this one. During this episode we talk about: How do you set high expectations for your staff while treating them as humans first? What do you say to young professionals who are trying to work their way up the career ladder and running against challenges? What do you say to managers who say the customer is always right? You guys, I ACTUALLY got chills when I re-listened to this story. Read Angela's article for more: Customer Complaints Aren't Always What They Seem. - Becky PS - Have you checked out our weekly newsletter?  Don't miss an episode! https://www.letstalkparks.com
50:31
April 29, 2021
Lesson Learned: Enjoy Where You Are Right Now 👇
What happens when you don't get the promotion you've been planning and hoping for? With anything that happens that doesn't go as planned, you may find it difficult to see the lessons learned. Sometimes in retrospect you may realize that you've been striving for the new role, new title, new responsibilities... but what you are ACTUALLY missing is enjoying where you are RIGHT now. RIGHT here. Today you have the power to choose to use your current situation, title, and role to help others and yourself in a positive way. You don't have to be at the top to lead, and you also don't have to be the leader *all* of the time to have a rewarding, meaningful career. It's a beautiful balance to learn when to push forward towards your goals and when to lean into having more fun and enjoyment in your day to day. Thanks for listening and enjoy this episode from Marissa Moravec as she talks about recent lessons learned in this week's episode.
06:00
April 22, 2021
The Art of Assertiveness
True story, this podcast episode was created for my younger self.  I was constantly told as a young professional that I needed to be more assertive - but without any clear direction.  It was a struggle to find the balance as a new supervisor to be both assertive, kind, and tactful.  To be honest, I'm definitely still learning the art of assertiveness. Sometimes, I'm sure I come across as "too much" or "too aggressive" or "too passionate" while other times I'm "too quiet" or my facial expressions say it all 😉. I know that as I've gotten older and stepped into "more of me" I have stopped taking certain feedback to heart - but  truthfully I think the thing that helps the most has been when you have strong, assertive women as bosses who give you that permission to step up yourself (lucky me!) So this week's episode is for my young professional friends who are trying to be assertive while also learning their own leadership style in the process.  It's also a kind reminder to our friends in  leadership positions to be mindful of your feedback and how it may come across.   Learn more on letstalkparks.com and join our newsletter!
13:40
April 15, 2021
Bridging the Gap to Accessible Recreation
There are many misconceptions about therapeutic recreation and the individuals that these recreation professionals serve. Chelsea Crockford, CTRS from Connect Through Leisure sits down with Marissa to discuss barriers that individuals with disabilities face in public as well as when the seek to participate in recreation activities. We hope that our listeners walk away with a different view of barriers and how to better advocate for individuals with disabilities to break down those barriers.  To join our newsletter, subscribe at letstalkparks.com To connect with Chelsea, check out these resources: https://www.facebook.com/connectthroughleisure/ @connectthroughleisure (IG)
41:28
April 8, 2021
Maintain it Now, or Pay for it Later
Raise your hand if you've ever completed a facility or park inspection, noticed a safety hazard, or budgeted for improvements in your facility. If you're in the field of parks and recreation; likely you've been involved in the maintenance of your parks or facilities in one way or another. Marissa sits down with Jeff Reinhard, retired Director of Parks and Planning from the Gurnee Park District to talk about the importance of maintaining our spaces. Learn about how far our maintenance departments have come over the last 40 years and the technology they use to maintain our spaces. Get to know about what our parks crews work on during different seasons. Explore how you can become more involved in parks and planning at your agency, despite your current role. To join our newsletter, subscribe at letstalkparks.com
45:09
April 1, 2021
Adopting an Experimenter's Mindset
In this episode, Becky jumps on the mic to talk about how we can learn to go to use an experimenter's mindset to take us through our career journey.  We have to be willing to take risks and come out the other side better - not focusing so much on RESULTS, but rather RELATIONSHIPS we can build along the way.  By having fun and thinking about each new idea/program/event as an experiment, we can better ourselves, our coworkers, and our communities without taking everything so personally.  To join our newsletter, join us at letstalkparks.com.
19:18
March 25, 2021
#OpenToWork - Strategies for Landing Your Dream Job
We've been getting a lot of questions about finding work right now.  The job landscape looks so different, and the typical ways of volunteering and shadowing may not be available like they used to be.  While many of the tried-and-true advice around cover letters and interviews still stand, we feel that it's even more competitive than it's ever been... meaning it's time to step up your game, show up, and follow up!  Be sure to tune into this week's podcast episode to hear more on this topic, and sign up for our newsletter at https://letstalkparks.com. 
44:36
March 19, 2021
Lessons from the Road to LeadHERship with Dr. Tiffany Johnson
In this episode, Dr. Tiffany Johnson, Deputy Director for the Prince William County Department, sits down with Anthony Iracki to talk to us about the leadership qualities that are important in today’s organizations, and what we need to be aware of in the future with the rise of technology and innovation. She talks to us about her advice for her past self - and what she would tell other professionals who are in a role that they would like to advance from.  Join our weekly newsletter here: www.letstalkparks.com
37:01
March 11, 2021
Where you work MATTERS
Jason Ellisalde is BACK to talk about workplace culture with Marissa Moravec. In this episode, Jason explains the key difference between compliance and commitment based organizations. He also dives in how you can make your workplace a fulfilling place to live and work no matter your title. Join our weekly newsletter for more content like this. 
58:27
March 4, 2021
Feel Like You're "Underperforming" at Work?
You're the type of Parks and Recreation Professional who truly cares.  You're always going above and beyond, signing up for extra committees, volunteering to take an idea to the finish line. But what happens when too much gets put on your plate, and you end up underperforming?  What happens when you lose motivation to do the very thing you feel like you were born to do?  In this week's episode, Becky jumps on the mic to talk through this very subject with you. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at www.letstalkparks.com. 
18:58
February 25, 2021
Identity Crisis: When Work Becomes Your Entire Life
Mary Liz Jayne is the Aquatic and Fitness Manager at the Lisle Park District.  Like so many others in our field, she has always gone the extra mile to help her residents and staff. But when talk of furloughs started to become a reality last year, Mary Liz thought she needed to double down and prove herself as a hard worker and effective leader. Almost to the brink of exhaustion, she realized that putting boundaries in place and balancing her life with other hobbies was key to maintaining her wellbeing and sense of self.  Hear her story on this week's podcast. Sign up for our weekly newsletter at www.letstalkparks.com. 
35:09
February 18, 2021
Keeping up with trends
During this kickoff episode, Marissa, Anthony, and Becky talk about three industry trends that we believe we will see across our field this year - and think about how our field will be able to lean in and embrace innovation.  Join us for our weekly newsletter at https://www.letstalkparks.com
27:19
February 11, 2021
2.32: Season 2 Wrap Up with Anthony Iracki
Whew, we made it!   In this episode, Anthony and Becky sit down to reflect back on 2020 and think about the future of this next year.  As his last year of being a young professional, Anthony talks through some of his highlights as he moves on to the next stage in his career.  Becky talks about the transition between her passion project and making it into something bigger with Let's Talk Parks.   Enjoy this reflection of 2020! Wishing you all the best in 2021!
45:15
January 1, 2021
2.31: How Did Working Moms Survive 2020? Marissa and Becky Look Back at the Year...
Marissa and Becky sit down to discuss how we survived this year as working moms.   We discuss what it was like to navigate a new normal of virtual learning, working from home, and transitioning back into the office.   If you're a woman working in parks and recreation, how have you had to adapt?   How did your views on goal setting, work/life balance, and mental health change this past year? That's exactly what we discuss, plus more, on this episode of Let's Talk Parks.
40:51
January 1, 2021
2.30: Seeking A Balanced Approach to Success with Brittanie Propes
For many young professionals there exist an idea of a “perfect” job that often goes along with the “perfect” life. But, as many of us have found sometimes the idea of perfect is far from the reality that exists. We sat down with Brittanie Propes to discuss her journey towards finding balance in her personal and professional life and how it led her to the place she is today. Tune in to learn. · How she obtained her “dream job” only to realize the dream wasn’t the reality and the next steps she took. · How she balances being a working single mother and makes time for her career and family. · How she took some innovative approaches to community wellness during the pandemic. Brittanie Propes is a Motivational Leader, Brand Champion, and Business Driver who draws upon versatility, a competitive spirit, and a solid work ethic to strengthen operational efficiency, customer engagement, and financial results in alignment with brand strategy. Brittanie is currently the Recreation and Marketing Manager for the City of Smithville. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
30:26
December 3, 2020
2:29 Making the Most of Year 1 as a Parks and Rec Professional
What can parks and recreation professionals do during their first year to set their career up for success?  That’s what this episode is all about with Jody Siemer and Marissa Moravec.  Listen in to hear about the tactical steps that young professionals can take to launch their career in a positive direction. Jody Siemer is an outstanding Parks & Recreation professional currently serving the citizens of Kansas City, Missouri as Manager of Recreation.  Jody is passionate about providing guidance and mentorship to the next generation of parks and recreation professional.  She co-founded the Young Professional Section of the Missouri Park & Recreation Association (MPRA).  Thru extensive research, she has compiled this guidance for "Year 1 as a Professional" and presented her findings both at the MPRA state-wide Conference as well as to the Young Professional Section. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
44:25
November 19, 2020
2.28 The New Normal with Tom O'Rourke
All agencies, public, private, and nonprofit have been negatively effected by the Coronavirus. There is not one agency or person who will not feel the effects. There is NO waiting to go back to the way it was.  Tom O'Rourke is an experienced Park and Recreation Professional with over 40 years experience managing the people who manage great Parks and Rec agencies. Current Professor of Practice at Clemson University specializing in helping graduate students, (and some undergraduate,) understand the Innovative, Creative, and Entrepreneurial skills necessary to sustain the Park and Recreation profession into the future. Connect with him online --> https://www.linkedin.com/in/tom-o-rourke-8255bb6/
18:51
November 12, 2020
2.27 Empowerment Through Exposure with Atuya Cornwell
In this episode, Atuya and Anthony sit down to talk about how as park and recreation professionals, we have impact the lives in the communities we serve on a daily basis and create lifelong memories.  It is often said that we work so that others can play!  With that said, it is extremely important that park and recreation professionals prioritize their professional development and utilize various tools that helps to keep one connect to their why. Mr. Atuya O. Cornwell is a certified park and recreation professional with over 15 years of experience. Atuya is an active member of NRPA and is passionate about connecting young professionals with professional development tools and opportunities. He is also the 2015 recipient of NRPA’s Robert W. Crawford Young Professional Award.   Atuya has served on NRPA’s Program Committee, Young Professional Network Leadership Team and the Public Policy Committee.  Atuya has presented at the NRPA Annual Conference the last three years, where his ‘What’s Your Awesome Sauce?!?’ session received great reviews.Atuya is the proud son of a former Paralympic athlete and credits his father as the reason for his passion for sports and recreation. 
34:57
November 5, 2020
2.26 Five Tips for Protecting Your Mental Health This Week [Field Report]
Hello everyone!  This week is election week, and today specifically is November 3, election day. I want to come onto the podcast and remind you all to protect your mental health this week.  We just don’t know what the future holds, so let’s focus on what you can control - which is your perspective, your actions, your mental health.
07:48
November 3, 2020
2.25: Preparing for your Best Mentorship with Meredith Lawrence
Have you ever had someone that truly believed in you?  Who truly saw your potential and walked alongside you to watch you succeed?  Who pushed you to the next level in your career?   That is the definition of a great mentor, and That's what a mentorship can do for you. COVID-19 is going to deeply impact students and young professionals futures. Having the support you need is critically important right now. Having a mentor can be a career (or even life changing) opportunity. But knowing how to find a mentor, or how to structure a mentorship, how to nurture that relationship can be a daunting task. You want it to be meaningful to both parties which requires some thought and intention.    As a young professional, sometimes it can be scary to reach out and talk with others that you look up to.  You know you could learn so much from them, but you really don't where to begin. One thing that I think is important is to always be curious. Always assume you don't know it all. I try to have that attitude when I'm interviewing others for this podcast. For example,  I've heard a lot of mentorships, but when you get to talk with up and coming leaders, be a listener.   I'm never afraid to ask the dumb question. I'm never afraid. Because I bet someone out there has the same question. And I actually think that type of attitude you need to have to have a successful mentorship.   Or relationship for that matter.  The more I learn about mentorships, or even working relationships in general, is how important it is to come with an open mind, come willing to learn, but also to realize you can learn from both sides. A mentee can learn from their mentor, and a mentor can learn from their mentee. An employee can learn from their supervisor, and a supervisor can learn from their employees.  When you value each other regardless of your "level" or your "superiority" you are choosing to honor each other as people with valid experiences, expertise, and knowledge.  As a relationship grows, you begin to trust in one another. When you find a supervisor or mentor who trusts your opinion and counts on you as guidance, I believe that's when you have a really rich relationship that can be really meaningful. In this episode, you will learn: 1. how to find a mentor 2. 2. what to ask mentors/how to form a relationship 3. 3. the power of asking for help Let me introduce you to a future game changer in the parks and recreation field: Meredith Lawrence, CPRP (https://www.linkedin.com/in/meredith-lawrence-cprp-30b9a6a9/)  is the Recreation Program Coordinator at the City of Mendota Heights, Minnesota.  As chair of the MRPA Programming Section and chair-elect of the MRPA Young Professional Student Network, she is piloting a mentorship program in Minnesota. She is an active  member of the Minnesota Golf Course Superintendent Association, all while pursuing a Masters of Public Administration at Hamline University. She was awarded the 2019 Service for Merit Award for the Young Professional and Student Network of the MRPA, and was the recipient of the 2017 United States Tennis Association Northern Section Junior Development Award.
41:40
October 29, 2020
2.24 Cemeteries: It's all about the Living with Karl Nesbitt
A cemetery is more than just a place for interments, it’s a place for history and place for ecology and a place for human wellbeing. In this episode, Marissa talks with Karl Nesbitt about how cemeteries over time are changing environments and memorialization can also be a place for recreation.  The design of cemetery space is starting reflect the community of users, the people who live locally and how they may use or recreate within that space, this includes volunteer groups who run tours, walking tracks, native ecological friends of groups. Karl Nesbitt (Connect on LinkedIn) is a Parks and Open Spaces Programme Manager, for Recreation Aotearoa and New Zealand Cemeteries and Crematoria Collective. He manages the implementation of the Green Flag Award across New Zealand and train Green Flag Award Judges in NZ and Australia. World Urban Parks, Alliance committee Executive Officer and World Urban Parks Cemeteries Committee Interm Executive officer. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
35:12
October 22, 2020
2.23 The Importance of PLAY! with Brian VanDongen
Brian VanDongen (Connect on LinkedIn) is nationally certified park and recreation professional who has designed and implemented transformational recreation programming for thousands of participants. He works to provide necessary and needed recreational programming for the health and well being of residents. He promotes the value of play throughout life by incorporating play in programming and shares knowledge and ideas to recreation professionals, educators, parents, and students. Brian is the author of Play to Live: Life Skills and Joy Through the Natural Talent to Play. He is also a Member At-Large of the NJRPA Community Recreation Section and a Play Ambassador for the US Play Coalition. Check out his website on BVD Plays (https://www.bvdplays.com/). 
19:15
October 20, 2020
2.22 Being an Ally in the National Parks Starts at Your Local Park with Bradley Kirourac
Typically, we talk to local park and recreation leaders, but every now and then, we expand our perspective a bit and talk to others on a national scale. This particular conversation is important, for a couple of reasons: 1) We are committed to having difficult conversations that will help make a more equitable and diverse future for our field. That happens by continuing to talk to others that have more experience than us in a number of different topics. To be honest, we are okay with doing the best we can if we aren't doing it perfect, and learning from, and getting it right in the future.  2) We also want to share the cool projects that other people are doing, because we want to uplift one another and help the field as much as possible. Hello Ranger is a podcast and blog that really focuses on telling stories within our national parks. We thought it would be neat to hear how local and national parks can really come together to break down some of the barriers to access. Hello Ranger (https://hellorangercommunity.com/) is a national parks community social application, podcast, and blog, with “community” being the key word. Our goal is to showcase and support the communities that are connected through national parks, from families and van-lifers to retirees, artists, educators, diverse groups, and those with disabilities. National parks are the rare places where we can all find common ground, and become #UnitedByNature. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
39:42
October 15, 2020
Ep. 21: Creating Brave Spaces for Conversations about Racism with Tracey Crawford
We are all still navigating these conversations about race and equity, so today's episode is about how to create safe spaces that nurture conversation for growth and understanding. Marissa Moravec chats with Tracey Crawford to talk openly about how to create safe and brave spaces.    Many people might say that these conversations are too difficult or uncomfortable, and may not belong in the workplace.  But these are important conversations to have!  We hope you enjoy this episode!  Tracey Crawford (connect on LInkedIn) was appointed as the Executive Director at Northwest Special Recreation Association (NWSRA) and the President of Special Leisure Services Foundation (SLSF) in late 2011. NWSRA was formed in 1973 to provide a full spectrum of recreation services to individuals with disabilities. NWSRA is a partnership of 17 park districts in the northwest suburbs of Chicago committed to supporting community access to recreation for people with disabilities. SLSF is a 501© (3) non-profit foundation and is the fundraising arm of NWSRA. Crawford’s 29 years of professional experience in parks and recreation includes 9 years as the Inclusion Coordinator/Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Assistant Director at Fox Valley Special Recreation Association (FVSRA) in Aurora, IL; two and a half years as the Manager of Inclusion Services, nine years as the Superintendent of Recreation, one and a half years as the Superintendent of Development and Interim Director at Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association (NSSRA) and currently the Executive Director of Northwest Special recreation Association. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
42:24
October 8, 2020
2.20: Building Healthy Communities Through Collaborative Partnerships with Christie Bruner
If you've been curious about how partnerships can help your agency, be sure to tune into the latest episode with Christie Bruner from Healthy St. Pete (https://www.healthystpetefl.com/). You will learn how parks and recreation can partner with local organizations to improve the health in your community.  Here are three things to takeaway. 1.  Power of Partnerships - Break down those silos.  Find common ground and combine resources to make sustainable change together. 2.  Be the Umbrella - Don't recreate the wheel!  Bring organizations together and elevate what is already going on in the community.   3.  Creating a Call to Action - People want to get involved, give them meaningful ways to be part of your initiative. Christie Bruner has a vested interest in health and wellness initiatives in the community and has more than 20 years of experience with sports and fitness for both children and adults. From 2006-2016 she owned and operated a Baby Boot Camp stroller fitness franchise in St. Petersburg. Christie was also the National Director of Fitness for Baby Boot Camp for two years and provided ongoing support & continuing education to owners across the country. She has combined her passion for wellness and her knowledge of fitness in the newly established role of Community Engagement Supervisor with Healthy St. Pete and the City of St. Petersburg. Christie’s mission is to educate families and communities about the importance of a healthy, active lifestyle. She excels at inspiring individuals and groups to make healthy lifestyle choices and empowering them to continue these habits in the future. Christie believes that relationship building and establishing powerful, mutually beneficial partnerships is key to creating health equity in our community. Connect with Christie on LinkedIn. https://www.linkedin.com/in/christiebruner/ If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
33:54
October 1, 2020
2.19 Submit Your Funny Story :)
Submit your stories of funny things that have happened to you on the job at hello@letstalkparks.com
01:06
September 29, 2020
2.18 Managing from the Middle as a Millennial with Meg Harrington
In this episode, Anthony Iracki sits down with Meg Harrington, who is an Aquatics Supervisor for the Columbia Parks and Recreation Department. In this episode, you'll hear about the transition of Millennials who are becoming managers - those that are working with the younger generations, and those that are still being managed by Baby Boomers. That transition is really interesting, and we have a great responsibility to engage with, train, and support Generation Z, while still managing expectations and sometimes managing up to our own supervisors. I hope you'll join me in listening to the end of this great conversation. Meg Harrington grew up as a parks and rec kid, and has been a lifeguard since 2010. She worked as the Recreation Supervisor in Mexico, MO and is now the Aquatic Specialist for Columbia Missouri Parks and Recreation, where she manages 6 aquatic facilities, hires staff, and trains lifeguards as a Star Guard Elite instructor and runs the swim lesson programs. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
35:50
September 24, 2020
2.17 Do you hug trees for a living? We do too. Educating Our Communities with Jeremy Robinett
Marissa sat down to talk with Dr. Jeremy Robinette from Western Illinois University about educating our communities about Parks and Recreation. I think so many of us ended up falling into this field. We didn't know that this was a profession until we were in college, or maybe we were already graduated from college and had a degree in something else.  This episode is how we educate our communities about what we do and how to encourage more people to get their degree in parks and recreation. We need to tell our story, share the impact we make, and talk about why it's important.  Dr. Jeremy Robinette is from Western Illinois University who is an assistant professor for the Re creation Park and Tourism department since 2014. Prior to that, he was teaching assistant at the University of Illinois from 2010 to 2014. He is also involved in the Alumni Association for Western Illinois University for the Recreation Park and Tourism department. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
54:09
September 17, 2020
2.16 Connecting Youth to the Outdoors with Dave Herpy
In today's world of constant connection to technology and a changing global climate, it is more important now more than ever to connect youth to the outdoors, especially at a young age.  The steps taken to do so can have lifelong impacts, not just for those youth, but for the world. In this episode, Dave Herpy and Becky talk about:  Why connecting to the outdoors at a young age is important.  Why getting youth outdoors helps promote future conservation.  How parents and caregivers can help connect their children to the outdoors. Dave Herpy is NC 4-H Camping Specialist and Adjunct Lecturer of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management at NC State University, as well as a freelance writer. He has over 23 years of experience with camps as a camp counselor, camp director, and camping specialist. His greatest adventure in life is being a father of four and sharing his passion for camp with his own children. He can be reached via email djherpy@ncsu.edu or follow him at explorenc.travel.blog. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
23:59
September 10, 2020
2.15 Embracing Young Professionals with Chris Nunes
Hello everyone and welcome back! Thanks for joining us today for an episode about embracing young professionals. In this episode, Chris Nunes talks with Anthony about how to break down barriers between new and older professionals and some of the obstacles that are often faced when doing so. The conversation also covers the many benefits of intergenerational workplaces - and the various outcomes of each stage in your career. Chris Nunes, CPRE, (connect on LinkedIN: https://www.linkedin.com/in/chris-nunes-cpre-115a102) is the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas. In that position, he oversees the management of 100 full-time and 450 part-time staff divided into nine divisions (Park Operations, Planning, Recreation, Aquatics, Development, Town Center, Streetscapes, Environmental Services and Resident Care Center) a $36.3 million operational and a $6 million capital improvement budget. He is accountable for the maintenance of 148 parks, 15 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 220 miles of pathways, 220 miles of streetscapes, 1400+ cul de sac’s and 500 acres of lakes and ponds. Prior to The Woodlands, he was the Director of Community Services for the City of Fort Morgan, Colorado, an Assistant Professor and Program Coordinator for the Recreation Management Program at Ashland University and Director of Parks and Recreation in Fort Kent, Maine. Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management and a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of New Mexico . In 2011 became one of the first 50 Certified Park and Recreation Executives (CPRE) and in 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators. In 2015 he received the National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA and in 2016 he was elected President of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators. In 2019, through his leadership, The Woodlands Township was recognized by NRPA as a Gold Medal Grand Plaque Winner.
44:39
September 3, 2020
2.14 Mission Accomplished with Jason Elissalde
Jason Elissalde has more than 20 years experience in both training and leadership roles. First in the public sector with companies like Enterprise Rent-A-Car, T-Mobile, and Target. 7 years ago Jason took a position at the Gold Medal Winning Willamalane Park and Recreation District in Springfield Oregon, and fell in love with the industry as a whole. After discovering his own purpose, Jason has been asked to speak to groups across the country about the importance of "Celebrating your Why"  and developing an emotional connection to the work that we do.  Speaking of connecting, Go connect with Jason on LInkedIn. This guy clearly is going places, He's got incredible insight..and I hear he may be open to the right opportunity... https://www.linkedin.com/in/jason-elissalde-cprp-323556124/ In this episode, you will learn three very important thought-provoking takeaways to consider: 1. Always put mission above task 2. Separate the "I can's" from the "I cant's" 3. Don't need to worry about being right, worry about doing the right thing"... If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
45:17
August 27, 2020
2.13 Behind-The-Scenes August Conversation
Today we thought it would be fun to take you behind-the-scenes for a candid conversation with the co-hosts of the show. In this episode, you'll hear: How Marissa got involved into the show The biggest misconceptions about us and this podcast Some thoughts around what it looks like for P&R to start a movement Have a great week, stay safe, and get outdoors! If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
32:12
August 20, 2020
2.12 Making Data Driven Decisions During Covid-19 with Matt Hickey
Does anyone else wish that they had a Budgeting 101 to prepare you for time in parks and recreation?  Don't get me wrong, I had accounting and statistics, but they were general. P&R is a little different, and it takes years of experience to finally "get it." Even after asking my supervisors multiple times to involve me in budget discussions, I admittedly still struggle with some of the budgeting terms. That's why I thought it was so important to take us back to the basics with an episode about data this week, and who better to talk to than the data guy himself, Matt Hickey. In this episode, you'll learn about: - Why parks and recreation agencies must be more accountable to themselves and to their communities - The biggest mistakes professionals make when understanding the true costs  (and pricing) of service/program - How partnerships can help offset the risks and costs of programs - How COVID-19 impacts the need to be more accountable and data-driven If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
34:52
August 13, 2020
2.11 An Unconventional Management Strategy that Works!
We've all taken personality tests, but have you seen them being used in the workplace? In this quick field report, Marissa talks about how one of her favorite, most effective teams she's ever been on was managed by a leader who used a personality test to understand her team. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
04:57
August 11, 2020
2.10 Permission to Dream about the Future of Parks and Recreation with J.J. Lillibridge
When you think about the future of parks and recreation, what do you see? Thinking past the pandemic, what outcomes can we look forward to? How can things shift for you and your agency? In case you need to hear it, you have permission to dream about the future of our field. You can choose to be optimistic and see the bright side. There are opportunities here for us to show up differently. The other piece of good news? You don't have to do it alone. You can do it with those in your community and on your team. Or heck, you can do it across the country.... and you can certainly do it today on the podcast. Two of my favorite takeaways from JJ during this episode: Our job is to create experiences for our community.. You can do this by having an entrepreneurs mindset and by building relationships with those in your community. Your ideas are great, but the strategies of the team are even greater. Think beyond yourself and put your ego aside to serve the greater good. J.J. Lillibridge is a Parks and Recreation professional that is skilled in program design and event leadership. He presents a high level of energy and an infectious attitude toward quality of life enhancement. J.J. is a Recreation Supervisor for Georgetown Parks and Recreation Department in Georgetown, Texas. J.J. is a Certified Parks and Recreation professional and is actively involved with TRAPS and NRPA. J.J.'s words of advice - "Don't forget to dream". If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
32:54
August 6, 2020
2.9 Performance Management and Innovation in Park Districts with Greg Stopka
This week's episode is with Marissa Moravec and Greg Stopka.  Greg is the Strategy and Innovation Manager for the Park District of Oak Park in Illinois.  This conversation is about how local government is changing from merely providing services to solving real problems in communities through creative problem solving.  In this episode, you will learn: 1. How real-time data helps make real-time decisions 2. How the Park District uses innovation to engage every employee in improving their daily work 3. How to engage the community with data If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
39:52
July 30, 2020
2.8 Environmental Education and Minority Students: Unlocking the Latent Potential of Urban Parks
Studies show that children retain more information and form a deeper connection to Nature when it is presented to them near their home as opposed to part of a field trip. In this episode, we sit down Attiyya Atkins of Broward Count Parks and Rec to discuss the latent potential of urban parks and how conducting environmental education programs right in children’s backyard can have a future impact on not just conservation but climate change and environmental justice. Connect with Attiyya on LinkedIn!  In this episode you’ll learn: How even the most blighted park can be a source of pride for a community through environmental initiatives and programs that allow people to take pride in where they live. The definition of Eco-Cognizant. How you can take steps to start a similar program in your community. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
44:07
July 23, 2020
2.7 Connecting You With The Benefits of State Associations with Debbie Trueblood
Now is great time to connect and collaborate with other agencies, partners, and especially your state association. State associations provide immense value to their members, and today we look at how you can utilize their resources, networks, and knowledge to navigate today's uncertain circumstances. You can read the full version of the podcast on the blog.  If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself. Sponsorships: off for this episode
22:19
July 16, 2020
2.6 Finding New Opportunities in Old Ideas with Anthony Iracki
This time in history looks different for many of us. For some, it may be time to slow down, pause, and reflect on where you've been and where you want to go. For others, it may be the right time to step into a new idea, a new reality - one that matches with your dreams and career vision. For those of us who are embarking on a new phase, you may be faced with bringing up a new idea or innovation to your team or your boss. You may be afraid of hearing "We've tried that before." The truth is, during this pandemic, and amidst a great unlearning of social  nothing has been done before that doesn't deserve a second chance. You can read the full version of the podcast in this email, but if you'd prefer to listen to the audio instead, you can do that here: https://letstalkparks.com/podcast/ In this article, Anthony Iracki dives into this topic and discusses why now is the time to rethink the way it's always been done.
08:25
July 9, 2020
2.5 Taking an Untraditional Path into Parks & Rec with Amanda D'Agostino
Happy Parks and Recreation Month! July is a time to reflect, celebrate, and share our passion for parks and recreation! This week's episode features Amanda D'Agostino, a student and young professional who has taken a non-traditional path to her current role after finding the life-changing power of recreation herself. Some of the takeaways you'll learn: how your past skills and experience can further your journey it doesn't matter when you start, it matters that you do you are in control of your path and you are your biggest advocate If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
26:35
July 2, 2020
2.4 Happy Parks and Recreation Month!
This month is about YOU - the dedicated, selfless, essential employees that make up the parks and recreation profession. We couldn't be more excited to celebrate the work you're doing! Go do amazing things this July! If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
01:26
July 1, 2020
2.3 Let's Be Honest with Marissa Moravec
A lot has happened in the last few months, and I'm sure it's impacted your life and your job in ways you could have never imagined. Marissa Moravec joins us this week on the Let's Talk Parks podcast. She talks to us about how now is a critical time to be honest... first, with ourselves, then with our communities, and finally with our agencies/employees. This week's message is so important that we've published a text-version of this episode on the website. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
13:26
June 25, 2020
2.2 Every Expert Starts as a Beginner with Brandon Ashe
One thing that is certain is our need to continue growing and developing as professionals even in times of uncertainty. From building your personal brand, pushing through monotony, and finding opportunities outside our typical sphere of parks and recreation there’s never a shortage of ways to continue your development. We sat down with Brandon Ashe from Chesterfield County Parks and Recreation to get his take on these topics along with finding the confidence to grow and when to take a leap of faith. You’ll never know when opportunity knocks and you might just be surprised where you land. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
41:28
June 18, 2020
2.1 Allow Us To Reintroduce Ourselves
Notice anything new around here?  We’ve been working hard behind the scenes to rebrand Becky Talks Parks into Let’s Talk Parks. Now, you might be asking why the rebrand? The short answer is we wanted to make sure you knew the show was about you, the listener, and all the hard work you’re doing out there to make your community the best it can be. The long answer? Well, you’ll have to listen to find out more but we will just say that this is the beginning of a collaborative project designed to give voice to the next generation of purpose-driven Parks & Recreation professionals. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
15:56
June 11, 2020
1.29 Making The Switch To Remote Working with Dr. Teresa Penbrooke
Have you gotten the hang of remote working yet, or have you made the switch back to the office since quarantine started? This episode was recorded in late April and I meant to get this out sooner!  Hopefully you can find these tips useful as you continue to balance your life and your work, whether you're working in the office or at home. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
27:58
May 21, 2020
1.28 Stop Holding Yourself Back: Women in Parks and Recreation
This week we look at what it's like to be a woman working in parks and recreation. We explore some of our natural tendencies that don't always serve us, especially when aiming for leadership positions. Join me and Marissa Moravec as we talk about our personal experiences working in the field, and the advice we would give to new professionals as women in the workforce. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
55:34
April 30, 2020
1.27 Lets Talk Power with Kara Kish
For most of us seeking to advance our career there's no shortage of information available in regards to leadership, management, and team building. While all important there is one topic that is often overlooked in the discussion and that is power. What does it mean to have power in your position and gain more as you advance? How can you effectively use it to lead your team? How do you balance power with responsibility? And how do you work alongside those who themselves hold similar amounts of power if not more? We take a deep dive into these questions and others as we are joined by Cincinnati Parks Director Kara Kish who has been lecturing on the topic at Indiana State University for years. We encourage you to spend some time with this episode as the subject is deep and nuanced. When it’s over ask yourself-If you had the power to make decisions that impacted not only your community but your entire department would you be ready? If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
52:00
April 24, 2020
1.26 Keeping Leisure in your Life during Covid-19 w/ Katherine Darcangelis
If you've never heard of What The Rec, you've been missing out!  What The Rec was created by Katherine Dancangelis, who has a passion for Therapeutic Recreation - specifically gerontology (older adults). In this episode, we talk about what she loves about her job, why she started her website, and advice for anyone looking to get into the field. Enjoy! About Katherine: Katherine Darcangelis is the founder/creator of  What The Rec resource and development tools website. She is currently a full-time Recreation Director for an adult day care facility in Philadelphia Pennsylvania. She recently finished up a Masters's degree in Nonprofit Management, to better understand how to serve those in the various populations that recreation is utilized. Along with this, she also holds a strong background in Therapeutic Recreation and Human Development; with an emphasis in gerontology. She has a passion for the geriatric field, and a strong desire to propel the recreation/activity profession(s) forward and be at the forefront of geriatric care services. She is a member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association, serving on the Student Development Committee, and is head Student Outreach Liaison. Her work has been published on ATRA as well as other recreation platforms, and her What The Rec Facebook community is growing daily. With her knowledge, experience and skill set, she aims to provide you will a resource that empowers you to build the best programs, departments and nonprofit agencies catered to your clients. A recreation professional should have a strong understanding of their own leisure interests & needs. Kate loves reading for leisure, crafting, blogging, and exploring museums. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
38:09
March 26, 2020
1.25 Staying Positive in Uncertain Times
The world is changing like we've never seen before. The coronovirus is spreading, and impacting parks and recreation agencies across the country. In this conversation, we have a very raw and uncut discussion about the world as it stands today. Anthony Iracki and I talk about how its impacting parks and recreation services, remote work, mental health, and staying positive throughout it all. This week's blog post isn't super long, I want to make sure this gets out there as soon as possible.  This conversation was recorded on March 12, 2020.  Be sure to click the links and listen to the show on Anchor, Itunes, or any of your favorite podcast players. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
43:53
March 16, 2020
1.24 Creating Your Personal Brand
For all intents and purposes the phrase “Personal Brand” is a fancy way of saying the word “Reputation.” However dressed up as it may be, it does not mask the importance of the term nor the weight that it carries. If there's one thing professionals at every stage of their career should be keenly aware of it is their brand, their reputation. Your personal brand is what goes before you always. It’s what others talk about when referring to you. It’s what people like and sometimes disagrees with, about you. A strong personal brand can open doors for you, lead others to you, and allow for new opportunities. Today we will discuss the importance of personal branding and how to build yours if you have not already begun. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
01:05:22
February 13, 2020
1.23 Finding Your Voice as a Young Professional
Today’s topic is about finding your voice. I think our generation is more inclined to want their voice to be “heard” than other generations.  We want to make an impact, whether that be on a local level or national scale.  There are many ways to do that - and in a future episode, we will talk about creating your personal brand.  That’s definitely important.  But today, I’d like to talk about developing how we can have our voice be heard, and the obstacles that we face when we try to do so.  Finding your voice comes with experience, and age, but it also comes with practice.    If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
36:45
January 30, 2020
1.22 Career Questions for the New Year
Thanks for joining us this week!  Anthony Iracki is back, and this episode is all about reflecting back on 2019 and planning for 2020.  We talk about how we utilized our time, and what our goals are for this next year.  Be sure to head over to beckytalksparks.com and sign up for the email list so that we can send you an email when the new episode drops! If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
42:37
January 16, 2020
1.21 Programming for Success with Chris Bass
From developing program ideas, evaluating success, and managing teams, there’s so much to know when it comes to recreation programming.  It’s one of the most rewarding elements of a parks and recreation career – to develop programs that make a difference in the community.  Sometimes it can help to hear the perspectives of other programmers who are rocking it so you can learn from them.  You can learn how others overcome obstacles similar to yours.  Have you ever experienced: a limited budget? low participation? part-time/seasonal staff? A lack of resources? Most professionals have!  In this episode, we talk with Chris Bass about what it’s like to be a park manager who faces many of these challenges.  We dive into how to develop programs based on community input, how to evaluate programs, and some creative programming ideas (which are a win-win for your department and your community!). Head over to iTunes or your favorite podcast player and have a listen.  I’d so appreciate it if you’d leave a review if you enjoy the show.  Thanks!   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
24:34
August 14, 2019
1.20 Mistakes I've Made in my Parks and Recreation Career
No one is perfect and it takes a lot of courage to be open and honest about the mistakes you've made. That's why today I'm confessing 6 huge mistakes that I've made throughout my parks and recreation career and what I did to overcome them.  If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
32:45
June 26, 2019
1.19 Rebranding Parks and Recreation with Claire Cox
If you've ever wondered how your parks and recreation agency could strengthen your current brand, or rebrand all together then you've come to the right place. Becky sits down with Claire Cox to discuss this important topic and provide some helpful insight into why branding is so important and how to use it effectively.  If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
37:06
March 25, 2019
1.18 Turning a Program Idea into a Reality with Gabe Castillo
In this episode, Becky speaks with Gabe Castillo who is with the Belvidere Park District in Illinois.  Together they walk through the different stages of finding your program idea from community feedback, to then marketing and evaluating that program over time.   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
40:06
March 12, 2019
1.17 Navigating Parks and Recreation as a Student with Deona Micheli
 What do you do once you figure out that you want to in parks and Recreation?   This is the question that Deona and I started within this conversation.  Deona reached out to me as a current student in the parks and recreation field. I definitely see her as an up-and-coming leader in our field, and I am excited to hear what she has to say!  We talked about how to choose your degree, the right school, the right classes, and then how to get your foot in the door.  She has some really useful tips around volunteering, researching your dream job, and reaching out to other professionals. Deona is working on an app to help people experience parks in new ways. If you’d like to be involved, or perhaps know someone with the technical expertise to help her, please reach out to her at deonamicheli@gmail.com    If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
46:04
March 5, 2019
1.16 Future Trends in Recreation Centers with Craig Bouck
 Today Becky has  got a great interview for you!  Becky is talking to Craig Bouck from BRS Associates about future trends in recreation centers, including aquatics, operations, planning, and design. BRS is a planning and design firm that focuses primarily on community and recreation design.  They work around the country to provide bring a lot of these trends we are about to talk about to LIFE.  They like to focus primarily on recreation centers because they say that this is the one architecture that at some point really touches everybody in the community.  Craig is the CEO of Barker Rinker Seacat Architecture. An extremely talented and creative designer, he has a quick intellect and discerning eye. He brings his expertise to all aspects of the practice, from project management to graphic design. Craig is a frequent speaker and author in the recreation, active aging, and aquatic facility design industry.      If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
46:04
March 5, 2019
1.15 Trust Me Now, Judge Me Later with Pat O'Toole
 Pat O'Toole Pat brings over 25 years of management planning for parks and recreation agencies and has been leading projects for GreenPlay since 2003. Prior to joining GreenPlay, Pat was President of OATS LLC, a private consulting firm. Before that he worked for many years as a Principal for another park planning firm, and he was previously a director and assistant director for several agencies in four different states. Pat has extensive expertise in budgeting, operational pro-formas, cost recovery and activity-based costing, efficiencies, public process, and all other facets of leading agencies. He is skilled at leading forward-focused projects and teams, specifically related to creating vision and implementation.   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
37:00
March 5, 2019
1.14 Staying Relevant: What does it take? w/ Chris Nunes
Staying Relevant in Parks and Recreation is no easy task.  Technology is moving at a rapid pace.  Trends seem to change daily.  What, then, does it mean for agencies to stay relevant? How do we decide when to compete, collaborate, or step back?  In this episode, I talk to Chris Nunes from the Woodlands Township to hear his perspective on what it means to stay relevant in today's world!   Chris Nunes, CPRE is the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas.  In that position, a $22 million operational budget,  a $4-5 million yearly capital improvement program, and is accountable for the management of 140 parks, 15 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 220 miles of pathways, and 200 miles of the streetscape. He speaks around the country (over 300+ times) on topics including: business plans, contracting, creative programming, marketing, external funding, communication, leadership and succession planning.  In 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators and in 2015 he received the National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA, and in 2016-2017 he is the President of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators.     If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
27:04
March 5, 2019
1.13 Celebrate Community Milestones! w/ Jason Hendrix
Jason Hendrix is a local government professional with 15 years of government experience and is currently a Community Services Supervisor with the City of Menifee. Jason is extremely passionate about the Parks & Recreation industry and has coordinated or supervised numerous program areas including: youth sports, special events, after school programs and now also supervises the Park Ranger Program and Homeless Task Force. Jason holds an AA from the University of Phoenix and holds several Park & Rec certifications including being a certified trainer of trainers for California School Age Consortium, and a certified youth and adult sports official. Jason has served as Vice President on the California Parks & Recreation District 11 board and has held the office of President of the Southern California Municipal Athletic Federation on two separate occasions.  In his spare time, Jason can be found cheering on his beloved Notre Dame Fighting Irish, recording his ‘Dos Leprechauns’ podcast with his son, or training for 5k’s. Jason lives in Riverside with his wife.   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
28:50
March 5, 2019
1.12 Conference Tips for NRPA 2018 and Beyond!
In this episode, Becky gives you a rundown of her top 5 favorite tips for the National Recreation and Parks Association Conference.  Recorded prior to the 2018 NRPA conference in Indianapolis the tips themselves are timeless so be sure to check this episode out! If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
14:24
March 5, 2019
1.11 Preparing for the Next Generation of Recreation Leaders with Art Thatcher
 A LOT is changing in the world of parks and recreation. Becky had the privledge of sitting down with Arthur Graham Thatcher to talk about the ways the young professionals are changing the face of recreation.   They talked about Entrepreneurship of millennials in our field and beyond; The specialization of parks and rec career paths; The changing on-demand nature of programs; How social media and connectivity will impact our field; The need for flexible workplaces and schedules.       If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
40:36
March 5, 2019
1.10 Engaging the Public: Conservation & Recreation w/ Keri Konold
 Keri Konold joined Becky for another episode on the podcast this week to talk about public engagement in relation to conservation and recreation.  It can be difficult to achieve a balance between conservation and recreation; they seem like opposing sides, and yet one in the same.  Keri talks about using the SHIFT principles to reframe the conversation to make progress.  They also dove into her philosophy behind public engagement and some of the ways she has found success when talking to communities, large or small.   Keri is currently the Community Relations Officer at City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, in addition to being a Project Consultant for GreenPlay, LLC.     “I encourage professionals to not be daunted by public engagement, but rather embrace it and leverage it to provide a better product so our communities whom we serve can go out and have the experiences that they value.”   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
51:09
March 5, 2019
1.9 Emerging Trends In Parks & Playgrounds With Dustin Graham
What does the future of parks look like?  What happens when cookie cutter playgrounds get replaced by unique, creative, and imaginative structures?  In this episode, Dustin Graham talks about trends in parks and playground design.  We get deep into how playgrounds are the foundation for skill building and risk taking. Dustin Graham, a Designer and Territory Manager, for Great Southern Recreation, has been working in the parks and recreation industry for 15 years. Dustin’s eclectic recreation experience has lead him to the wonderful world of play space design and construction. Dustin services East Tennessee and East Georgia providing design/build services in the playground and splash pad space.  Dustin is Raising the Bar By: Creating spaces that impact our communities beyond the park Advocating for risky elements in playgrounds for the benefit of child development Asking the big questions like…“How do we make our communities say, ‘I love my park system’?”   Things you’ll learn in this episode: Trends in parks and playground design; The rise of splash pads (less maintenance, less staff, and less insurance!); How topographic challenges won’t limit a playground, but will actually be an advantage The potential of using old inhabitable places and transforming them to new gems What to say when someone remarks, “That’s dangerous!!” to a new piece of playground equipment The new features that make playgrounds come alive: How technology can impact the way kids interact with natureFuture use of QR codes and augmented reality App-based social fitness challenges How sound and light features will become integrated in parks in conjunction with smart phone technology (similar idea w/ Disney lights –>  watch video )“Playgrounds are great natural classrooms for kids to learn about themselves” – Dustin GrahamResources:Gametime Fitness Challenge Course (must watch video!) Beltline Park in Atlanta Great Southern Rec     If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
59:21
March 5, 2019
1.8 Starting a Parks and Recreation Department from Scratch with Jay Tryon
Jay Tryon is the Director of Parks & Recreation for the Town of Indian Trail.  This is a fairly new department that was started in 2013. Since its creation Jay led his team to open over 100 acres of parks and currently is finishing the Towns first Strategic Masterplan.  While in Indian Trail he has built a department known for providing top-notch programming and facilities and leading the way with innovative amenities in the region. Prior to this position he spent 7 ½ years with Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation. Throughout his time with Mecklenburg County he held a few different roles including operations director of special event facilities and athletics supervisor coordinator. Jay is a member of NCRPA and NRPA and is the past chair of Young Professional Network. He is also a member of the CAPRA Commission.  In 2015 he was awarded one of NRPAs Young Professional fellowships. He is a graduate of SUNY Brockport with a major in Recreation & Leisure Studies and a concentration in Recreation Management.  Jay is Raising the Bar By trusting his team, their decision-making, and their ability to get the job done Investing in professional development and educational opportunities for his staff Taking a unique and engaging approach to communicating their offerings to their community.   In this episode, you'll learn the steps Jay took to lead a new parks and recreation department from scratch; the philosophy behind creating a positive and trusting workplace culture; advice for young professionals who are looking for a career in parks and recreation. “There’s really no such thing as failure because we are constantly learning and growing as a team -- and also as an individual --  to help the community.” - Jay Tryon   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
44:47
March 5, 2019
1.7 Inspiring Pride in Parks & Recreation with Angela Summers
 “We’re gonna help you be somebody.” Angela is a Recreation Services Manager with the City of Henderson in Nevada.  And during her 20+ year career, she has worked for recreation facilities in California, Hawaii, Japan, and Nevada.  She is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and has presented at various conferences across the country for the past 10 years.  Her areas of focus include promoting positive leadership, strengthening workplace culture and relationships, and inspiring today’s “new age” workforce.  Angelasupervises over 250 employees, many of whom are of the millennial generation; through her passion she shares positive insights that help recreational professionals not only survive the millennial invasion but also learn to embrace it. In this episode, you’ll learn new ideas and tactics for interviews and onboarding; specific advice for both interviewers and potential employees How to set a strong foundation for staff culture from day 1; Why Imposing our own expectations and using scare tactics on others is not a good way to maintain relationships“A leader should never prevent somebody from being highly motivated.”  If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
50:31
March 5, 2019
1.6 Collaborating for Public Health in Parks with Jo Burns
Welcome back to the podcast, this is episode #8.  Today, we are talking to Jo Burns, the co-founder of the Colorado Public Health/Parks and Recreation Collaborative.  We talk all about the ways local parks and recreation agencies can partner with health organizations to improve the health of local communities. Most everyone would agree that HEALTH is a vital part of your quality of life. When you get sick, if you have a chronic illness, when you are injured, you know that being healthy is something that we should be constantly grateful for. As parks and recreation professionals, we also know that health means something a little different. Naturally, parks and rec facilities provide safe places for people to improve their health for exercise, but we also now have the opportunity to partner with health organizations to create long-lasting change. These partnerships can help expand health benefits to underserved populations, which can be powerful. In this episode, Jo talks about what local agencies can do to take steps towards building health into your core services.   If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
47:18
February 22, 2019
1.5 Let’s Talk Inclusion with Director Melissa Battite
Hey everyone, thanks for tuning in again!  This week I had the opportunity to talk with Melissa Battite (CPRP!), who is the Director at Lexington Recreation and Community Programs in Lexington, Massachusetts.  Melissa and I actually met at the NRPA conference in Las Vegas in 2015. We were paired through a networking/mentorship event, and we had a great conversation! When I started this podcast, I knew I would want to circle back and talk to Melissa and ask where she is today. Melissa didn't know she was pursuing a career in parks and recreation when she spent her summers as a "Playground Supervisor." During her first year of college, Melissa took an “Introduction to Recreation” class that sparked her interest in the parks and recreation.  Learn more about how she began her career and what inclusion means to her. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
38:17
May 8, 2018
1.4 Let's Talk Professional Development for Parks & Rec Leaders with Anthony Iracki
Anthony Iracki is a passionate Park and Recreation professional, speaker, podcaster, and author from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Having worked in the field since the age of 16 he is passionate about community engagement, innovative programming, and equity. Alongside his commitment to his community, he is active in the growth and development of Park and Recreation professionals and agencies through volunteer work, network leadership positions, speaking engagements, podcasting, and authoring articles related to the field. In this episode, I had the great opportunity to interview Anthony Iracki, MS, CPRP, for an exciting conversation about professional development in the field of parks and recreation. As a young professional, Anthony has some truly incredible insights that are applicable for both current and future leaders. You'll love this one.  Please share it.  "You are a caretaker of the community, but you need to take care of yourself first."  - Anthony Iracki  If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
57:58
May 1, 2018
1.3 Preparing for Summer with Jayna Lang
Jayna Lang's first job was as a lifeguard at her local pool; she turned that summer job into a lifelong career through parks and recreation. She worked her way up to the Recreation Program Supervisor role, learning valuable lessons along the way.  In this conversation, we talk about onboarding new employees, training them efficiently, and making sure to establish a values-first organization (this starts in the interview!).  When asked what she looks for when hiring new employees, she says unequivocally, "enthusiasm and a passion for serving the community."  Then, we dive into what it takes to form a successful relationship with partners in local communities.    If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
33:43
April 11, 2018
1.2 Creating and Evaluating Recreation Programs Plus Social Media Tactics w/ Renee Raney
Renee Raney loves her job. She is a Parks Operations Supervisor of Events for Cheaha State Park. Each and every day, people travel to the park to participate in the unique programs and activities the park offers. Whether its "Hammocking 101", the "Women's Wilderness Weekend," or the countless other outdoor programs, Renee is behind the scenes making sure that the variety and quality of programs are the best they possibly can be. She instills her own love of nature in all of the work she does, which is evident to the 36,000 Facebook followers she helps engage on social media. Sometimes she shares recipes for herbal tea, other times she tells a story of a park guest who had an interesting experience. Most of the followers know her by name and it's easy to know why.   Learn about Renee's journey to the top, and how she maintains a high level of service every day at Cheaha State Park. If you enjoyed this episode and are looking for more information on the topic or would like to learn how you can become a contributor or guest visit us at www.letstalkparks.com. In addition please be sure to follow us on Instagram @Lets_talk_parks for more great content from purpose-driven Parks and Recreation Professionals like yourself.
42:40
April 4, 2018
1.1 Welcome to the Becky Talks Parks Podcast!
Hello everybody and welcome to the Becky Talks Parks Podcast.  It's so exciting to see this project come to life. For too long, I have thought... where is the conversation for parks and recreation professionals? The current mediums for communication leave much to be desired. I want to share authentic conversations with professionals in our field, diving into both the highlights and the struggles of working as a park and rec pro.  Truly, this conversation is for my younger self. The one who sat in college, wondering what she was going to do with her life. Who cared deeply about being outdoors. Who loved working with other people and understanding their point of view.  She just didn't know what she wanted to do as a career. And then, when she found out that parks and recreation was actually a major - and a career that improved the community - she lit up!  She knew it was right for her. This is her outlet to share the awesome field of parks and recreation with the world, by interviewing others who are making a difference in their community and in their field! Remember...If you enjoy this episode, please subscribe to the show and leave a review.    Find More Info at beckytalksparks.com/podcast/S1E1 Connect w/ me on LinkedIn:  www.linkedin.com/in/becky-dunlap  
04:16
April 4, 2018