May 2020 - Parks & Recreation - 45

Collaboration in the Time of

Pandemic
A group of park directors
discuss the importance
of uniļ¬ed messaging and
communications
By Paul Gilbert

A

s park and recreation professionals,
we make certain that our agency
maintains an effective communication strategy for our staff and community members we serve. However, what
happens when you're faced with a global
outbreak that is not only having a dramatic
impact on your agency, but also at the city,
county and state level? During this fastchanging COVID-19 pandemic crisis, a
group of park and recreation directors have
built on well-established ties to provide a
coordinated response and work through
difficult decisions together.
The Northern Virginia region in the
suburbs of Washington, D.C., is an area
where regionalism has long been a unifying force. For decades, the park directors in
this area have gotten together periodically
and worked in collaborative ways. As the
pandemic began to unfold rapidly in March
2020, the amount of emails and discussions
among the park directors in the region
picked up. For several days, the information
exchange and coordination changed by the
hour. For all those engaged in the fast-paced
dialog, it was a silver lining to an otherwise
stressful situation.

W W W. PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G | M AY 2 02 0 |

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May 2020 - Parks & Recreation

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