March 2014 - Parks & Recreation - 76

Operations

Harold J. Nolan, Jr., Ph.D., is the Director of
the Institute for Tourism and Recreation
Management in Navesink, New Jersey, and a
Professor in the School of Business at
Georgian Court University in Lakewood, New
Jersey (nolanh@georgian.edu).

74

Parks & Recreation

Hikers enjoy a sunny walk through Lake County
Forest Preserve District's McDonald Woods.

Chip Williams

fun, foster relationships, be safe and
secure, and be exposed to new types
of leisure-based activities. Success in
branding is a function of understanding the experience or benefits that
consumers may be looking for and
promoting those specific desires.
Lastly in brand management is the
question of assessing and dealing
with anything that might have the
potential to damage the recreation,
park and tourism brand. While there
are many reasons that could lead to
brand damage, they typically fall into
the following categories:
‡ Business crisis (a mismanagement
of responsibilities)
‡ Functional crisis (a mismanagement of performance)
‡ Financial crisis (a mismanagement
of budget)
The mismanagement of responsibilities can include functional, ethical or environmental errors that fail to meet the
expected standards of society. Errors
in performance are related to a failure
to provide some type of leisure-based
service at a level of desired expectation.
The area of budget management can involve everything from basic accounting
errors to the legal concerns of fraud and
misuse of budget funds.
While all it takes is a simple tweet to
start a full-blown branding crisis, it becomes very important for any recreation,
park and tourism agency to continue to
conduct brand benchmarking prior to
any potential crisis and to regulate and
monitor the health and vitality of the
brand. When bad things happen, very
often a positive brand image can mitigate
any long-term negative impact.

Lake County Forest Preserve
Takes the Long View
New strategic plan envisions a century of
conservation, preservation and education
By Samantha Bartram

S

ince the early 1900s, Illinois residents have taken seriously the value of wide
expanses of natural prairie, forests, streams and rivers. In 1911, the Chicago-based Forest Preserve District Association pushed for legislation to facilitate protection of the state's natural areas, and in 1914, the first Forest Preserve
District was established in Cook County. Forty-four years later, Lake County
would follow suit, establishing its own forest preserve, which today encompasses
more than 30,000 acres of property. Today, officials of Illinois' second-largest
forest preserve district are turning their attention to the future, crafting a strategy to make sure the assets they've spent more than 50 years acquiring remain
healthy and available to future generations. Other park and recreation agencies
nationwide may be able to follow their example for similar conservation efforts.
Ethel's Plan, 1958-present
Lake County may not have ever established its forest preserve district if not
for the efforts of citizen Ethel Untermyer. Prompted by her son Frank's request for a fun day of exploration in a
local wood, Untermyer inquired where
she might find a spot of land for the
child to play. She was surprised to learn
Lake County had no forest preserves,

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

so she set about organizing a county
referendum with the goal of establishing an official forest preserve district.
Following an intense lobbying campaign among the county's 300,000 residents, Untermyer's referendum passed
with 60 percent of the vote. Two years
later, in 1961, Lake County's first preserve was established at Van Patten
Woods near Wadsworth, Illinois.



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