Staying Relevant in Parks and Recreation

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Posted: September 19, 2018

Staying Relevant in Parks and Recreation is no easy task.  Technology is moving at a rapid pace.  Trends seem to change daily.  What, then, does it mean for agencies to stay relevant? How do we decide when to compete, collaborate, or step back?  In this episode, I talk to Chris Nunes from the Woodlands Township to hear his perspective on what it means to stay relevant in today's world!


Keys to Staying Relevant in Parks and Recreation:


One of the most important things I took away from this episode is to take the perspective of the customer.  Everyday, act as if you are viewing and experiencing your facilities for the first time.  Understand how perception is reality.

Another important takeaway is how agencies can respond to the on-demand culture.  There seems to be an expectation for parks and recreation to be everything to everyone.  We know, however, that this is just not possible.  There may be other non-profits or businesses that can actually provide services much better than we can.

If parks and recreation agencies can focus on their strengths, and provide services based on what they are really good at, then the can be more efficient.  Partnering with other organizations is a great way to offer the programs in your community, but without expending the resources to do so.
“Raising the bar means to push recreation to where it has never gone before.” - Chris Nunes

About Chris Nunes (Director of Parks and Recreation)


Chris Nunes, CPRE is the Director of Parks and Recreation for The Woodlands Township, in The Woodlands, Texas.  In that position, a $22 million operational budget,  a $4-5 million  yearly capital improvement program and is accountable for the management of 140 parks, 15 swimming pools and aquatic facilities, 220 miles of pathways, and 200 miles of streetscape.

He speaks around the country (over 300+ times) on topics including: business plans, contracting, creative programming, marketing, external funding, communication, leadership and succession planning.  In 2012, Chris was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators and in 2015 he received theChris Nunes - Staying Relevant in Parks and Recreation National Distinguished Professional Award from NRPA and in 2016-2017 he is the President of the American Academy of Parks and Recreation Administrators.

Chris holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation Management and a Masters Degree in Sports Management from Springfield College in Massachusetts and a Doctorate in Parks and Recreation Administration from the University of New Mexico.

I hope that this episode helps you and your agency learn how to you can stay relevant in the parks and recreation field.


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