Thursday, September 29, 2011

Special Park Districts Forum

We just completed a 3.5 day conference of park officials from all over North America. This gathering has been going on for 40 years, and this year it was our honor to host it. With over 100 people as excited about parks as we are, it was a great time. A time of learning, networking, sharing successes and for the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority a little showing off.

From the perspective of NVRPA it was a great teambuilding process. Today as I reflected back on the last few days I sent the following message to all of our employees:

Dear NVRPA Staff,

I would like to express how proud I am of everyone!

We just completed the Special Park Districts Forum, a conference for 100 park leaders from all over North America. We had participants from as far away as Vancouver Canada, and many points along the way. These people all came from agencies with great facilities and employees. Everyone was impressed with the amazing park system that is NVRPA!

Every one of you that helped out in any way brought your A game to the task. Our parks, facilities, programs and staff have never looked as good as we did this week! We showed a large cross section of some of the best park agencies in the field that NVRPA is among the best park systems in the world. I think we may be the very best!

I could make a very long list of all of you that did a great job. You all know what you did, and your contribution was fantastic. I saw our team working together in new ways. I saw a lot of initiative being taken to make every element of this conference just as great as it could be. And I saw a lot of very proud staff!

Thank you all so much for what you do everyday, but particularly for stepping up and making this conference such a shining moment for our organization.

Paul Gilbert

Below are some of the images from this great event:

At Brambleton

Board Members, Barry Buschow, Jeff Tarbert & Michael Nardolilli at Brambleton

Bryan McFerren on pesticides

Kieth Tomlinson on connecting children and nature
Matt Woods showing Pirate's Cove Waterpark
Participants from Califoria visiting Mt. Vernon
Dustin Betthauser & Eric Ferguson on Campground Management
Hiking the Bull Run/Occoquan Trail
Learning new things about American history
Discussing regional opportunities

paddling Pohick Bay Marsh
Touring Manassas Battlefield
Civil War Re-enactors at Bull Run
Barry Biggar on the Tourism value of parks
Jim Morgan on the Battle of Balls Bluff
Giant pumkin blasters at Temple Hall Farm
Touring the river front cottages at Algonkian

Learning about the Suffragist Memorial at Occoquan
Thanking our sponsors
A few of the many, many people that worked to make it a success


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