Engaging the Public: Conservation & Recreation with Keri Konold

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“I encourage professionals to not be daunted by public engagement, but rather embrace it... so our communities whom we serve can go out and have experiences that they value.”

I had the pleasure to interview Keri Konold on the podcast this week to talk about public engagement in relation to conservation and recreation.  It can be difficult to achieve a balance between conservation and recreation; they seem like opposing sides, and yet one in the same.  Keri talks about using the SHIFT principles to reframe the conversation to make progress.  We also dive into her philosophy behind public engagement and some of the ways she has found success when talking to communities, large or small.  Keri is currently the Community Relations Officer at City of Boulder Open Space and Mountain Parks, in addition to being a Project Consultant for GreenPlay, LLC.

Keri is raising the bar by:

  • redefining “public engagement” to actually just mean real conversations
  • always having her goals and objectives top of mind before diving into strategy.
  • changing the conversation because promote conservation and recreation can thrive simultaneously

In this episode you’ll learn:

  • how a culture of collaboration can help create a shared language about conservation on pubic and private land
  • Why developing personal relationships pays off dividends in the end when getting things done
  • If anyone has a stake in the game – as in–> they value something you do, then value their opinion.

“If you know your objective up front, then you can determine the strategy for getting there.”

Additional Resources:

“SHIFT (Shaping How we Invest For Tomorrow) is a program of The Center for Jackson Hole. The 2018 SHIFT Festival will explore the health benefits of time outside: how outdoor recreation on our public lands creates a healthier citizenry, attracts new customers to the outdoor industry, promotes stewardship and advances quality of life in communities across America.”

“IAP2 is an international association of members who seek to promote and improve the practice of public participation / public engagement in relation to individuals, governments, institutions, and other entities that affect the public interest in nations throughout the world. Our mission is to advance and extend the practice of public participation through professional development, certification, standards of practice, core values, advocacy and key initiatives with strategic partners around the world.”

Keri Konold

Keri Konold

Keri is a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP) with experience in public open space, parks, recreation, golf course, and cemetery management for three public agencies since 2007. Keri has a passion for public land management, integrating roles for health and agriculture, balancing conservation and use, and improving working relationships for all involved. She also has served as a member of the City of Lafayette, CO’s Open Space Advisory Committee. Keri received a BS in Anthropology at Kansas State University, with a focus in accounting. Keri’s business acumen and abilities for quick discernment of key issues match with her professional people skills, making her an ideal consultant on a variety of types of projects. Prior to joining GreenPlay Keri worked as a Community Relations Officer and Budget Analyst for the City of Boulder, CO; Recreation Programs Manager for Carbon Valley Parks & Recreation District, CO; and Senior Administrative Assistant for the Lafayette Parks, Open Space and Golf Department in Colorado. Keri has done post-graduate course work in Public Service Leading, Education, and Development. She is Certified in Effective Public Participation; and ArcGIS. Keri’s skills and passion are related to the intersection of public land management for parks and open space, access, conservation, inclusiveness and diversity.

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