Membership - General Information

As a membership organization, URPA relies heavily on active involvement of professional and citizen members to achieve the broad vision and mission of the association. An individual can register as a member of URPA under one of seven different categories; professional, commercial, citizen, student, volunteer, and retired professional. URPA also offers an agency category which allows departments to register multiple staff members under a discounted rate. Membership dues are collected annually and are periodically reviewed and adjusted.

URPA members share a common passion for promoting healthy lifestyles and creating livable communities. As members of URPA they have the opportunity to access a variety of programs and services including; education and training, advocacy, networking, career news and information, partnerships, and professional recognition.

Education and Training

Annually URPA offers an array of specialized schools, national training opportunities and networking retreats in a dedicated effort in fulfilling its mission of educating and training Utah's park and recreation professionals and citizens. These professional enhancement opportunities would include:

  • URPA Annual Statewide Conference
  • URPA Annual Fall Grounds Maintenance School
  • URPA Annual Directors Retreat
  • National Playground Safety Inspectors Certification Course and Exam
  • Intermountain Leisure Symposium
  • Other single-day lectures and learning opportunities
Advocacy

In concert with the National Recreation and Park Association and its public policy efforts, URPA is routinely called upon to be Utah's voice in increasing awareness and in vocally lending support for park and recreation initiatives having an impact on the park and recreation industry. These initiatives come as local and national issues. URPA representatives correspond with Utah's representatives and senators and their staffs on key issues impacting parks and recreation. Particular efforts have been made over the years in supporting the federal government's funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) with specific emphasis on the Stateside Assistance Program. Privatization, unfair governmental competition, taxation issues, and others have required URPA's participation and advocacy.

Networking

Professional networking is incredibly important to the members of URPA. Through a system of four geographic regions URPA disseminates information and correlates the functions of the association. Each region has representation on the Board of Directors giving them a voice in the administration of the association. The regions also facilitate networking amongst fellow professionals both within one's region, as well as, on a statewide basis. URPA's four regional bodies include: the Northern Utah Recreation and Park Association (NURPA), the Wasatch Area Recreation and Park Association (WARP), the Central Utah Recreation and Park Association (CURPA), and the Southern Utah Recreation and Park Association (SURPA). Each region meets monthly and has individually branded much of what they do in terms of programs, internships, events, and training.

Careers News and Information

URPA employs several means in disseminating career and professional information in a timely manner to its members. The association continues to upgrade its website (www.urpa.org ) to better serve its membership. National and state news is posted on the site, along with current job opportunities, grant information, and training opportunities.

The publishing of Leisure Insights, URPA's professional magazine, is a second vehicle utilized in the delivery of information. First published in 1980, the professionally produced publication provides URPA members with information vital to their jobs, trends and national issues, current research within their field, training opportunities, member recognition, and a calendar of in-state and national professional enhancement opportunities. Each URPA region also plays a vital role as it forwards information to its specific members that they receive from URPA, NRPA, and other sources.

Partnerships

Partnerships to URPA are extremely important. As a non-profit association URPA values immensely the partnerships it has formed over the years and the significant support partnerships lend to the viability of the association. Partner support in the planning and delivery of conferences and workshops and in many other areas has strengthened URPA and has allowed the association to offer improved opportunities and services to its members. Partnerships in recreation, parks and conservation, like partnerships elsewhere in society, are inspired by the desire to do more together than what could be done individually. URPA recognized early on that there is strength in collaboration and in forging strong partnerships. As an association URPA has worked tirelessly to foster strategic partnerships with other professional organizations, companies, universities, and its member recreation and park departments.

Professional Recognition

Each spring at the URPA Statewide Conference the association formally recognizes outstanding achievement in the areas of facility design, programming, volunteer work, departmental accomplishments, innovativeness within the profession, and individual professionalism. URPA, through its NRPA Pacific Southwest Regional Representative, then submits nominations from within its association for regional and national consideration. Over the past several years URPA members and member agencies have received numerous region-level and national awards.

Professional Certification

Certification is the term applied to the process whereby an individual submits his or her credentials for review based upon clearly identified competencies, criteria, or standards. Certification is a continuous process designed to keep the professional current with new developments, techniques and standards of practice in the field. To this end, those holding national certifications must earn twenty hours of approved Continuing Education Units (CEU's) or approved academic credit during each 24-month certification period. A growing number of URPA members have successfully tested for and have been awarded their national designation as a Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP). This national certification title is beginning to appear on more and more position announcements nationally as a sought after or required qualification for the job under recruitment. URPA fully supports and sees value in this national certification program.

URPA Giving Back

As a professional organization URPA is always looking for ways it can assist and give back to the field of parks and recreation. As financial resources has allowed, URPA has continued to strive in expanding and enlarging its contributions back to its members and the profession. Some of URPA's efforts include:

  • funding support for the Annual Intercollegiate Service Project ($1,000)
  • funding supporting for the Utah Trails and Pathways Conference ($1,500)
  • waived conference fees for students attending conference ($2,000)
  • funding for the Annual Aquatics Management School ($500)
  • funding assistance for low-income youth participants ($10,000)
  • co-sponsorship of the Annual SPRE Conference ($1,000)
  • sponsorship of the Hershey Track and Field Program in Utah ($3,500)
  • university student scholarships ($10,000)
  • paid student internships ($1,500)
Supporting URPA

By supporting parks and recreation, you ensure the:

  • continued development of programs vital to your community's members
  • health and wellness of people of all ages and backgrounds
  • education and development of park and recreation professional
  • protection of wildlife, open spaces and natural resources