Member News

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  • 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.

  • 16 Nov 2022 8:38 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The MRPA Mentorship Program helps park and recreation students and professionals grow professionally in the field through meaningful connections. The program enables students and career professionals to be paired with an experienced or distinguished professional for an experience that will last a lifetime.

    2023 MRPA Mentorship Program Brochure

    Mentee application:

    Mentor application:

    The application deadline is December 16, 2022.  The committee will contact the mentor/mentee pairs for the program. 

    Thank you,

    Meredith Lawrence

    John W. Stutzman

  • 8 Nov 2022 2:41 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The MRPA election for the Board of Directors and Recreational Sports Commission (RSC) begins this week. MRPA will again use the online platform, Election Runner, to ensure the integrity of the election. Election Runner will send an email this week from MRPA titled, Vote in the Election: MRPA Board of Directors. Watch your inbox for the online ballot, and check your spam folder if you don’t receive this email. Also, if your system is set-up to send emails to your inbox under “Focused” or “Other,” please check the “Other” folder.

    *Contributing members will not receive an election email.  Only MRPA professional members have voting rights.  Thank you.

    Click on the following links to view the Board of Directors and RSC nominee profiles:
    President-Elect and Treasurer 
    East and West Metro Regions
    Northeast and Northwest Regions
    RSC Profiles

    Please contact Michelle Snider with any questions at We hope this format offers an accessible way to vote again this year. Thank you!

  • 8 Nov 2022 12:14 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The MRPA Board of Directors approved a request for proposals (RFP) for a consultant to provide the following services: conduct a membership survey and needs assessment, propose a staffing model to serve members’ needs, and establish a funding sustainability plan.

    Click here to read the RFP. The RFP has been sent to a list of consultants. If any member has a consultant contact who may be interested, please share the RFP and provide the name and company name to MRPA at

  • 6 Oct 2022 7:23 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The MRPA Nominations and Elections Committee is currently seeking nominations for the following positions for the Association's Board of Directors:

    • President-Elect (3 years)
    • Treasurer (2 years)
    • Northeast Region Representative (2 years) - 1 position
    • Northwest Region Representative (2 years) - 1 position
    • East Metro Representative (2 years) - 1 position
    • West Metro Representative (2 years) - 1 position
    • Recreational Sports Commission Chair (2 years) - 1 position

    In addition, the Recreational Sports Commission (RSC) is seeking nominations for the following position: At-Large Member.

    Nominations should be forwarded by Wednesday, October 21 by email to Chuck Stifter at


  • 21 Sep 2022 8:10 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The 2022 MRPA Awards Committee is calling for Professional Award nominations to recognize individuals in six different categories: Clifton E. French, Dorothea Nelson, Jack Niles, Leadership, Horizon and Board and Commission Members.  The nomination form can be completed here: All nominations must be submitted by October 9, 2022.

    Please take a moment to recognize a fellow member's outstanding work by nominating your colleague for a MRPA professional award.

    Thank you, 

    Chelsea Swenhaugen and Elizabeth Owens, Co-Chairs
    MRPA Awards Committee 2022

  • 19 Sep 2022 10:55 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The Emerging Recreation Leaders Institute (ERLI) 2 will meet on five days during the fall of 2022, beginning on Thursday, September 29.  This professional development program is designed to provide a curriculum centered on the five Ps - Personal Leadership, People, Process, Project Management, and Presentation.  There are 1.5 CEUs available for this institute.  Visit the education page for further information.

  • 23 Aug 2022 11:08 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announces a grant opportunity for the National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program. The ORLP program, funded through the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), is a nationally competitive grant program.  Applicants must be cities with a population of 30,000 or more according to the 2020 Census. The proposed project must serve the specific needs of a community that is severely lacking in walkable, publicly accessible, outdoor recreation ("park deserts"). In addition, the area in which the proposed project is taking place must have a poverty rate of at least 20% or that is at least 10% higher than that of the project city, county, and state rates.

    To be eligible, an applicant must be one of the following:

    1. Cities with a population of at least 30,000 according to the 2020 Census. Eligible cities with population 30,000 or more  PDF.
    2. Counties and special purpose park districts with park projects within or abutting a city with a population of at least 30,000 according to the 2020 Census.
    3. State agencies with park projects within or abutting a city with a population of at least 30,000 according to the 2020 Census.

    Eligible projects include acquisition or development (or a combination) of lands and facilities that will provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public. All projects must meet requirements for perpetual outdoor recreation use.

    The ORLP Program has $192 million available nationwide. The minimum grant is $300,000 and the maximum is $10,000,000. Projects require a minimum of 1:1  match from non-federal sources.

    Additional information and application materials are available on the DNR program webpage, National Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) Program | Minnesota DNR ( Round 1 applications are due to the DNR by December 20, 2022, Round 2 applications are due to the DNR by April 25, 2023.

    They are in the process of posting a revised application based on additional guidance from the National Park Service. 

    If you have any questions, contact program staff: Audrey at, 651.259.5549 or Mai Neng at, 651.259.5638.

  • 3 Aug 2022 8:42 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    September 8, 2022

    Plymouth Community Center

    This workshop explores placemaking and promotion from the perspectives and experiences of staff responsible for economic development, parks and recreation, marketing, and cultural affairs. Drawing from two very different development projects in Westminster, Colorado, the morning sessions will focus on the role of parks, public spaces, and cultural programming to enhance development interest and create a sense of community. The afternoon sessions will focus on the creative programming and marketing of events in those spaces as well as practical advertising and social media tips.

    Note: the morning portion is designed for directors and managers; the afternoon is geared toward programmers and supervisors. You may register for a half-day or full-day.

    Sponsored by:

    Click here to view the event flyer

    Click here to register

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

(763) 571-1305

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