March 2014 - Parks & Recreation - 27

mained more interested and focused
during the workshop than they do
during a typical lecture-style class,
but they also found personal value
by connecting their work experiences
with those exemplified in the cases.
We subsequently expanded the workshop by a day to allow us to completely process the ramifications of
the various partnership strategies.
The final question our network posed
was: How can we engage our members?
This was probably the most difficult
question to address since responses vary
depending on the frame of reference
from which a member is considering
the question. Daily, it seems, we are
barraged with email requests, advertisements and updates from various " helpful " apps - often by the minute.
Finding time to review multiple
websites, then taking additional time
to sift through and identify helpful
information rarely happens. It is nice
to know information is available on
the Internet, but a website often has
several layers to negotiate in order
to access the relevant information.
These days, I frequently find myself
following my students' strategy of
doing a " quick Googling " for information. If I find the results for which
I am searching, I tend to stop.
We are in a " fast and furious " information mode, and information
that requires digging through multiple layers tends to be less accessed.
Thus, our member network becomes
an important sifting tool, but it's a
tool that could easily be minimized if
we only base its effectiveness on the
number of people responding.
In summary, I am extremely appreciative of the expertise, experiences
and ideas shared regularly through the
Park Resources Network. I know my
students benefit greatly from the many
perspectives, and I have yet another

avenue to enrich not only their educational experience, but also my own.
To learn more about forthcoming changes to NRPA Connect, please see pages 8
and 64. To provide feedback, contact Eric
Hamp, NRPA's senior manager of mem-

ber relations, at ehamp@nrpa.org.
Laurie K. Harmon, Ph.D., RLA, is an Assistant
Professor and R.E.C. Club Adviser with the
Department of Recreation Management and
Therapeutic Recreation at the University of
Wisconsin-La Crosse (lharmon@uwlax.edu).

W W W. N R PA . O R G | M A R C H 2 0 1 4 |

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March 2014 - Parks & Recreation

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