2021 MRPA VIRTUAL ANNUAL CONFERENCE

54th Annual Conference

Finding Solutions to Connect, Motivate, and Reinvent

March 15 – 19, 2021

MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2021

KEYNOTE ADDRESS: Community Resilience and Recovery

Time:  11:00 AM – 12:00 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter:  Kristine Stratton, CEO and President of the National Recreation and Park Association

The work of  park and recreation professionals, throughout our country, has shifted in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic,  posing numerous unique challenges to the field. Join us and our Keynote speaker, Kristine Stratton, CEO and President of the National Recreation and Park Association, as she speaks to insights and stories of community resilience and recovery from this past year. Listen as she conveys NRPA legislative priorities designed to elevate this profession. Learn about the work based on NRPA’s Three Pillars: Health and Wellness, Equity and Conservation, and how the momentum of these efforts became the foundation of a movement to unify and uplift our nation through the parks and recreation.

MONDAY, MARCH 15, 2021- MRPA ANNUAL AWARD CEREMONY

Time:  6:30 PM – 7:30 PM

Join us as we recognize and celebrate our colleagues, volunteers and facilities that have done outstanding work in our profession, have given back to their community, and continue to create a world that emphasizes the importance of community, kindness and well-being.

We will celebrate and recognize the deserving 2021 award recipients for their commitment and efforts to our profession. Be part of your state’s professional organization and learn about the amazing work happening in Maine!

William V. Haskell Distinguished Professional
Dr. Bill Eckart Young Professional
Outstanding Parks Professional
Citizen Volunteer of the Year
Facilities of Merit

TUESDAY, MARCH 16, 2021

Preventing and Addressing Substance Misuse: What Recreation & Parks Departments Can Do

Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter:  Liz Blackwell-Moore, Public Health Consultant, Birch Lane Strategies

Substance Use Disorder is a problem that impacts every community across the country. Towns and Recreation & Parks Departments have a unique role to play in preventing and addressing substance misuse. In this workshop, participants will learn what experiences and environments put the developing brain of young people at greater risk for addiction and what research-based strategies could be used within youth recreation programs to help build healthy brains and prevent substance misuse. Participants will also consider strategies to address adult substance misuse, especially in parks and recreation centers. Participants will have time for discussion with scenarios to deepen their understanding and ability to use the information, and will also receive a toolkit for guiding changes within their own department.

Engaging Collaborative Municipal Partnerships

Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenters:  Denise Clavette, City of Saco Planning and Economic Development Director and
Ryan Sommer, Director of Saco Parks and Recreation

Traditional sources of revenue have you scratching your head? Have you exhausted available grants, sponsorships, operational and capital budgets, and fundraising for projects? Join us to learn how municipal Tax Increment Financing (TIFs) can bridge the gap to fund trails, connectivity, streetscapes, amenities, tourism and more. Find out more about how Saco funded over $150,000 of projects, including trail development, improvements, and a pedestrian bridge in one year, with projections to do much more in the upcoming years! Get motivated to move your communities into exploring this funding opportunity!

Changing The Game In Youth Sports

Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter: John O’Sullivan, Founder of Changing the Game Project

The world of youth sports is in a state of constant flux, especially during the age of COVID. These constant changes sometimes cause us to seek to reinvent the wheel. Yet in today’s session, John O’Sullivan, Founder of the Changing the Game Project, suggests that the best way to promote engagement, enjoyment and participation in our youth sports programming is to focus not on the things that are different, but on three key areas that do not change: why kids play what they want from coaches, and engaging parents.

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2021

Wellness While We Wait

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter: Abigail S. DiPasquale, MPH, MCHES,
Health Promotion Coordinator for Wellness Works at the Maine Municipal Employees Health Trust

COVID-19 has turned our worlds upside down and left many of us trying to figure out how to survive and thrive in the midst of constant chaos. For some, the time at home and under restrictions has been an opportunity to discover ways to improve their health, but for others this time at home has added to their stress and health woes! While we are waiting for COVID to end (hopefully soon) and a return to our normal ways of living, maybe we can take a minute to figure out what is working for us and what isn’t to identify ways to ensure our health and wellness even after the pandemic subsides. Abby will work with you to discover simple ways to get back to feeling good, living well and thinking better in uncertain times.

Becoming an Age-Friendly Community

Time:  11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter:  Lori Parham, State Director, AARP

How is your department aiding in livability and engagement for the aging population? Get ready to learn about opportunities to engage people over 50 in creating or maintaining vibrant outdoor and public spaces! Municipalities across the state are helping to drive AARP’s Network of Age-Friendly States & Communities, and parks and recreation is playing a vital role in the execution of these essential programs. Session attendees will dive into one of 8 domains of livability that the AARP work focuses on, as well get the inside information about some of the programs Maine communities have been able to implement.

Getting the Most Out of Your Natural Grass Fields

Time: 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter:  Ryan Bjorn, Field Superintendent at Gillette Stadium

This presentation will cover three main keys that assist in providing high-quality athletic surfaces while withstanding ever-increasing traffic demands.  While looking at cultural practices, plant health and traffic management, Ryan will discuss different types of aeration, using nitrogen in moderation, and finally techniques to help manage the traffic on your fields.

 

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 17, 2021

Creating your Camp Culture

Time:  1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available
Presenters:  Roz and Jed, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting

Every company has a culture, and according to Warren Buffett, “You cannot pay too much attention to company culture.” With the fast pace of camp life, we often ignore our culture as we focus on our strategy and execution. This hands-on, highly interactive session will explore the importance of your camp’s culture and how you can grow your culture (if you like it) or change and develop it (if you don’t like it).

 

Identities and Privileges, What They Are, What They’re Not, and Why It Matters For Maine Communities

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter: Amanda Manning, Operations Management and Intercultural Trainer, Maine Intercultural Communication Consultants, LLC

Do you find yourself asking the question, “What does “culture” even mean?”  In this session we will explore some core intercultural concepts; culture, the cultural identity of an individual, and intersectionality to answer that question. Together we will explore these concepts and how it can shape the way each of us weaves together the unique cultures in which we participate – as individuals, as members of families and social groups, and as members of the local and larger recreation and parks community. Each participant will leave this session with a broader understanding of the concept of culture as well as their own unique cultural self.

Vetting and Training Youth Coaches:  The Bar has been Raised

Time:  1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available
Presenter:
  John LaMalva, Founder, Alpha Youth Sports

The rate of youth sports “incidents” (including negative behaviors, injuries, and various forms of abuse) has continued to rise, and these issues have garnered national attention. Recent national and state initiatives to improve coach vetting and training have resulted in mandates for specific action in an increasing number of youth sports organizations. While several segments of the youth sports market have made dramatic improvements in vetting and preparing youth coaches, in general programs offered by recreation departments have made less progress. Participants in this session will have an opportunity to learn how the landscape has changed, how national and state legislation (including the Safe Sport Act) affects them, and what actions they can take now to address the growing risk they face in offering youth sports programs. Participants will be given a framework to help them assess their risk and identify potential actions to improve their local programs.  Time will be allocated to a group discussion of the risks, challenges, and best practices involved in youth coaching.

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2021 – MRPA ANNUAL MEETING

10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Presiding – President, Karyn MacNeill, CPRP
Director Yarmouth Parks, Recreation and Community Services

Meeting Material

Join us for our first ever virtual business meeting! Hear about the upcoming MRPA plans, elections for our Board Members, and vote on the MRPA budget. All MRPA members are invited and eligible to attend.

THURSDAY, MARCH 18, 2021

Grow More Leaders

Time: 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenters:  Roz and Jed, Roz and Jed Training and Consulting

We all know that no leader can do everything without assistance from a strong team. One of our most important roles as leaders is to shape and empower the next generation of leaders. This interactive session focuses on experiential and participant-centered activities that will give us tools to use in training young, emerging leaders within our organizations as well as strengthening our personal leadership skills.

 

5 Key Elements of Social Emotional Learning For Children Of All Ages

Time:  1:00 PM – 2:00 PM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenter:  Kellie Bailey, Maine Department of Education Social Emotional Learning Specialist

Please join Maine Department of Education Social Emotional Learning Specialist Kellie Doyle Bailey as she provides a unique brain-based overview of the importance of growing Adult Emotional Intelligence and the purposeful teaching of the 5 Key Elements of SEL to children of all ages. Kellie will break down the premise of all behaviors tell us something about what a child is experiencing and how we can use SEL and Mindfulness tools/strategies to help children birth to 18 develop self awareness, self regulation, social awareness, build strong connections/relationships with adults and peers and ultimately make responsible decisions. Participants will develop a core knowledge of SEL and Mindfulness and will walk away with strategies and tools to assist with co-regulation of youth.

 

FRIDAY, MARCH 19, 2021

ENDNOTE ADDRESS: The Impact of COVID-19 on the Future of Parks and Recreation

Time:  10:00 AM – 11:00 AM
CEU Credit of .1 will be available

Presenters:  Allison Colman, NRPA Director of Health, Roxanne Sutton, NRPA Director of Communications and Elvis Cordova, NRPA V.P. of Public Policy and Advocacy

2020 further demonstrated that the field of parks and recreation is vital to advancing equity, resiliency and community health and well-being. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, park and recreation professionals have taken on new roles and applied new innovations to their work. From supporting emergency response efforts to creating new, innovative programs, park and recreation professionals have met this moment and worked diligently to protect, support, strengthen and heal their communities during these challenging times. As we look toward a post-pandemic future, how will the field of parks and recreation be changed? Where should park and recreation professionals focus their efforts to ensure all people can thrive? How can we collectively drive needed support and resources to ensure all people have access to quality parks and recreation? Join staff from the National Recreation and Park Association as we examine the essential role of parks and recreation in a post-pandemic future, explore guiding principles to keep top of mind while planning for a thoughtful return to a new normal, and share resources to help park and recreation professionals make the case.