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Park and Recreation Professional's Handbook With Online Resource, The

Park and Recreation Professional's Handbook With Online Resource, The


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    Continuing education and development are of the utmost importance if you want to advance in the field. Whether you’re a graduating student or a new professional preparing for certification or a veteran practitioner looking to update your knowledge of current best practices, The Park and Recreation Professional’s Handbook is the one resource you will need.

    The Park and Recreation Professional’s Handbook offers the following features:
    • A thorough grounding in all areas of programming, leadership, operations management, administration, and professionalism that will serve as the foundation for success in the profession
    • Real-world examples from a variety of commercial, nonprofit, and public-sector agencies that will help students better understand the concepts and provide professionals with fresh ideas that they can use in their own agencies
    • Recent research integrated into each chapter, which ensures that readers have the latest information available on each topic
    • An online resource with sample documents from real-world agencies, learning activities, and research assignments that assist readers in applying the information to the profession
    • An overview of the history and theoretical background of the profession and a discussion of ethics and professional conduct

    This comprehensive resource addresses all of the essential topics that professionals must know, including program planning and evaluation, decision making, facility management, human resources, marketing, budgeting and financial planning, and policy making. Each chapter seamlessly blends foundational concepts, the latest research, and real-world examples to offer complete and current coverage of the topics in an easy-to-read format. The book presents readers with a complete picture of all of the skills needed for success in the field, making it a perfect resource for new and future professionals.

    Prepare for your future in the field with The Park and Recreation Professional’s Handbook. Its straightforward explanations of key topics make it a resource that you’ll keep in your library long after you’ve earned your certification.


    A textbook for undergraduate capstone courses in recreation; a resource for students or professionals preparing for professional certification. Also a professional reference for those working in public park and recreation agencies.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1: Introduction and Overview
    History of the Field
    Philosophical Underpinnings
    Definitions of Leisure, Play, and Recreation
    Theoretical Foundations

    Chapter 2: Program Planning
    Program Planning Process
    Coordination With Other Agencies
    Programming for People With Disabilities
    Creative Programming

    Chapter 3: Motor Development in Recreation
    Physical Activity Throughout Life
    Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Recreation
    Applying Developmentally Appropriate Practices in Real World Settings

    Chapter 4: Evaluation and Assessment
    Evaluation Steps
    Models of Evaluation
    Types of Data
    Data Collection
    Data Analysis
    Evaluation Reports
    Developing Programs From Assessment

    Chapter 5: Planning
    Strategic Plans
    Master Plans
    Business Plans

    Chapter 6: Maintenance
    Maintenance Categories
    Types of Maintenance
    Maintenance Systems
    Maintaining Recreational Spaces

    Chapter 7: Facility Management
    Opening and Closing Procedures
    Scheduling and Coordination
    Managing Equipment
    Safety and Security
    Emergency Preparedness
    Supervising Spaces

    Chapter 8: Budgets and Finance
    Revenue Sources
    Capital Project Funding
    Revenues and Expenditures
    Tools for Financial Management
    Other Fiscal Activities
    Monitoring Finances

    Chapter 9: Human Resources: The Hiring Process
    Job Analysis
    Job Classification
    Job Description
    Recruiting Potential Staff Members
    Hiring Process

    Chapter 10: Human Resources: Employee Management
    Employee Orientation
    Employee Motivation
    Employee Evaluation
    Employee Discipline
    Employee Supervision
    Organized Labor

    Chapter 11: Marketing
    Definition of Marketing
    Marketing Plan
    Executive Summary and Introduction
    Situational Analysis
    Customer Analysis
    Marketing Goals and Strategies
    Implementation, Monitoring, and Evaluation
    Public Relations

    Chapter 12: Policies and Decision Making
    Policies, Standards, Procedures, and Rules
    Policy Development Process
    Decision-Making Process

    Chapter 13: Professional Development
    Professional Development Process
    Training and Development
    Ethics and Morals
    Ethics Theories
    Code of Ethics
    Resolving Ethical Dilemmas
    Ethical Issues

    Appendix: Standards
    References and Resources
    About the Authors

    About the Author

    Amy R. Hurd, PhD, is an associate professor in the School of Kinesiology and Recreation at Illinois State University in Normal, where she teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in recreation management, leadership, and marketing. Hurd received her PhD in leisure behavior from Indiana University in 2001. Her research interests focus on management in parks and recreation with specific regard to management competencies.

    Hurd has worked in public-sector parks and recreation as a marketing director for the Champaign Park District in Champaign, Illinois. She has also served on the National Recreation and Park Association's American Park and Recreation Society board. She has coauthored Kraus’ Recreation and Lesiure in Modern Society, the Official Study Guide for the Certified Park and Recreation Professional Examination, and Leisure Services Management.

    In her free time, Hurd enjoys biking, kayaking, and hiking. She lives in Normal, Illinois.

    Denise M. Anderson, PhD, recevied her PhD from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2000. Anderson is currently an associate professor in the department of parks, recreation, and tourism management at Clemson University in South Carolina, where she teaches courses in community recreation and youth development. She also serves as curriculum coordinator for community recreation, sport, and camp management and as chair of the graduate student committee. In 2008 she was named Clemson’s Outstanding Woman Faculty Member.

    Anderson worked for four years at the Champaign Park District in Champaign, Illinois. She has also served on the board of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Society of Park and Recreation Educators.

    Anderson lives in Clemson, South Carolina, with her husband, Dan, and her son, Hayden. She enjoys baking, hiking, and boating with her family.

    Brent A. Beggs, PhD, is an associate professor and director of the recreation and park administration program at Illinois State University, where he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in facility design, management of sport and recreation agencies, research methods, and trends. Beggs earned his BS and MS in recreation from Southern Illinois University and completed his PhD in leisure behavior at Indiana University.

    Before teaching at Illinois State, Beggs served as a lecturer and internship coordinator for the department of recreation, park, and tourism studies at Indiana University and worked for public recreation agencies in the states of Illinois and Missouri. He serves on multiple editorial boards and coauthored Recreation Facility Management and Mastering the Job Search Process in Recreation and Leisure Services.

    Beggs resides in Bloomington, Illinois, with his wife, Jeri, and children Brendan and Sydney. He enjoys coaching youth sports and playing golf in his free time.

    Deborah A. Garrahy, PhD, has been teaching since 1986. Her professional background includes teaching elementary and adapted physical education in the public schools of Ohio and serving as a faculty member in physical education teacher education at Indiana University. Garrahy is an associate professor in the school of kinesiology and recreation at Illinois State University in Normal, specializing in physical education teacher education. She teaches courses in motor development, adapted physical education, and elementary physical education methods.

    Garrahy earned her BS degree from Queens College of the City University of New York (physical education, 1985) and both her MS (adapted physical education, 1986) and PhD (curriculum and instruction, 1998) from Indiana University. In her free time she enjoys hiking, kayaking, and biking.


    All ancillaries are FREE to course adopters and available at

    Instructor guide. The instructor guide features chapter overviews, learning outcomes, content outlines, and links to the sample documents provided in the online resource.

    Presentation package. The presentation package includes slides covering all 13 chapters in PowerPoint format.