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Mid-Year Report
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Dear Valued ORPA Member,

Can you believe we are almost midway through 2017?  We can’t either!  It seems like only yesterday we surveyed our membership to find out how you wanted to hear from us.  Earlier this year you provided great feedback, and we were listening.  This Mid-Year Report is being sent to you because you wanted improved communications about what we are working on, to see how ORPA is increasing the value of your membership, and to have an opportunity to give input along the way. 

New Association Coordinator Hired

I’d like to start by reporting we have hired a new full time Association Coordinator!  For a long time, ORPA has been a staff of one.  However, with our goals related to the new strategic plan, the board recognized the necessity of increasing staff in order to meet the needs of our growing association.  We are pleased to announce that Amanda Parsons is our new, full-time Association Coordinator.  Her role is essential in conference planning and educational workshop development.  She also looks forward to helping us expand our social media reach to better connect with members.  We are very lucky to have her on our team and expect many great things from her and Michael.

Strategic Plan Update

The addition of our Association Coordinator may not have been possible if not for the ORPA Strategic Plan, providing us guidance and priority in the development of the association.  This document serves to help us plan for the future.  I would like to take a moment to thank all of you who helped out with this process by hosting forums, providing input, and taking surveys.  A special thank you to Past President Stu Spence for his leadership in making sure this plan was completed.

At the ORPA Board Retreat in December 2016, we dissected the Strategic Plan and prioritized strategies based on current resources and needs.  Our At-Large Board Directors each took on a focus area for the year: Improved Conference, Communication, Membership Value, and Increasing ORPA Capacity (new staff).  Here is where we are now:

Better Conference

I think we can all agree that the ORPA Annual Conference continues to get better every year.  This year is no exception, with 100 speakers, 70 world-class workshops, and outstanding field sessions showcasing some of Bend’s best offerings for parks and recreation.  This is our main way to connect with you and sometimes the only time of year that you and your colleagues get to attend professional development training.  Which is why we are offering special sessions, including a NAYS Academy for Youth Sports Administrators certification course.  This training is traditionally taught only at the Athletics Business Conference on the east coast, but we know how important it is to make training accessible to you and your team.  Registration is now open, so be sure to reserve your spot!

Membership Value & Communication

Membership value and communication have much cross-over, allowing us to double our efforts.  Based on your feedback, we are developing a marketing plan for ORPA to better share with you all the benefits you receive as a member.  Membership with ORPA is more than discounted registration fee – it includes a wealth of information available to allow you to do your jobs more efficiently and increase revenue in your organizations.  In order to unlock the potential of broader communications, our board is currently researching digital platforms similar to that which NRPA uses for their on-line forum.  We will also be increasing social media engagement, so be sure to look to Facebook and LinkedIn for our latest updates!

Increasing Capacity

Finally, increasing capacity means growing ORPA as a whole.  By adding staff, the board took decisive action on providing opportunities for improved workshops, member services, and outreach.  While we still run with a small staff, looking at ways to improve efficiency and improve our capacity to serve members is an attainable goal for the near future.  If you’ve attended a workshop in the last couple of months, you should have seen better communication both before and as a follow-up to the event.  You will see more of this in the future.

We hope you find this update useful and would love your feedback.  Please always feel free to email me with any thoughts on how we can better serve you.

Jennifer Holland

ORPA President


Don't forget to check out:

Total Solar Eclipse

A special message from SDAO, ORPA Sustaining Partner

August 21st will be an exciting day for many Oregonians.  For the first time since 1979, a total solar eclipse will be visible from the continental United States and the path of totality will go right through Oregon.  It is estimated that our state will see about one million visitors for this rare opportunity.  Is your district ready? This article will share best practices and things you can do to prepare for this once or twice-in-a-lifetime event.


Sponsored By:


2017 Legislative Report

During the 2017 Oregon Legislative Session, ORPA's top issues were prioritized as below with the resulting outcomes:
  • Recreational Immunity - Passed
  • Work Schedule Mandate - Amended
  • Minimum Wage - No changes
  • Right to Rest - Failed
  • Public Records - Amended to be reasonable
  • SDCs - No Changes

The following issues evolved during the session that we addressed:

  • Off work employees can use marijuana - Failed
  • Children's Special Districts - Failed

Of highest importance to our members was the fight for recreational immunity - SB 327. ORPA and SDAO led the advocacy efforts, which began with coalition building and bill drafting during the interim.  The League of Oregon Cities, Association of Oregon Counties, and the Forest and Industries Council became essential partners without whom this could not have been done.  I also thank ORPA members for writing letters of support to committees and reaching out to your legislators.

The policy and politics surrounding SB 327 were intense, but even with the Speaker of the House voting against the bill, we were still able to overcome procedural roadblocks and get to the floor for a vote that was overwhelmingly supportive.  Private and public landowners came together, met with EVERY legislator and worked tirelessly to achieve passage.  Teamwork!

Oregon Recreation & Park Association | PO Box #202, Lake Oswego OR 97034 | 503.534.5673
ORPA is a 501(c)(3) Non-Profit Organization