Press Release

Statewide Park and Recreation Conference set for April 8-9

“Healthy Parks, Healthy People” Parks and Recreation Conference and Trade Show is set for April 8-9 in Portland.More than 40 recreation-focused businesses will exhibit.

Parks and recreation professionals, youth sports and outdoor recreation specialists, educators, students, and business leaders will convene April 8-9 at the Holiday Inn by the Bay in Portland for the Annual Maine Recreation & Park Association Conference and Trade Show.

The gathering will feature an array of educational programs, networking opportunities, a business trade show, tours of City of Portland recreation facilities, and equipment demonstrations.

Keynoting the conference will be Steve Maguire, a popular speaker and educator and one of the nation’s foremost experts on summer camp management and youth leadership development. His talk “Barefoot, Uphill in Three Feet of Snow” will address the challenges faced by older professionals as they supervise and seek to motivate the “Millennial Generation” now entering the workforce.

The professional training agenda will include sessions on:

· Park Master Planning

· Parks and field maintenance practices that reduce human exposure to pesticides

· Mobile technology applications for outdoor recreation

· Connecting children to nature through innovative outdoor programs and resources offered by Maine’s Department of Inland Fish & Wildlife

· ADA Standards for Accessible Design of recreation facilities

· Interactive sessions on how to teach archery and fly fishing

· Developing the concept of “Active Community Environment Teams” in Maine communities

· Best practices in customer service, personnel management and event planning

· The latest trends in building Natural Play Environments for children

“The Maine Recreation and Park Association provides Maine’s only forum for municipal parks and recreation professionals to meet and share knowledge,” noted Denise LeBlanc, Director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Skowhegan and volunteer Chair of MRPA’s 2013 Conference.

Noting that the theme of this year’s conference is “Healthy Parks, Healthy People,” Ms. LeBlanc added, “Maine’s park and recreation departments are at the center of efforts to advance community wellness, promote physical activity and reduce obesity among people of all ages. It’s essential that we offer high quality training opportunities to ensure Maine’s park and recreation officials are current with the best practices in our profession.”

The conference is also an important venue for businesses that provide services to the parks and recreation sector. The two-day trade show will feature over 40 companies including playground equipment manufacturers; field maintenance and lighting firms; ski resorts; youth recreation destinations; outdoor track and tennis court contractors; transportation companies; outfitters; and software firms serving the unique needs of parks and recreation departments. For a list of conference sponsors and exhibitors visit

Registration remains open through March 25th. Complete details on the conference curriculum, registration and lodging are available at

The Maine Recreation and Park Association and its members work year-round to increase recreational opportunities and promote a healthy lifestyle for Maine citizens of all ages. The organization sponsors an array of statewide recreational programs; provides training for the professionals who deliver Maine’s public park and recreation programs, and serves as a voice for access to public recreation and open space.

Contact: Denise LeBlanc, Skowhegan Parks & Recreation 207-474-6901 or Matt Howe, MRPA Executive Director, 207-252-0636

Local Bangor Contact: Tracy Willette, Director, Bangor Parks and Recreation (VP, MRPA Board of Directors), Tel.992-4490

Matt Howe, Executive Director

Maine Recreation and Park Association

P.O. Box 6728

Scarborough, ME 04070

Tel. 207-252-0636