The Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University continues a ten-year grant record with over $1 million in grants secured for next year. The grants fund the Institute’s pioneering work with the National Park Service (NPS) and other agencies to advance the field of parks, recreation, and land management.
After another year growth, the Eppley Institute predicts an increase in revenue for the 2009-2010 fiscal year and will take on additional projects in education, park planning, and conservation on the local, state, and national level.
Stephen A. Wolter, Executive Director for the Eppley Institute, said, “Our vision to be the first source for knowledge in parks, recreation and public lands management, at first glance, seems to be sweeping and ambitious. But considering the critical juncture that the Institute is at between national, state, and local parks, with the issue of sustainability becoming more important in society, and adding the continually increasing use of technology for education and managing these lands, I can’t help but think we are on the right track.”
Through many successful partnerships, the Eppley Institute conducts project research that documents current trends, government policies, and identifies new approaches to the field of parks and recreation that is then published for the benefit of the entire profession.
Most significantly, the Eppley Institute conducts research in the field of education and develops training programs for NPS employees in leadership, facilities management, and visitor relations. Last year, the Institute’s partnership with the NPS generated over $1.5 million in revenue. This partnership is expected to grow in the upcoming years to include additional projects in knowledge management and social networking. The NPS has set a goal of improving its ranking in the Federal government’s “Best Places to Work” by 2016 and is working closely with the Eppley Institute to achieve this goal.
The training programs the Eppley Institute designs for the NPS are adapted for and made available to the general public on the Institute website (www.eppley.org). Each year more individuals receive critical professional training in order to become better stewards of parks and public lands. In 2009, more than 7,400 participants directly benefitted from Eppley Institute programs.
In addition to creating valuable training tools for the NPS, the Eppley Institute provides essential research and planning support for local agencies so that they can continue to serve the public even under increasingly severe budget constraints. Currently, the Institute is working with both Kokomo, IN, and Gary, IN, to develop sustainable plans for park growth and maintenance.
On a state level, the Eppley Institute is lending its expertise in the field of park planning to projects that seek to increase access to, improve maintenance on, and educate visitors in areas along the Lake Michigan shore for the Indiana Department of Natural Resources.
With these successful partnerships expanding, Wolter anticipates that the Eppley Institute will continue to grow. He said, “Our importance and reputation is growing nationally and our home at Indiana University simply adds credibility and resources that are hard to find anywhere else. I see a bright future for the Institute given continuing priority and support from the University.”
Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands