NRPA 2013 Highlights

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)’s Congress and Exposition is where great ideas in parks and recreation start. At the 2013 Congress and Exposition in Houston, TX, Oct. 8-10, thousands will come together to strengthen, innovate and advance the field.

Among the highlights:

Education Sessions

This year there are more than 200 education and learning opportunities through 11 educational tracks specifically tailored to parks and recreation.

Tracks include:

  • Citizen/Advocacy

  • Employee/Volunteer Management

  • Environmental Stewardship

  • Healthy Lifestyles

  • Leadership & Management

  • Planning, Design and Maintenance

  • Professional Development

  • Public Relations/Marketing

  • Recreation Programming

  • Revenue/Customer Service

  • Sports

Speed Sessions

Wednesday, Oct. 9

9:30 – 10:30 a.m.

New for 2013, Speed Sessions are a series of quick, lively and innovative 20-minute sessions designed to energize and inspire the conference attendees. There are 40 Speed Sessions , all of which were selected by the NRPA membership and community at-large.

Opening General Session and Keynote

Location: George R. Brown Convention Center – General Assembly Theater

Tuesday, Oct. 8

9 – 10:30 a.m.

This year’s Opening General Session is sure to spark innovation and get the park and recreation community energized for a great Congress. This year’s keynote is award-winning author and Chief Trend Hunter of Jeremy Gutsche. He has been called an “intellectual can of Red Bull” and is ready to get conference attendees innovating and thinking in new ways.

During his address, he will talk about how park and recreation professionals can use chaos to create opportunity, foster a culture of innovation, utilize trend spotting and how to communicate infectiously.

During the General Session, the 2013 Gold Medal Award winners will be announced and we’ll be discussing how NRPA’s Three Pillars—conservation, health and wellness, and social equity—will guide the association’s mission for the next three years.

Park and Recreation Exposition

Location:  George R. Brown Convention Center

Exhibit Hall Hours:

Tuesday, Oct.  8 – 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Wednesday, Oct. 9 – 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Each year at Congress, NRPA presents the largest trade show in the industry.  This year’s show will feature the products and services of nearly 400 exhibitors.

For detailed exhibitor information and floor plans, visit:

Parks Build Community® Dedication

Location: Shady Lane Park, 10220 Shady Lane Houston, TX

Thursday, Oct. 10

10:30 a.m.

Parks Build Community is an ongoing national initiative demonstrating the transformative value of parks and recreation on the health and vitality of communities across America.  In 2013, NRPA is pleased to work with partners to complete a fourth Parks Build Community project in Houston, the Shady Lane Park Revitalization.

The enhancements at Shady Lane bring together nature, restorative green space and updated recreation, education and play environments.  The community will benefit from a nature-themed playground as well as an expanse of green space which provides flood mitigation to this area which was severely damaged by flooding a few years ago.  The dedication will officially unveil these features and open the park for the community.

For more information on the Shady Lane Parks Build Community Project, visit:

Other Education Opportunities and Events

  • Opening Reception: Houston Museum of Natural Science, Tuesday, Oct. 8, 6:30 – 9:30 p.m.

  • Best of the Best Ceremony: Hilton Americas Houston, Grand Ballroom, Wednesday, Oct. 9, 7-8:30 p.m. 2013 NRPA National Awards winners will be recognized.

  • 5K Fun Run/Walk: Hermann Park, Houston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 7 a.m.

  • Closing Party: Hyatt Regency Houston, Thursday, Oct. 10, 6– 8 p.m.