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Parks, facilities, and programs are the three basic services offered by park and recreation agencies for individuals and the community, each providing numerous social and physiological benefits fundamental to a higher quality of life. These services function as a catalyst for individuals to engage and build trust with their local government and people within the community. With the US population becoming remarkably more diverse each year, this trust becomes increasingly more difficult to obtain because there are more distinctions to be realized. Thus, the case is made for the necessity to invest in resources that will identify key community demographics because ...
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Instead of working for a living, how about having fun for a living? Even if you don’t love every aspect of your job, it’s important to remember to incorporate fun in your workday - for you and for your colleagues. The world has become a pretty negative place of late. I suppose it was always there, but now with 24/7 news and social media at our fingertips, the negativity seems to be growing exponentially. Along with negativity is a growing sense of seriousness. Where’s the silliness? The humor? The lightness of heart? As park district professionals looking for ways to deal with burnout and staff turnover, you can start by focusing on improving your culture and ...
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Happy Fall! It’s hard to believe we’re already nearing the end of 2022. IPRA has been busy planning and hosting events this year to bring our members back together and learn from each other. We’re now looking ahead to 2023 and planning some new events to add to our already full calendar. It truly is an exciting time to be part of this organization. This issue’s theme is leadership and I think it’s important to remember that you don’t need to be the boss to be a leader. Being a good leader is as easy as setting a good example for your team - being a positive presence and an encouraging voice for others. Leaders bring out the best in the people around them no ...
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Multi Factor Authentication A form of authentication that requires a second step to log in that is designed to increase security of user accounts. Studies show that 99% of reported account compromises would have been prevented if multi factor was in place. What can happen if an account is compromised? Many times, we are asked the question what can really happen if someone gains access to my account. Ransomware is one of the most common exploits because of the potential profit that is possible. The list of the damage it can do is long and varies in severity. How do they gain access to someone’s account? The most common method is phishing ...
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Ransomware is computer malware that can infect your computers A ransomware infection is designed to encrypt every file it can find as it spreads across your network. As files are encrypted, they are no longer usable, effectively paralyzing every technology system at your park district. Once ransomware infects your systems removing the encryption is near impossible without having the specific key that was originally used to encrypt everyone's data. After the hacker or infiltrator confirms a successful infiltration, they will request money for the key as  “ransom” to allow recovery of your files.   Based on published statistics the average ransom demanded from ...
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An ABC Approach We as Parks, Recreation and Open Space Service Providers Can Engage to Build Community During the CORVID 19 Pandemic No one knows exactly how the current health and economic crises will play out. locally, nationally or even as a global situation. Parks and Recreation as an industry must be proactive in how it provides necessary leisure and open space outlets   for the public.  Now is the time to seek out and explore alternate sources of revenue, review expenses, potentially tighten spending, review programs, and get creative in developing opportunities for community engagement. This will assist your agency in order to sustain existing programs ...
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Pokemon Go!

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I am about a week in to the Pokémon Go craze. We were ‘late’ adopters. The argument with my 8 and 12 year old children went like this, ‘You shouldn’t need a device to get you outside or to exercise! Just because 10 million people are playing doesn’t mean you have to!’ Then in a moment of weakness, my husband gave in and downloaded it. I must say, while I have no idea what the goal is, or who the characters are, every night for the past week, we’ve hit the streets after dinner and often run into other players along the way. We’ve headed to the tried and true favorite parks in our community, and have explored some that have been forgotten over the ...
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Sessions: 1004 & 1008 Community Engagement Survey Tool: The purpose of the community engagement survey is to collect data that will provide meaningful results that can aid and empower your organization to make informed decisions as it relates to community and partnership engagement and cultural competence with the populations you serve and your workplace culture. All personal identification information collected will be kept secure and confidential, used solely for the purpose of this survey. About the evaluator: I am in independent evaluator, providing this survey tool and data collection ...
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