MASON CITY – The Iowa Park & Recreation Association Fall Workshop was held in Mason City last week, September 11th through the 13th.
The workshop was coordinated by Mason City Recreation Department Director Brian Pauly and the itinerary was developed by the Iowa Parks and Recreation Association.
The workshop is designed to strengthen and educate recreation staffs in Iowa, and was held at the Clarion Inn. Sixty-one rooms were booked for the 3 day event.
University professors, politicians and other officials made presentations during the education sessions to the 83 recreation professionals who attended, all who came from around the state.
“We had many people who spoke on different topics involving recreation,” Pauly said. “We also offered facility tours,” Pauly explained, of the Aquatic Center, East Park, MacNider Park, Georgia Hanford Park, among others. Some of the attendees also visited Mason City’s new Sculpture Walk in the downtown area.
One presentation the large group heard was “Strategic Financial Management,” presented by Dr. Chris Kowalski of the University of Northern Iowa.
“Times are tough. Money is tight,” the description of that presentation said, “And the crisis is not going away. Park and recreation budgets are under continuous pressure from the budget cutters. In order to “survive and thrive”, agencies need new and innovative approaches to budgeting and using new financial management methods and tools. Cutting programs should be the last resort; there are ten ways to close a budget gap. Learn about innovative financial management concepts, practical tools and hear new insights for budget and financial management which you can apply in your agency.”
Some of the other examples of presentations offered were: Aquatic Center Response to a Catastrophic Event; Using Social Media to Build Community and Engage Citizens; Programming for Special Needs Population; Blue Zones for the Parks and Recreation and The Importance of Art in Your Community.
The large group also held a golf outing and a social in East Park.
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