VRPS E-Update: Vol 18 No. 11 March 17, 2021

Message from the President
VRPS 2021: RE-Set…RE-Build!
Hello VRPS Members & Leaders,
Happy GREEN Wednesday and welcome all new members, joining the Society for the first time! Can you all believe that it’s been one year since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic? Reflecting back, I am reminded “we are essential.” I’ve learned that that even in the midst of crisis, parks and recreation is a RESILIENT profession and the STRENGTH of VRPS is you, our members and supporters. During the pandemic, many experienced facility and program closures, staff furloughs and working in essential and different roles such as emergency childcare, food distribution and most recently, COVID-19 vaccine coordination. Even in the midst of crisis, our parks flourished state-wide and many shifted resources to virtual, self-directed, at-home and outdoor programming opportunities. Even though challenges still exist, continue to refocus your lens, looking toward the OPPORTUNITIES that 2021 will bring through a positive mindset, creativity and optimistic leadership. This continues to be my strategy as the VRPS Board and I work collaboratively to lead Society FORWARD. VRPS is on the move and we’re lucky to have you on this ride with us!
Top President Pointers: (pointing you in the RIGHT direction to the latest VRPS news and updates)
  • THANK YOU to the City of Suffolk, Conference Chairs: Mark Furlo and LaTanya Turner and the entire Management Conference team for planning and hosting an Awesome virtual conference and MentorLab for 102 delegates during February 22-26!
  • The Annual Conference 2021 registration is now OPEN with plans for an in-person conference October 24-26! Conference planning is underway with a talented group of professionals. For the first time in VRPS history, the conference will be in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley, Harrisonburg, VA. We want to see you there…Register and reserve your hotel room today!
  • The virtual Leadership Training Institute (LTI) takes place April 26-28, 2021. “Leadership is a journey -it’s not too late to walk this path.” Registration deadline: April 9, 2021.
  • The next virtual VRPS Board of Directors meeting will take place on April 15, 2021.
Stay connected and in the KNOW through E-updates, Facebook (“LIKE” our page: VRPS: Virginia Recreation & Parks Society) and the website.
Arlana Fauntleroy
2021 VRPS President
Important VRPS Leadership Opportunities Available
The Virginia Recreation and Park Society Nominations and Elections Committee is soliciting suggestions/nominations of individual members to be considered for the elections slate for three professional positions on the 2022-2024 Board of Directors. The committee is also encouraging individuals interested in being considered for the slate to submit their names and qualifications for consideration. These opportunities consist of a three-year commitment to serve on the VRPS Board of Directors.
It must be understood that just because someone is recommended or self-recommends does not  automatically mean they will be chosen by the Nominations and Elections Committee to be on the  ballot. It is also important for all prospective Board members to understand that their term is for three  years and that they potentially could be nominated by another Board member and subsequently elected  by the Board to serve as the VRPS President anytime during their three-year term.
All candidates who are recommended for consideration or individuals wishing to be considered for the  slate are required to submit  a resume listing their qualifications, and a brief  narrative (no more than 100 words) summarizing what they can provide to the Board, specific goals they  may have, their specific involvement in VRPS, and the vision they have for the future for the Society. The narratives submitted for consideration will be used on the ballot for the selected candidates. All of this information is required to be received at nominations@vrps.com by April 16, 2021. To learn more about the duties and responsibilities of the Board of Directors, individuals are encouraged to review the Bylaws and/or Manual of Procedures on the Society’s website (www.vrps.com).
Criteria for Consideration for Nomination to the VRPS Board of Directors:
1. Available to fulfill the responsibilities and time commitment as a Board Member.
2. Knowledge of the history of the organization.
3. Sense of vision for the future of the Society
4. Past service to the Society and the profession.
5. Must be a current member of the Society who is eligible to vote.
Remember: the deadline for submissions to be considered is April 16, 2021.
NSA Spring Workshop – Register by March 31st to Save!
Register HERE (after logging in)
Virtual Playground Maintenance Course
Held via ZOOM, March 30, 2021
8:30 am- 4 pm
The National Recreation and Park Association’s Playground Maintenance Course will provide an understanding of the most prevalent playground hazards and safe maintenance and repair practices. This one-day course (0.6 CEUs) will train on playground safety standards, playground owner responsibilities and will include maintenance and repair discussions on playground equipment, surfacing and site items
Why Attend?
  • According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, over 240,000 children are injured each year on playgrounds.
  • Poor maintenance is one of the leading causes of injuries on playgrounds.
Who Should Attend?
  • Maintenance Staff
  • Recreation Staff
  • University Seniors
Preliminary 2021 General Assembly Report Now Available
You can view the report on the Legislative web page HERE (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.
Keeping VRPS Members Up-To-Date
On March 9th, Governor Northam provided updates on the Commonwealth’s ongoing response to COVID-19 and the vaccination program. Eldon James has provided us with a summary of this briefing, that you can download HERE.
Recognizing Excellence in 2020
The 2021 Awards Application, recognizing excellence in 2020, is now available:
For details on award categories, review the Eligibility and Selection Criteria.
  • Please embed pdf high-quality photos (300 dpi minimum).
  • Nominations for individual awards must include one photo of the nominee.
  • For all other awards, please include at least one (two preferably) with each entry. Include at least one before and one after photo in the renovation categories
Apply for SRAE Small Project Funds
The Virginia Department of Health is soliciting applications for Sexual Risk Avoidance Education (SRAE) small projects. These projects will have a timeline of 3-4 months, and organizations can request between $5,000-$25,000 to serve young people between the ages of 10-19 during this time frame. Funds will need to follow the guidelines of the Federal SRAE Program, and be focused in one or more of the following topic areas:
  • Self-regulation
  • Goal setting
  • Healthy decision-making
  • A focus on the future
  • Healthy relationships
  • Dating violence
  • Substance use
Organizations are encouraged to be creative with the format of interventions, and should focus on providing support to young people during the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. More information can be found in the RFA.
Questions can be directed to Maddie Kapur, Adolescent Health Coordinator, at madeline.kapur@vdh.virginia.gov. Organizations who already receive SRAE funding should reach out before applying.
Grant Opportunity for Parks and Rec Projects
Application Deadline April 16, 2021
The Virginia Outdoors Foundation is making $1.13 million available for grants that connect more Virginians to public open space. Grants may be used by local governments to acquire land, rights of way, lease agreements, easements, or other real estate interests that create, improve, or expand public access to parks, trails, and other outdoor resources. There is also funding available for infrastructure and planning. Visit https://www.vof.org/2021/03/01/vof-seeks-grant-proposals-for-public-open-space-projects/ for details.
NRPA Awards
VRPS members…here’s another opportunity for Virginia to showcase our excellence nationally! The NRPA Awards recognize and honor the latest advancements in the field of parks and recreation. These awards showcase the inspiring park and recreation agencies that have improved and empowered their communities through innovative practices in park design, health and wellness, conservation and social equity.
Applications for the 2021 NRPA Awards, Scholarships and Fellowships are now open!
The application period will remain open until Friday, March 26, 2021. For more information and to learn more about the process, visit the NRPA awards website.
2020/21 Leadership Training Institute
April 26-28, 2021
 Adding to the LTI experience this year, 5 preconference sessions are being included throughout the 6 months leading up to the Institute. Please visit the LTI webpage  for more information on dates, times and topic sessions.
Why choose LTI?
  • Proven Career Advancement – over 90% of Directors and Upper Management personnel in Virginia Parks and Recreation Departments have graduated from LTI
  • Flexible Setting -while LTI (usually) takes place at Wintergreen Resort and utilizes mountain top housing and amenities – this year, you can enjoy LTI from the comfort of your home or office
  • Fun Educational Sessions – LTI prides itself in offering fun, interactive and educational games, activities and presenters centered around bringing out the leader in you (activities will still be interactive, just from afar)
  • Networking Opportunities – meet other professionals from around the state to make lasting relationships, share ideas, improve your self confidence and begin forming a support group to last throughout your career
  • CEU’s – Earn CEU’s to help maintain your certifications or to help get you on your way to becoming certified (the preconference sessions will give you additional opportunities to earn CEUs) which are included in the registration fee
It’s not too late to join – Register HERE
Deadline to register: April 9, 2021.
PORG News – VSTMA Field Day
June 9th, 2021
Warhill Sports Complex
5800 Warhill Trail
Williamsburg, VA
Go to vstma.org for more information or to register!
Click on the flyer to view
2021 Annual Conference Delegate Registration
Register by 6/30/2021 to save!
FULL registration includes:
All educational sessions
Monday Exhibit Hall Lunch
Sunday Keynote Banquet
Tuesday Business Meeting
Tuesday Awards Ceremony
All Socials
SUNDAY registration includes:
JMU Facility Tour
Education Sessions
VRPS Service Area Meetings
MONDAY registration includes:
Education sessions
VRPS Resource Group Meetings
Exhibit Hall Lunch
TUESDAY registration includes:
Education sessions
Business Meeting
Awards Ceremony
STUDENT registration includes:
All educational sessions
(Exhibit Hall, Socials and Meal Functions are not included)
Registration does NOT INCLUDE CEUs, which are available for purchase.
Speaker Submissions for Annual Conference 2021
The Virginia Recreation and Parks Society is seeking dynamic speakers to lead educational sessions to be presented at the 2021 VRPS Annual Conference. The Conference will be held October 24-26, 2021 at the Hotel Madison in Harrisonburg, VA. If you have a passion for sharing your knowledge, apply today.
VRPS Annual Conference participants represent a broad spectrum of professionals from college students to executive-level Administrators. Attendees come from a variety of communities and programs, so their perspectives and challenges vary greatly. This opportunity provides interested speakers the chance to share your expertise and ideas with other park and recreation professionals to benefit our profession.
Are you interested in speaking alone? Perhaps you have other colleagues whom you would prefer to join?? Session formats may include single speakers, interactive, hands-on, and panel presentations. Session types are available in one-hour or two-hour session slots (a maximum of 2 speakers for one-hour and 4 speakers for two-hour sessions).
The deadline to submit your proposal is June 15, 2021. Submission requirements can be found online by visiting www.vrps.com. If you need assistance, please contact Education Co-Chairs Tom Hoy (tom.hoy1961@icloud.com), Stacy Herbaugh (sherbaug@fcva.us), or CEU Coordinator Nicole Gray (Nicole.gray@harrisonburgva.gov).
2021 Annual Conference Exhibit Hall Registration
Hotel Madison and Shenandoah Valley Conference Center
Exhibit Hall Hours:
  • Monday, October 25, 12pm – 6pm
Other promotions available:
  • Conference App Ad
  • Exhibit Hall Aisle Signage
  • Exhibit Hall Center Stage
  • Registration Packet Stuffer
  • Tabletop Brochure Placement
Register Online (after logging in)
Job Opportunities
  • Organizations: post a job – $50 fee (free to VRPS organization members)
  • Individuals: search for openings