2024 Fall Workshop Sessions

Park Track

Thursday, September 19 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

20 Minutes in The Life OR Death of a Tree
Ron Zilmer
"Twenty Minutes in the Life OR Death of a Tree" is a presentation that describes the single most damaging problem facing our urban trees today. That problem is deep planting of our urban trees and it impacts the health and longevity of all species of trees that we plant in our communities. Chestnut Blight, Dutch Elm Disease, and Emerald Ash Borer devasted our urban forests but these pathogens were specific to individual tree species. Deep planting kills them all long before they should have departed. Ronald Zillmer is the owner of Legacy-Trees and "Twenty Minutes in the Life OR Death of a Tree" is a seminar that he has presented across the United States as well as internationally. Ron would like to share his story with your organization and provide a glimpse into the future of tree planting with his Legacy-Trees System of planning, diversity, proper planting, and stewardship.

Tree Planting and Root Health Field Demonstration
Ron Zilmer
A Continuation of  "20 Minutes in The Life OR Death of a Tree" Field Demonstration


Beyond the Basics: Advancing Employee Engagement and High Performance in Parks and Recreation
Kristin Grissom
Building on foundational concepts of employee engagement and high-performing organizations, this session dives deep into strategies for aligning your team and enhancing overall performance. Whether you are familiar with the basics or new to these concepts, this interactive session offers valuable insights and practical tools for Parks and Recreation leaders.Learn from the City of FUN Prairie Parks, Recreation, and Forestry Department's strategies in advanced alignment techniques, employee engagement, and HPO principles that have driven success in their community. This session builds upon their 2024 WPRA Conference Session, "Pushing the Boundaries of Team Engagement." You’ll dive deeper into some of the unconventional yet effective approaches to employee engagement that result in higher performance, improved retention, and stronger community support. Join us to discover how to elevate your team’s potential and achieve remarkable outcomes!

Friday, September 20, 2023  | 8:00am - 12:00pm

Parks Ranger Services
Lael Pascual and Jason Vroman
Join Lael Pascual from Dane County Parks and Jason Vroman from the City of Madison Parks, for an overview of their Park Ranger programs followed by a round-table discussion. Learn about the importance of public contact and how park enforcement can improve public safety in park areas.

Intro to Work Order Management Systems
Kevin Wiesmann & Cullen Slapak
A high level overview of two work order management systems and the lessons learned through deployment.

Overview of Driving Requirements for CDL Drivers and Equipment Transportation
David Anderson
Session Information Coming Soon!

Recreation Track

Thursday, September 28 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

Youth Sports Fans and Parents - What is Going On?
Jeff Brazzale
A discussion on the modern culture of youth sports. Ideas and tricks to help work WITH parents to make youth sports a positive place.

Keeping the Sporting Environment Safe & Accountable
Chuck Anger - SafeSport
As reports of sexual abuse in amateur sport made headlines in the 2010s, it had become clear; America deserved a safer sport culture. To achieve this, a new paradigm anchored by a new organization would be needed. Authorized by Congress to help abuse prevention, education, and accountability take root in every sport, on every court. Dedicated solely to ending sexual, physical, and emotional abuse on behalf of athletes everywhere. From this need, SafeSport was created. This session will inform people about what it is, the procedures and how it works, and how to minimize the risk to kids in a supervised environment where parents are not always present.

Create More with Canva 101
Samantha Meyer
Explore the power of Canva Pro in revolutionizing the design, marketing and advertising process for Parks and Recreation Professionals. In this session we'll dive into advanced features and tips tailored specifically towards creating captivating activity guides, flyers and social media graphics. Learn how to navigate the Canva Pro platform with ease, unleash your creativity with template, and master the art of visual storytelling to engage your audience like never before. Whether you're a design novice or seasoned pro, this session will equip you with tools and techniques to elevate your materials and leave a lasting impression on your community.

Friday, September 29 | 8:30am - 12:00pm

Reimagining Recreation: Insights from Large-Scale Private Events Adapted for Parks and Recreation
Nathan Van Allen
The world of large-scale private events has many different entities that put on these events, but they do share a common thread of best practices. How can we adapt these and use to our and the publics advantage in Park and Rec?

Special Event Emergency Preparedness
Jake Henning & Kelly Bakken
Attendees will learn steps to take during special events to protect attendees and mitigate risk. This includes having written special events plans with fire, police, and streets departments, implementing preventative measures, creating partnerships, and technology used to prevent disasters. Attendees can use their own venues to present ideas.

Hula Hoops: A Portal to Health & Wellness
Danielle Lee
Professional hula hooper Danielle Lee will share the joy and benefits of hoop dance in this interactive and informative session! Danielle will begin by sharing a performance. Then, it's time to get hooping! You will learn easy and accessible moves through the 10-Trick game: all hula hoops provided. Then, Danielle will present the physical and mental health benefits of hooping, best practices and ideas for incorporating hooping into your programming for youth and adults, and will share resources for continued learning.