Resources

Resources not provided for download are available through the Eppley Institute, please contact our office for more information.

Research & Assistance

Four images of different parks in Indiana.

On Friday, October 11, the Center for Rural Engagement at Indiana University partnered with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands to host the Indiana Trail Planning and Implementation Workshop. The workshop took place at the Sisters of St. Benedict: Monastery of Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana, and included 20 participants from municipal government entities, non-profit organizations, and universities, predominantly from across the Indiana Uplands region. The workshop highlighted the benefits of trails, key considerations in developing a trail plan, the intricacies of gaining support for a trail, and strategies for funding a plan, including an overview of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Next Level Trails Grant. Mitch Barloga, the transportation planning manager and active transportation planner for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission; Todd Blevins, a grant coordinator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources; and Angie Pool the chief executive officer of the Cardinal Greenway all presented material and shared their expertise in the different aspects of the trail planning and implementation process. Attendees participated in group activities to learn from each other; asked questions of the speakers; and learned from Eppley Institute facilitators and speakers Steve Wolter, Layne Elliott, and Gina Depper.

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The National Park Service (NPS) Office of Communications has partnered with the Eppley Institute to develop communications training courses for public agencies. The way that public and non-profit organizations communicate with the public (visitors, partners, volunteers, and others) is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic in a world of “always-on” information sharing. In this quickly evolving arena, maintaining an effective, open, and meaningful system of external communications involves ensuring that a cadre of employees has the skills to meet this need, even in positions where external communications is an ancillary duty. The goal of this training program is to develop curriculum based upon these communication skills so that any interested party within the public arena can benefit and learn.

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The goal of the Resource Management Training for Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts was to improve Company understanding of the mission, functions, and resource management perspectives of various agencies, such as the National Park Service, where Delaware North Companies has concessions operations. The outcome of the training for key staff of DNC was to better align Parks and Resorts Management programs with agency management programs as shown in the graphic below.

A copy of the final Training Manual is found here.

Attached files
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SWAP_coverIndiana’s SWAP is a habitat-based model that incorporates all fish and wildlife species in the state. It identifies the condition of Indiana’s wildlife species and habitats, the problems they face, and the actions needed to ensure the long-term viability of these species and habitats. Since conservation efforts occur at many levels (e.g., local, state, and federal), it is imperative to unite the entire Indiana conservation community by focusing on strengthening partnerships to accelerate conservation in the state. The input of all Indiana’s 600+ identified stakeholders is vital to the success of the 2015 SWAP. The Eppley Institute developed the following recommendation report to inform the 2015 SWAP process.

Attached files

SWAP_FinalPackage_Final_131218.pdf ( B)

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Training & Education

Over time, the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands (Eppley) has frequently been asked to provide suggestions and referrals to various agencies who struggle with planning for, adequately funding, and providing individual career advice to employees through strategic training and development. As more and more requests for assistance and training were received, it became clear that the current approaches being used by agencies were not be adequately providing effective professional development training.

As a result, the Eppley Institute investigated trends and possible solutions to the ongoing agency requests for training advice and assistance. Initial research found that training and development strategy and practices are highly desired by most park, recreation, and public land organizations, but the organizations rarely have the expertise and resources to comprehensively develop an employee (and volunteer) learning and development system. It seems that for many agencies, having a systematic approach to training, and business practices in place was the lowest priority.

To better understand the challenges facing agencies in implementing successful staff learning and development systems, the Eppley Institute sought to meet with leaders of park and recreation agencies across the nation in a series of listening sessions. The ultimate goal in this effort was to inform agencies of the challenge, and eventually to develop systems that agencies could adopt for enhanced employee learning.

Download the full report: Training & Development Trends in Select U.S. Park and Recreation Agencies.

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The Eppley Institute continues to lead innovative training and workforce development initiatives for park and public land agencies with the development of its newest capability enhancement application. This new system begins with Eppley’s expert analysis of agency training systems to identify current practice and future needs, then leads agencies through the optimal implementation and use of a learning management system (LMS) used to assign and track training to staff and volunteers. Offering agencies more than an “off the shelf” LMS, the goal is to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of training systems by helping agencies be intentional and strategic about staff development and learning.

Carmel Clay (IN) Parks and Recreation has spent the last 6 months piloting the program with Eppley staff guidance and training and is offering valuable feedback to help refine the process. In addition, 12 agencies sent representatives to listening sessions at the National Recreation and Parks Association annual conference in Baltimore in September. These sessions, facilitated by Eppley’s Executive Director Steve Wolter and Senior Program Managers Gina Depper and Christy McCormick, were meant to help enlighten Eppley on current training practices, needs, and shortcomings in agencies across the nation to further inform the development of this important new initiative.

The basic package of services will include analysis, training, and implementation of the LMS; access to Eppley’s vast catalog of online training courses; the ability to upload each agency’s custom training content; and technical support. Premium services will include creation of custom training content and full training gap analyses. As these processes and products are honed, Eppley will be seeking additional agencies to beta test and give further feedback before a public launch in the fall of 2020.

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The National Park Service (NPS) Office of Communications has partnered with the Eppley Institute to develop communications training courses for public agencies. The way that public and non-profit organizations communicate with the public (visitors, partners, volunteers, and others) is becoming increasingly complex and dynamic in a world of “always-on” information sharing. In this quickly evolving arena, maintaining an effective, open, and meaningful system of external communications involves ensuring that a cadre of employees has the skills to meet this need, even in positions where external communications is an ancillary duty. The goal of this training program is to develop curriculum based upon these communication skills so that any interested party within the public arena can benefit and learn.

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The National Center on Accessibility and Eppley Institute staff have been hard at work designing a training course for National Park Service park accessibility coordinators. Park accessibility coordinators perform a collateral duty to improve access to their park unit’s programs and facilities for people with disabilities.

The training course was designed for park accessibility coordinators at all levels of experience. Some of the topics covered include:

  • an overview of legal requirements and accessibility standards;
  • understanding people with disabilities and how they interact with their environment;
  • best practices for removing barriers and planning to improve access for people with disabilities;
  • universal design;
  • roles and responsibilities of the park accessibility coordinator and how to be an effective coordinator; and
  • where to find accessibility resources and how to be an accessibility resource for your park.

The course will initially be offered twice this fall, November 5-8 and December 3-6, in St. Louis, Missouri, with field visits to nearby Gateway Arch National Park.

For more information about the course or to inquire about availability, contact NCA Program Specialist Kellie Seaton at kwaksmun@iu.edu or 812-856-4428.

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Planning & Design

Four images of different parks in Indiana.

On Friday, October 11, the Center for Rural Engagement at Indiana University partnered with the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands to host the Indiana Trail Planning and Implementation Workshop. The workshop took place at the Sisters of St. Benedict: Monastery of Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Indiana, and included 20 participants from municipal government entities, non-profit organizations, and universities, predominantly from across the Indiana Uplands region. The workshop highlighted the benefits of trails, key considerations in developing a trail plan, the intricacies of gaining support for a trail, and strategies for funding a plan, including an overview of the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Next Level Trails Grant. Mitch Barloga, the transportation planning manager and active transportation planner for the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission; Todd Blevins, a grant coordinator for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources; and Angie Pool the chief executive officer of the Cardinal Greenway all presented material and shared their expertise in the different aspects of the trail planning and implementation process. Attendees participated in group activities to learn from each other; asked questions of the speakers; and learned from Eppley Institute facilitators and speakers Steve Wolter, Layne Elliott, and Gina Depper.

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The National Park Service (NPS), Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative (LMDI) was established in 1994 when Public Law (PL) 103-433 was passed. The law declared 219 counties across the states of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee the Lower Mississippi Delta Region. The goal of the program is to initiate projects to preserve the region’s cultural and natural resources and to increase tourism. In its 25th year of operation, the program is looking to reflect on its past to identify the way forward for the future. To achieve this, the Cultural Resource Program at the Southeast Regional Office and the Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative Advisory Board have partnered with the Eppley Institute to complete an administrative history and engage stakeholders to document the past and present of the initiative. The administrative history will examine past funding, grant partners, and legislative purpose and will be supported by interviews with select stakeholders to understand stakeholder perceptions of outreach, effectiveness, and connection to the Lower Mississippi Delta Initiative enabling legislation. This project will provide baseline documentation of the program, an evaluation of the best use of funding, and options for the advisory committee to select as the path moving forward. The Eppley Institute recently attended the LMDI annual meeting and is excited to get started on this project!

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A five-year master plan designed as a visioning document to set strategic directions for Hendricks County Parks and Recreation.

Attached files

REA_HendricksCo_MPU_Public Comment Draft_110211.pdf ( B) 

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A five-year master plan designed as a visioning document to set strategic directions for the City of Wabash Park Department.

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