Member News

  • 22 Feb 2022 8:42 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    As an agency member of MRPA, the Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Services at Minnesota State University, Mankato is excited to invite you to the first RPLS Day on Friday, April 8, 2022 in the Centennial Student Union!  RPLS Day is an opportunity to share in celebrating all things RPLS, connect with professionals and students, visit campus and, reconnect with old friends and faculty.

    Any and all RPLS professionals, advocates, and stakeholders can attend. Please see the schedule and RSVP by clicking this link:

    Register to attend by March 14, 2022. 

  • 8 Feb 2022 1:12 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The 2022 Conference Planning Committee is excited to bring to you this year's Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference, which will be held October 11-14 at the newly remodeled Cragun’s Resort and Conference Center in Brainerd, Minnesota. The Conference Committee is looking forward to providing diverse educational opportunities that will engage professionals from all backgrounds.

    One of the most important parts of any Conference Planning Committee is the recruitment of high-quality speakers and engaging educational topics that will spark the interests of everyone in your organization. Please consider either submitting a proposal or forwarding a proposal to a person that may be interested in sharing their talents.

    To submit an Educational Session Proposal please visit: ­­­­­

    The deadline for Educational Session Proposals is Friday, March 11, 2022.    

    If you have questions, the Conference Program Team would be happy to assist you:

    Rachel Mikel                                                                                       

    Tel: 651-450-2583                                                

    Gina Brady

    Tel: 651-792-7104

    Ross Demant

    Tel: 763-235-3155

    This year’s conference theme is The Power of Parks and Play. The 2022 conference team is devoted to delivering a conference that will explore all aspects of parks and recreation.

    Thank you in advance for your contributions to the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Annual Conference.

  • 3 Feb 2022 3:51 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Thank you for your patience and understanding of the January postponement of the 28th Annual MN-USSSA Hall of Fame Banquet.

    The RESCHEDULED date for the banquet will be Friday, March 25, 2022 at the Earle Brown Heritage Center in Brooklyn Center.

    There is no need to re-register if you had previously registered.  If you would like a refund, please let me know.

    Thank you -


    Deb Weinreis

    Program Director

    Minnesota Recreation and Park Association

    200 Charles Street NE

    Fridley MN 55432


    Office:     763.571.1305 x106

    Fax:          763.571.5204

  • 31 Jan 2022 11:47 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Now's the time to show your support for your agency! The MRPA Awards of Excellence program recognizes agencies or organizations in Minnesota for outstanding achievements in parks, recreation, and leisure services.

    We invite you to participate and submit your agencies' outstanding programs, projects, or initiatives. The Awards of Excellence application is an online process. The online application for each category is available as follows:

    ·     Administrative or Management Strategies

    ·     Marketing and Communications 

    ·     Park and Facility 

    ·     Programming and Events 

    ·     Sponsorship and Partnerships 

    ·     Volunteer Initiatives

    *These recognize programs, projects, or initiatives that occurred during 2021*

    This is a scored process, so complete answers to the application questions are valuable to a project’s overall score. Those applications that meet scoring criteria are presented with an MRPA Awards of Excellence plaque. All nominations must be submitted by the application deadline of February 28, 2022.

    We encourage all agencies to submit at least one project application. Let’s highlight all the great projects happening in Minnesota!


    Elizabeth Owens and Chelsea Swiggum

    Co-Chairs, MRPA Awards Committee

  • 27 Jan 2022 8:07 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Speaker Marie Knight will present the three c’s of a strong team on February 8 from noon - 1:15 p.m.  She with discuss elevating your team to a high performing team in order to create a culture that nurtures the progression. Marie is currently the owner of Knight Leadership Solutions - working with municipal agencies across the country to help them strengthen their greatest asset - their people.  This virtual workshop is in partnership with Florida Parks and Recreation Association.  Click here for further information

  • 20 Jan 2022 10:44 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    With COVID-19 cases spiking, as Omicron surges throughout Minnesota, and out of an abundance of caution, the MRPA Board has made the decision to POSTPONE the Hall of Fame Banquet scheduled for Friday, January 21, 2022.  We intend to reschedule this honorable event at a date TBD. Thanks for sharing this information with your softball contacts. MRPA  will be keeping you updated as information is determined.

  • 13 Jan 2022 12:48 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    MN-USSSA Softball Hall of Fame Banquet

    Rescheduled to March 25, 2022.

    Annual Awards Luncheon

    Rescheduled to April 1, 2022.


    MRPA Board of Directors

  • 12 Jan 2022 8:21 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has provided grant funding opportunities for park and trail projects across Minnesota. Applications are now being accepted for the following grant programs: outdoor recreation, natural and scenic area, regional trail, local trail connections and federal recreational trails.

    These grants help local governments throughout the state create partnerships with the DNR to fund projects ranging from local parks, regional trails to trail connections. Eligibility requirements, deadlines, contact information and other details can be found on the DNR Web site at or on the following program links:

    Outdoor Recreation Grant Program

    Natural and Scenic Area Program

    Federal Recreational Trail Program

    Regional Trail Grant Program

    Local Trail Connections Grant Program

  • 27 Dec 2021 8:57 AM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    MRPA will honor the following outstanding parks and recreation professionals at the MRPA Professional Awards Ceremony in Apple Valley on January 14, 2022:  


    Tom Schmitz, New Ulm


    Alex McKinney, Washington County


    Marcia Larson, Bemidji

    Becky Sola, Shoreview


    Jenna Smith, Bloomington


    Thomas P. Anderson, Corcoran

    Congratulations to the 2021 MRPA Professional Award recipients!

  • 7 Dec 2021 1:29 PM | Bethani Gerhard (Administrator)

    Congratulations to the following Board of Directors and Recreational Sports Commission (RSC) members:

    2022 MRPA Board of Directors


    Jerome Krieger, Blaine


    Annie Olson, Minneapolis

    East Metro

    Becky Sola, Shoreview

    Andrew Pimental, Eagan

    West Metro

    Jason T. West, St. Louis Park

    Mike Ramirez, Brooklyn Park


    Joey Schugel, St. Peter


    Courtney John, St. Paul (At-large)

    Chris Morrow, Maple Grove (West Metro)

    Jarod Meyer, Duluth (At-large, Greater MN) 

    The Board of Directors will be sworn in at the Annual General Meeting and Award Luncheon on January 14, 2022 in Apple Valley, Minnesota.

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

(763) 571-1305

©2021 Minnesota Recreation & Park Association

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