VRPS E-Update: Vol 17 No 32 August 5, 2020

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VRPS E-Update:  Vol 17 No 32
August 5, 2020
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A Message from the President

Over the last 4 months, VRPS has had to make some very hard decisions to keep the Society operating and financially stable for this year and the year to come.   We eliminated a position and Jim Stutts, our Executive Director, has taken a substantial cut in pay.  Those measures have allowed VRPS to stay afloat for this year even though we have had very little revenue coming in to the Society.  However, at this point, we now need to look toward the future of VRPS and how we will operate going forward. Jim has approached the board with some sobering realities recently – going as we are now the Society will not be able to bear the financial burden we are facing.  It was Jim’s recommendation that the Society operate going forward without his position. Jim and the Board are considering this a layoff as he is not retiring.  Starting September 4th, Jim will only be working on a very limited basis (approximately one day a week) to help the Board with transitioning to the future of VRPS.  During this time Jim will be using up some leave that he has accrued and would be working until approximately January/February of 2021. The Board will be putting together a team that will aid in developing a transition and operation plan for 2021.  Board liaisons will handle all resource group and service area operations on behalf of the society and the Executive Committee will aid in daily operations.  Lori Haislip will continue in her current role and will aid in our transition.
This has been a remarkably hard decision for Jim and does not come easily. However, through his efforts and sacrifice, VRPS will survive and move forward.  Jim is VRPS, and has been a part of this Society as it’s Executive Director for nearly 40 years.  Throughout this extremely challenging time Jim has had the needs of VRPS always in the forefront of his actions. On a personal note, it has been my honor to work with Jim. His professionalism, commitment and love of VRPS is inspiration to me.  VRPS will continue to provide education, mentoring, networking and advocacy as it has always has, but will undoubtedly go through some changes in the next year.
Dan Smith, CPRP
2020 President
Virginia Parks and Recreation Society


Join fellow Parks & Recreation professionals for the Virtual 2020 Annual Conference!

The VRPS 2020 Virtual Annual Conference will be presented October 5-9, 2020.  Here are just a few topics to expect:
  • Revenue Goals & Social Equity – Can They Co-Exist?
  • Creating 100% Smoke Free Outdoor Spaces
  • Influencer Marketing
  • Nature Based Programming
Stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.  The VRPS Virtual Annual Conference is available for one low rate and includes the following:
  • Keynote address by Kristine Stratton, President & CEO of NRPA
  • 12-15 Education Sessions over four days
  • Awards Presentation & Business Meeting
  • CEUs available for all sessions (pending qualification)
  • Sessions will be presented “Live” and Q&A will be encouraged
  • Recorded sessions will be available
The registration fee will get each attendee access to every session including CEUs, keynote address and awards presentation.
VRPS Members – $99
Non-Members – $149
Students – $25
Katey Legg, CPRP
Director, Gloucester Parks, Recreation & Tourism
Chair, 2020 Virtual Annual Conference
NEW THIS FALL – Certified Playground Safety Inspector Virtual Course
CPSI certifications are valid for 3 years; is it time to renew?
This Fall, with the safety of both professionals and instructors in mind, NRPA is offering a virtual CPSI Blended Learning Course. The course will be comprised of 12 hours of independent online learning, followed by 4 hours of a live Virtual Training Session by ZOOM with an instructor.
Examinations will be completed via computer-based examination at PSI Professional Testing sites upon completion of the CPSI Online Learning Course and CPSI Virtual Learning Session.
Becoming a Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) positions you as a leader and role model in the public playground safety community.  Invest in Certification:
  • protect children from injury due to playground hazards,
  • protect your business or agency from costly liabilities,
  • open the door to more opportunities for career advancement,
  • increase your job mobility and choices even in the face of a tough job market,
  • reach not only your short-term job goals, but also position yourself for success in your long-term career, and
  • be associated with NRPA‘s strong and long-standing reputation in playground safety
Park Authority Names New Director for Park Operations
Kurt Louis has been named the new Director for Park Operations for the Fairfax County Park Authority.
Louis brings a wealth of experience in park maintenance and operations, having spent 31 years with Arlington County Parks and Recreation. During his time with Arlington County, Louis worked his way up from maintenance worker to, most recently, the Parks and Natural Resources Division Chief.
He is a lifetime resident of Fairfax County and a graduate of George Mason University, where he earned a degree in economics.
In announcing the appointment, Park Authority Deputy Director Sara Baldwin said, “We are confident Kurt will be an excellent addition to the Park Authority team, and under his leadership, Park Operations Division staff will continue to exhibit their traditional high level of commitment and passion.”
Athletic Fields Workshop – Re-Scheduled for November 6, 2020


The Athletic Fields course has been re-scheduled and will be presented VIRTUALLY on Friday, November 6th, from 8 am – 12 pm. This LIVE presentation will be brought to you by:
Dr. Mike Goatley, Jr. is Professor and Extension Turfgrass Specialist in the Department of Crop and Soil Environmental Sciences of Virginia Tech.
Mike will provide the basics of turf management, including detailing the strengths and weaknesses of grassing options in Virginia, how to conduct and interpret soil tests, and how to use those soil test reports in developing a fertility program for your situation.
Matt Anderson, CSFM, CSE, is currently a District Sales Manager for the Toro Company, focusing on Sports Fields and Grounds business for the western US.
Matt will discuss how mowing and cultivation inputs change as turf use and demands increase. He will touch on best mowing practices and various equipment options for mowing based on your organizations budget. Aeration will also be discussed regarding compaction relief and best aeration strategy to utilize based on your budget.
Our corporate partners, STI and TESCO, will then present an interactive presentation.
All registrants will receive a reminder email 30 days prior to the class, with the link to log into the virtual Athletic Fields presentation. A recording of this course will be sent to registered students who cannot attend on this day.

If you are not currently registered for the Athletic Fields course and would like to participate, contact www.vrps@vrps.com



2021 VRPS Management Conference
Registration is open for 2021 Management Conference.
Final 2020 General Assembly Report Now Available
You can view the report on the Legislative web page HERE under Archive Links (you will need to log in as a VRPS member).
Please let us know if you have any questions about this report.
Eldon James & Associates, Inc.
Summer Virginia Parks & Recreation Magazine now available on vrps.com
If you have articles for the November Virginia Parks & Recreation magazine, please send to Amy-Jo Hendrix  by Thursday, October 15.
If you would like to place an advertisement, please review the Advertising Pricing and Publication schedule and contact vrps@vrps.com.
To view VRPS publications, follow the links below  – you must login to the website and be recognized as a VRPS member to see the archives:
Publication Online Archives and Submission Deadlines
Please take note of the following deadlines in regards to submitting content for the VRPS publications:
Park Operations Resource Group (PORG): Spray Before You Play
Did you know that DEET, a common ingredient in insect repellents, can kill turf grass? As many of our summer camps and programs move outdoors, athletic fields are seeing new uses. To keep your turf in good condition year-round it may be beneficial to instruct participants to apply bug spray before getting out on the field to play! Please check the following links for more information.
Alister Perkinson, CPRP
Parks Administrator
James City Co. Parks & Recreation
COVID-19 Parks and Recreation Services Tracker
As parks and recreation professionals, many of us are making the difficult staffing impacts and decisions of what services and amenitites we can continue to provide to the public.  The Park Operations Resource Group has created a central spreadsheet to track the service impacts to various communities.  A link to the spreadsheet can be found on the Park Operations Resource Group webpage.  The spreadsheet relies on input provided by everyone, so if you use it for information, please add yours for others to use.
For questions or technical issues, please contact Alister Perkinson at 757-207-0002.
Special Events & Marketing Resource Group (SEMRG)
Stay connected with us!
To make sure you don’t miss out on important updates for quarterly meetings, socials and more – join our group SEMRG VRPS <https://www.facebook.com/groups/SEMRGVRPS/> on Facebook. For instructions on how to update your VRPS profile and join our e-Blast list, click here: <https://www.vrps.com/specialty-resource-groups/special-events-and-marketing/>. If you have any questions or suggestions for SEMRG, contact Joy Johnson at joy.johnson@jamescitycountyva.gov
Health and Wellness Interest Group

Are you interested in joining a Health & Wellness interest group?  This group would look to provide educational and networking opportunities for Parks and Recreation professionals who are responsible for health and wellness classes and services, as well as those who desire to improve the health and wellness of their community members through the addition of new programs.   This group would be great for facility managers, programmers, fitness directors, and other parks and recreation professionals who are seeking leadership positions and would like to broaden their knowledge through cross-training.  If this interests you, please email Julie Frederickson at Julie.frederickson@fairfaxcounty.gov.

Young Professionals Community
Network Focus: The Young Professional Community (YPC) is designed to inspire and engage members of the recreation profession under the age of 35 (of course all ages are welcome to be involved) to become active members of Virginia Recreation and Parks Society, grow and maintain their professional network, share ideas along with asking questions to the group, and discover the benefits of professional development.
For more information about the YPC, please join the group on Facebook at VRPS Young Professional Community group. If you have any questions or have additional information to share, contact Roberto Ramos at rramos@vbgov.com.
Keep Your VRPS Account Paid and Up to Date
  1. Login to www.vrps.com.
  2. Select “My Transactions”.
  3. Select “Pay Open Orders”.
Update your personal profile by selecting “My Information”.
  • Have you recently earned your CPSI, CTRS, CPRP or other certification?
  • Has your title, designation, email address, or name changed?
  • Do you want to receive correspondence regarding Senior, Aquatics, Special Events, or Park Operation Resource Groups?
Your member record is available in the membership directory, and it is also used to “stuff your envelope” at member functions – badges, ribbons, and correspondence.
Job Opportunities
  • Organizations:  post a job – $50 fee (free to VRPS organization members)
  • Individuals:  search for openings
Virginia Recreation and Park Society, 6372 Mechanicsville Turnpike, Suite 109, Mechanicsville, VA 23111