As you maneuver through the conference there are endless opportunities to connect with others in a variety of settings. Whether you are in education sessions or in the exihibit hall, every opportunity lends itself to meeting new people. If you are looking for great ideas on how to connect with others here are events you will want to make sure you attend.

Wednesday, October 5

Golf Tournament presented by the St. Louis Local Host Committee
12:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m. | The Courses at Forest Park | Entry fee: $100
Includes: Transportation, greens fee, cart fees, range balls, box lunch, on course beverages, light appetizers, on course contests, contest awards. Register for the golf tournament here.

NRPA Student Recreation Challenge
5:00 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. | Forest Park
Teams of students will compete in an amazing-race style competition that will test their park and recreation knowledge, navigational skills, teamwork and creativity! The winners will be revealed at the Opening Reception! Transportation for spectators is not provided by NRPA.

NRPA Opening Reception at the St. Louis Zoo (sponsored by GameTime)
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. | St. Louis Zoo
Come take a walk on the wild side! Join us at the St. Louis Zoo for an evening of networking, live music, food and fun. Special guests include penguins, apes, stingrays and more! Shuttles will run from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., and pick-up and drop-off at all of the hotels with NRPA shuttle service. For the walking properties, they will pick up and drop off at the Convention Center. See the shuttle schedule in the app for more details. Tickets are included with Full Package, Young Professional and Guest registration. Register or purchases tickets here.

Thursday, October 6

NRPA General Session featuring Scott Sampson
9:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m. | America’s Ballroom, America’s Center Convention Complex
Get ready to be inspired by 2016 keynote speaker Scott Sampson. Best known as “Dr. Scott,” host of the Emmy-nominated PBS KIDS television series Dinosaur Train, Dr. Scott is a dinosaur paleontologist, science communicator, museum executive and passionate advocate for connecting people with nature. He is also the author of How to Raise a Wild Child which reveals how adults can help kids fall in love with nature.

Exhibitor Hosted Happy Hour
5:00 p.m. - 6:15 p.m. | Exhibit Hall
Stick around the Exhibit Hall for a fun-filled hour of socializing, testing new products, and enjoying food and beverages. Tickets are included with conference registration.

Best of the Best Awards Ceremony (sponsored by Vortex)
6:30 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. | Marriot Grand, Majestic Ballroom (Reception immediately following)
This annual ceremony recognizes the inspirational people and programs that remind us daily of the phenomenal work being done in the field. This includes the 2016 National Award recipients, newly accredited and re-accredited park and recreation agencies and academic programs, the 2016 Young Professional Fellows, Diversity and Student Scholarship recipients, the Park Champion of the year, and professionals who have recently achieved their CPRP or CPRE designations. Light reception to follow.

NRPA Research Poster Sessions
6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. | Marriot Grand, Majestic Ballroom Foyer
Please join us for an opportunity for students, professors and professionals to get together and discuss areas of mutual interest in order to support each other’s efforts in providing exceptional service to our constituencies.


Friday, October 7

Sunrise Yoga
6:30 a.m. – 7:15 a.m. | Hyatt Regency St. Louis at the Arch, Gateway Terrace
Before you stretch your mind in education sessions and stretch your legs in the exhibit hall, start your day off with a full body and soul stretch at the free Sunrise Yoga event.

5K Fun Run and Walk Presented by St. Louis Local Host Committee
7:30 am – 9:30 am | Entry fee: $35 | Includes: T-shirt, and post-race refreshments.
What is parks and recreation without a little exercise? Join hundreds of your peers for a 5K run or walk at the riverfront in downtown St. Louis. Register for the 5K Fun Run and Walk here.

NRPA Closing General Session: Parks & Rec, All Hands on Deck
4:45 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. | America’s Ballroom, America’s Center Convention Complex
ATTENTION ATTENDEES: Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to join thousands of your peers for a finale session like none other and a demonstration that you won’t soon forget. This surprise will be worth the wait, so make sure you mark this session on your schedule. This special session is include with conference registration.


Saturday, October 8

Parks Build Community: Trojan Park Dedication
10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. | Trojan Park
This year, NRPA partnered with Great Rivers Greenway, the regional parks and trails district in the St. Louis region, and the city of Wellston, Missouri to transform a vacant lot into a vibrant community park as part of NRPA’s annual Parks Build Community initiative. NRPA’s vision for the park is simple: expand opportunities for residents of all ages to be active and come together as a community. Buses will pick-up at 9 a.m. at the Convention Center and return by 1 p.m.