Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society

Current Session List

(Session Schedule is still being developed)

Factors Affecting Parks and Recreation Students in Higher Education

In this session, we will explore some overarching topics related to the decline in the number of students choosing a parks and recreation degree and the shift landscape of higher education related to academic programs and responding to student interest.

The Power with our Programs

Speaking on personal struggles, learned experiences and 30+ years of leadership knowledge that helps me to focus on the heart of our programs and how important they can be to our heart of our participants'. Seeing the stories within the services we provide.  And communicating how relationships are our most powerful tools in affecting our communities.

The Parks and Recreation Professional Survival Guide: The Early Years

The early years of your career can be daunting, lonely, and filled with worry and self-doubt. Join us as we come together as a profession to tell our stories, share advice, and develop a network of young professionals.

Watch Oklahoma seniors in action; learn about the amazing TSET grant that provides up to 20 FREE coaching sessions for seniors in lifetime sports and see how your city can benefit from offering senior games. 

Watch Oklahoma seniors in action; learn about the amazing TSET grant that provides up to 20 FREE coaching sessions for seniors in lifetime sports and see how your city can benefit from offering senior games. 

Building a bigger table.

How to build an inclusive program that engages multiple community partners

Aquatics Operations Manuals and Maintenance Plans

Documentation and planning are essential to aquatics operations. Learn what items should be covered and discuss how to improve your aquatics program.

Teen Aquatic Safety Program

Water Parks all over the country are struggling with an age demographic 13-15 years old being dropped off at the pool and causing problems for both the lifeguards, staff, and patrons. This problem is designed to help mitigate these problems and give the staff the tools needed to keep the pool safe and fun for all.

Inclusive Playspace Design: A Planning Guide

Playgrounds are a place for play and learning, where children develop physical and cognitive skills, and where they build valuable social relationships. It’s about creating spaces where all kids can explore in a variety of settings, addressing a variety of interests, senses, and skills. This education session will provide an overview of the 10-step process—from connecting community members to planning, designing, promoting, and funding—to develop an inclusive playspace.

Equitable Programming in 2023

This session will focus on the history of Oklahoma and the establishment of the various Park systems and how this information relates to the community we serve. This session will also discuss ways to increase participation among marginalized populations (Adaptive, Minority, Seniors, etc.) in a way that represents the diverse communities we serve as professionals.

Creating a Comprehensive Safety Plan: Mitigating Risks and Ensuring Safety

The presentation "Creating a Safety Plan in Aquatics" explains safety plan types, importance, hazard assessment, steps in creation and implementation, plus regular updates. It equips learners to craft plans ensuring aquatics industry safety and compliance.

Telling Your Story

 The parks and recreation professional have relied on emotion to justify services and spending. “Look what we do for the community”. “The children need a safe place to play”. “The trees need to be saved”. While these issues are important the message needs to be changed reflect what individuals in powers want and need to justify continued support of parks and recreation. Telling your story will help you make a more impactful justification for support of your programs and services. 

Embracing a Culture of Continuous Improvement

Increasingly, recreation and parks organizations are seeking to understand, develop and cultivate an organizational culture of constant improvement. Culture can be defined as an approach to service, management and leadership which effects how residents are appreciated or viewed.  This session will address how to develop a culture, the pitfalls and benefits of embracing a culture of organizational improvement and how this culture can assist in creating new opportunities that will increase the effectiveness of delivering your services.

Nothing Changes if Nothing Changes

Parks and Recreation agencies that do not adapt are in for challenging times including the loss of participation, revenue and value to a community. The more rapid the pace of change, the more dire the consequences of sticking to old process, procedures and programs.  Key strategies rooted in innovation and creativity need to be used to ensure changes are made.  The goal of this session is for the professional to develop strategies on how to facilitate change through innovation.

Questions Afraid to Ask

Are you challenged with a question that you are afraid to ask your Board of Selectmen, Town Manager, or Director of Parks and Recreation?  This session will be an open forum for attendees to ask questions on anything related to programming, facility management, park development, Board/Staff relationships and many other areas.  Guidance and advice will be provided in the hopes of expanding the attendee’s knowledge and ability to serve their communities.

Using Parks and Recreation to implement a Change Initiative

Using an eight-step model to launch Adult Sports in suburban Oklahoma communities successfully.

Go for the Gold! The transformative process of wining the NRPA Gold Medal Award

While working for a small City in Wyoming we became the first agency in the history of the state to be awarded the NRPA Gold Medal award. The presentation will take you through why you should apply for your agency, the process of application, being named as a finalist, producing the "why us" video, and the transformative change it brought upon the agency. The presentation will go through lessons learned during the process and what do you when you are named the winner. The goal of the presentation is for each organization to realize they are not far off from being a winner and you do not need to have a robust budget to achieve the award.

Navigating Recreation Grants

Do you like free money?  Who doesn’t?  Come learn tips for Parks and Recreation professionals to successfully travel the maze of grant applications and implementation.

Guide to USTA Tennis Venue Services

The USTA offers 5 unique services (Business Services, Technical Services, Advocacy Services, Digital Tools and Facility Funding) to help any park and recreation department.


Building Equitable Programs by Understanding Your City

How well do you know the city you work for? Through self-reflection and some drawing, participants will create maps of their city identifying the distribution of community resources, parks, transportation, and neighborhoods. As a group, we'll discuss resource rich areas, human based program design and opportunities for equitably enhancing our community offerings and services.

Utilizing Synthetic Turf Surfaces for Leading Edge Design

In this session participants will become knowledgeable about synthetic grass and its innovative uses for their commercial projects. We will discuss the positive role turf plays in today’s world. Learn about the continual attributes of this material; its benefits, maintenance; and required fall height safety calculations.

LED in Sports Lighting

This session will introduce fundamental lighting concepts that have informed the development of sports lighting. It will educate on the principles necessary to ensure a great game night experience while maintaining a safe and fun environment for your sports facilities.

Find Your Peace in the Parks

Join us as we demonstrate and discuss with you new ways to help your patrons find their peace in your parks by exploring ways to introduce them to the natural resources within your parks and to enjoy them.


From Response to Resilience: Lessons in Risk Management

Delve into the risk management approach employed during a non-fatal drowning incident at Pelican Bay Aquatics Center. Explore the pre-incident preparations, on-site response strategies, and post-incident analysis that improved safety measures and lessons applicable to aquatic facilities.

Maintenance Management: Increased Funding Follows the Quantification of your Maintenance Duties

The Maintenance Management presentation will offer those in attendance an opportunity to learn about maintenance management BEST PRACTICES in the categories of maintenance types, modes, functions, metrics/benchmarking, and quantification of annual maintenance resource compared to annual maintenance budget.




ORPS | PO BOX 631 | Edmond, OK  73083 | 405-780-2345 | ed@orps.us

Oklahoma Recreation and Parks Society is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

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