Proud past, confident future – editorial

Proud past, confident future – editorial – NRPA Perspectives

Richard Johns

As I come to the end of my term, I’d like to say that serving as your president since last october has been an exciting and rewarding experience, one that I will value for years to come. One of the greatest benefits of this position is the opportunity to meet and work with many professionals and citizens around the country: people who are dedicated to providing quality public recreational experiences through their agencies, and who are likewise solidly committed to supporting the work of the NRPA and their state associations.

Another rewarding experience has been the opportunity to work closely with the NRPA staff. As members, we are blessed with an outstanding staff that is highly productive, extremely resourceful and dedicated to pursuing the goals of the organization. To their credit, despite a difficult economy, the organization is sound financially; and they continue to do what we ask of them and much more. We owe them a great deal of thanks for their commitment and hard work.

Like many of you, I am proud of our past accomplishments over the years and confident of our future. As documented, the public’s high perception of park and recreation benefits and use reassures us that our mission of providing diverse recreational opportunities and resource stewardship has been right.

More so than in the past, park and recreation services today are faced with extraordinary challenges and inevitable change. The public voice is becoming loud and clear with its mandate that government must change at all levels. This message is particularly clear in California at both the state and local levels. it is likely that park and recreation agencies everywhere will be squarely involved and affected by the complexities of governmental change related to public policy decisions on how our agencies are structured and operate, and how financial resources are allocated. Among other things, this will mean that the NRPA’s diverse membership will need and seek even greater membership support services.

I believe that NRPA’s future is bright and positioned well to meet the ever-changing needs of its members. For example, first-year work on the Membership Needs Assessment Implementation Plan has progressed well with the regional councils, branches and sections addressing more than strategies.

The Cultural Diversity Task Force and Legislative Advocacy Task Force will be making recommendations next month that will provide opportunities for important new direction in these areas. We have taken action to strengthen our relationship and communications with state affiliates, and we continue to pursue ways to increase our membership.

Most important, your association’s leaders and Board of Trustees have taken steps in recent months to begin the process of preparing a strategic plan for the year 2000 and beyond. This plan, when completed and adopted, will provide clear and distinct direction for the association in the years to come. Information about the plan is highlighted in Dateline: NRPA this month.

To experience your association at its best, I encourage you to attend the Congress for Recreation and Parks in San Jose, California, next month. The local Host Committee and Congress Program Committee have done an excellent job in planning and scheduling a variety of educational sessions, tours, exhibits and social events. I look forward to seeing you there.

Thank you for the pleasure of serving as your president.

COPYRIGHT 1993 National Recreation and Park Association

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