Member News

  • 1 Feb 2023 9:39 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Minnesota State University will host the 2nd Annual RPLS Day on Friday, April 14, 2023 beginning at 1pm!

    What is RPLS Day? What are the RPLS Awards? A brief explanation of what to expect: VIDEO (5:43)

    RPLS Day Schedule | Centennial Student Union:

    1PM | Networking Event | Perfect for those looking to make to friends or hire new colleagues

    2PM | Hot Topics Panel | A lively exploration of current trends in RPLS

    3PM | RPLS Awards | Our celebration of the vital and varied contributions of the RPLS Family

    4:30PM | RPLS Day Social Hour | The 418 Room at Rounders Bar | 414 S. Front St. in downtown Mankato

    To RSVP, please click HERE. You can use the same form to submit nominations for awards (until noon on Friday, March 3).

  • 19 Jan 2023 11:49 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    You are invited to apply for a John C. Potts "Pottsie" Leadership Development Scholarship to the 2023 NRPA Directors School. The American Parks & Recreation Foundation (APRF) is the philanthropic partner of the American Academy for Park & Recreation Administration.

    Scholarship requirements and application:

  • 17 Jan 2023 9:22 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Minnesota Best is a concept in which members may share their great ideas with one another. It is a chance to promote the best programs, special events, facilities, parks and park features in your organization. Please take a moment to complete and return the informational form to Jess Skalicky by February 15. She will be organizing the information and working with the MRPA to distribute the results to the membership. 

    One note: Minnesota Best is a different concept than MRPA's Awards of Excellence program. Minnesota Best is an information exchange amongst members, and these projects may be ones from any year. Also, the Minnesota Best documents are a great way to begin preparations for your agency's Awards of Excellence application, which will be sent to the membership in the coming weeks.

    2023 - Minnesota Best - fillable.pdf

  • 10 Jan 2023 12:08 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Nominations are now being accepted for the MRPA Awards of Excellence for projects completed in 2022.  The submittal deadline is Friday, February 24.  

    MRPA recognizes agencies or organizations in Minnesota for outstanding achievements in the following categories:

    The Awards of Excellence are presented by Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, and proudly sponsored by Hiway Credit Union.

  • 9 Jan 2023 7:54 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Hosts Bryce Shearen and Meredith Lawrence discuss everything parks and recreation throughout the entire state of Minnesota, including the latest MRPA news and events and what's going on in your association.  

    Episode - Bison Return to Dakota County

    Join hosts Bryce and Meredith for a conversation with Dakota County Parks’ Tom Lewanski to learn about the reintroduction of a bison herd into the area.

    MRPA is grateful to Landscape Structures and Flagship Recreation for their sponsorship of the podcast.

  • 13 Dec 2022 8:09 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Join us in celebration! Minnesota Recreation and Park Association's Annual General Meeting and Awards Luncheon will be held Friday, January 13, 2023 in Owatonna. The MRPA Annual General Meeting begins at 10:30 a.m. Lunch and the MRPA Professional Awards presentations will then follow.

    MRPA will honor the following outstanding parks and recreation professionals as this year's recipients of the MRPA Professional Awards: 

    CLIFTON E. FRENCH AWARD Paul Peanasky, Faribault

    JACK NILES AWARD  Reed Smidt, Woodbury

    DOROTHEA NELSON AWARD  Annie Olson, Minneapolis

    HORIZON AWARD  Meredith Lawrence, Mendota Heights

    LEADERSHIP AWARD  Sonya Rippe, Plymouth

    TOMMY JOHNSON AWARD  Plymouth Parks and Recreation

    BOARD AND COMMISSION AWARD   Lynn Haney, Crystal

    Congratulations to the 2022 MRPA Professional Award recipients!

    Click here for the Annual General Meeting and Awards Luncheon form

    Click here to register online

  • 13 Dec 2022 8:08 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota has formed a statewide partnership with National Fitness Campaign (NFC) to launch $500,000 in grant funding for municipalities and schools across New York, to support the goal of providing free world-class fitness to all Minnesotans. This funding will be allocated to support municipalities, schools, and organizations across the state in joining the growing NFC wellness campaign building healthy infrastructure to smart cities and schools of the future. NFC’s award-winning initiative is now planning its 500th Healthy Community in America, and is poised to deliver vital outdoor wellness programs helping to fight the obesity epidemic across the country.

    If you are not yet familiar with the campaign, the program is designed to bring world-class healthy infrastructure to public spaces with the Fitness CourtⓇ, along with consulting, funding and community programming support. Please watch the National Fitness Campaign 3-minute video describing the program: Campaign Video.

    Through the partnership, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Minnesota and NFC will work with local towns, institutions and organizations who believe wellness is a priority, to bring the campaign to 10 municipalities and schools across Minnesota in 2023.

    As an affiliate partner with NFC, Minnesota Recreation and Park Association is pleased to provide priority access to application briefings for our members across Minnesota who may be interested in qualifying for funding and partnership. The briefing is a 30-minute zoom call which will qualify your community for a feasibility study and grant application. 

    If you would like to receive a briefing to learn more about the program and how to qualify, please fill out the short contact form on the program’s official web page:

  • 8 Dec 2022 9:23 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Deals of December -- Choppers!

    The choppers were so popular at the conference so they’re now available for purchase for a limited time. The sale price is $35 and includes shipping and handling. The unisex sizes are small-XXL. All orders must be placed by noon on Monday, December 12. The company will ship the choppers to you with an estimated ship date between December 20 and 23. Enjoy!

  • 2 Dec 2022 12:11 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The Minnesota Department of Health Arthritis Program is offering grants to community partners to support building, expanding, and sustaining Walk with Ease programs or other evidence-based walking programs that help people with arthritis manage joint pain. These mini grants ($1,000 - $3,000) will be available through June 30, 2023. Applications are due December 9, 2022. 

    Learn more and apply: Arthritis Opportunities and Resources, Let's Walk Minnesota Sustainability Grants 

    If you have any questions, please reach out to

  • 1 Dec 2022 9:01 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    As the premier award in parks and recreation, the National Gold Medal Award recognizes the highest achievement in parks management, open spaces, facilities, and recreation services.

    Applying for the award is an opportunity to demonstrate your agency’s accomplishments and standards of excellence to peers across the country. Check out the 2023 National Gold Medal Award video to learn more, and submit your application for this prestigious recognition today. Applications will be accepted until March 23, 2023.

Minnesota Recreation & Park Association (MRPA)
200 Charles Street NE
Fridley, MN 55432

(763) 571-1305

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