Atlanta, Georgia

Conference: October 8-10

Exhibits: October 8-9

OSIs, 5K & Golf

Explore Dallas with fellow NRPA Annual Conference attendees

Step into the Heart of Texas: NRPA ‘Welcome to Texas’ Reception

Monday, October 9, 2023

5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Get ready to saddle up and experience the true spirit of the Lone Star State as Dallas Park and Recreation Department cordially invites you to our “Welcome to Texas” themed reception! As part of the local host committee, we are thrilled to host this unforgettable event at the iconic Klyde Warren Park in the vibrant city of Dallas.

Shuttles will be available from the Convention Center in the same pick-up area as the other shuttles.

Location: Klyde Warren Park, 2012 Woodall Rodgers Fwy, Dallas, TX 75201


Off-site Institutes

Off-Site Institute #1 – Trinity River National Water Trail

Monday, October 9, 2023

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

This OSI will introduce participants to the Trinity River National Water Trail. Those participating will be educated on the steps taken to get the Trinity River and its branches in the DFW area designated as a National Water Trail. Presenters will discuss the partnerships, resources, timelines, and organization required to earn this distinction. Participants will also receive a walk through of the NPS application process. Following the presentation, everyone will get to experience the trail firsthand. Instructors will provide an overview of basic paddling skills as well as instructions on entering and exiting a kayak and securing your PFD (Personal Flotation Device). Paddlers will also learn basic concepts on reading a river and how to avoid water hazards.

Member Rate: $50 / Non-Member Rate: $70

CEUs – 0.2

Off-Site Institute #2 – Trinity River Audubon Center: Building Connections with Nature in an Urban Setting

Monday, October 9, 2023

9:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Study after study proves that nature provides incredible benefits for both mental and physical well-being. Yet, in an urban setting like Dallas, finding opportunities to connect with nature can be a significant challenge. Learn how the Trinity River Audubon Center, located just ten miles south of downtown Dallas, is working to build healthy community connections to nature through access and education. Discover the history of the center’s 130-acre site which sits on a former illegal dump, and through environmental justice efforts was acquired by the city and transformed into the first Dallas Park and Recreation facility to qualify for LEED Gold Certification, and now serves as the gateway to the 6000-acre Great Trinity Forest, the largest urban hardwood forest in the United States.

Member Rate: $50 / Non-Member Rate: $70

CEUs – 0.3

Off-Site Institute #3 – Discover Fair Park and the State Fair of Texas

Monday, October 9, 2023

8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Fair Park, a 277-acre National Historic Landmark and home to the State Fair of Texas, was the site of the 1886 Dallas State Fair 1886, 1936 world’s fair, one of the largest art deco architecture collections. Learn details of the public-private partnership between the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and Fair Park First, spawning an ambitious Master Plan and an extensive public engagement process resulting in a plan to transform 18-acres of pavement to a new community park. Learn about year-round management of the park and its numerous events, festivals, concerts, exhibitions, and the management of tenant institutions such as the Children’s Aquarium, Texas Discovery Gardens, and African American Museum. Learn how the park undergoes the annual transformation to the State Fair of Texas attracting over 2 million visitors over 24 days. At the conclusion of the educational presentations, explore and enjoy the fair on your own before returning to the Convention Center via DART light rail.

Member Rate: $50 / Non-Member Rate: $70

CEUs – 0.3

Off-Site Institute #4 – The Dallas Pavilion Program – Unique by Nature

Monday, October 9, 2023

8:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

It all started with a single neighborhood. Dallas, like many cities across the country, traditionally developed its neighborhood parks with nondescript stock design pavilions. Hear the story of how one neighborhood’s desire for a unique pavilion that reflected the character of the area spawned a series of 37 unique and architecturally significant pavilions across the entire city. Learn how a creative approach to the design procurement process attracted and gave access to a range of firms across the state and nation, from small 2-3 person shops to the Norwegian firm Snøhetta, the designer of the National September 11 Memorial Museum & Pavilion in New York City. Learn how bringing distinctive architecture to a neighborhood pavilion can engage and energize the community, foster community pride, and create a sense of place. In addition to the tour of a selection of six pavilions, attendees will get a close up view of 30 signature pavilion 1/4″ scale models.

Member Rate: $50 / Non-Member Rate: $70

CEUs – 0.4

Off-Site Institute #5 – From Pavement to Paradise – the Rise of Downtown Dallas Parks

Monday, October 9, 2023

9 a.m. to 2:15 p.m.

Pavement is giving way to parks in Downtown Dallas. The opening of Main Street Garden in 2009 was the first step in an effort to add green space to Dallas’ central business district. The 2023 opening of Harwood Park brings the total number of parks to 7, completing the Downtown Parks Masterplan, adding 23 acres of new green space in the urban core.

Learn how it all started, the public-private partnerships that have been formed with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, and what the future holds. Leaders from Parks for Downtown Dallas, Downtown Dallas Inc., and the internationally renowned Klyde Warren Park will share successes and lessons learned in maintaining and operating their respective parks and the programs, events, and activations that make each park come alive.

Format for this session is an introductory lecture followed by an interactive walking tour of the downtown parks and will conclude with lunch on your own at Food Truck Lane at the 5.2-acre Klyde Warren deck park.

Member Rate: $55 / Non-Member Rate: $75

CEUs – 0.3

Off-Site Institute #6 – The Dallas Zoo – A View from the Inside

Monday, October 9, 2023

8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Experience the Dallas Zoo from an insiders point of view. Your visit will start with an overview of the public-private partnership between the Dallas Park and Recreation Department and Dallas Zoo Management that has enhanced operations, funding, capital development, and stewardship of this important city resource. Go behind the scenes with the elephants, giraffes, and lions of the award winning 8-acre Giants of the Savannah habitat as you learn how the Zoo serves as an economic engine through tourism, job creation and local development. The institute will conclude at the Zoo’s newest exhibit, the Simmons Hippo Hut, where you will learn how the Zoo connects with the community through its mission-based education and conservation programs (and maybe receive a visit from one of the Zoo’s many animal ambassadors) as you enjoy a boxed lunch. After lunch you will have approximately 1.5hr to explore the Zoo on your own until departure for the Convention Center.

Member Rate: $65 / Non-Member Rate: $85

CEUs – 0.4

Off-Site Institute #7 – Natural Flood Plains and Play Opportunities

Monday, October 9, 2023

7:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The Rowlett Creek Trail corridor is 24 miles in length and ties together six North Texas cities, Allen, Frisco, Garland, McKinney, Plano and Richardson. The corridor cannot be developed as it’s one of the most vulnerable areas for flooding.

This corridor has great opportunities to link Lake Ray Hubbard with a multitude of recreation facilities, including Rowlett Creek Preserve, Breckinridge Park, Bob Woodruff Park, Oak Point Park & Nature Preserve and Connemara Nature Conservancy. Learn how these natural flood plains add to quality of life by providing open space, habitat for wildlife, fertile land for agriculture, and opportunities for fishing, hiking and biking.

Experience GoApe’s Plano location, an exhilarating treetop adventure experience after exploring the nature, plants and ecoregions found in North Central Texas and how you can utilize your own natural spaces to improve quality of life for your citizens.

Member Rate: $85 / Non-Member Rate: $105

CEUs – 0.4

Off-Site Institute #8 – Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden – Cultivating Excellence

Monday, October 9, 2023

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

The stunning 66-acre Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden, located along the shore of White Rock Lake, is one of the world’s premier gardens, consistently finding its place on local and national top-ten lists in numerous categories. Your day begins with a history of the management partnership with the Dallas Park and Recreation Department, financial sustainability and revenue sources, marketing strategies, and the Master Plan. Next you will learn about the public events, educational and outreach programs, and sustainability work being conducted. After lunch onsite you will tour the garden grounds, Children’s Adventure Garden, and behind the scenes operations. The afternoon will be filled with additional operational highlights including seasonal displays, plant transition and trials, and meeting the challenge of hosting over a million visitors and over 700 private events, weddings and parties, all while being open to the public 362 days a year.

Member Rate: $75 / Non-Member Rate: $95

CEUs – 0.7

Off-Site Institute #9 – Highlights of Dallas: A Tour of Modern and Innovative Multi-Generational Recreation Centers

Monday, October 9, 2023

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Dallas is a richly diverse American city: over the years, it has become a melting pot of cultures, religions, and lifestyles. These rich elements of the city’s identity are reflected throughout in its culture, food, art, AND surrounding recreation centers!

With a strong focus and value on providing its residents with public recreation opportunities, Dallas and its suburbs have grown into a hub of some of the country’s most innovative and spectacular recreation centers. 

Join us as we tour four recreation centers with diverse offerings in size, budgets, programs, and architectural style. Throughout the day, there will be education and emphasis on understanding the intricacies of community, architecture, management, and planning—four keys to success when embarking on a new capital project.

This tour is perfect for those preparing to build a new recreation center, kicking off a feasibility study, or anyone looking for inspiration with recreation center design or programming.

Member Rate: $75 / Non-Member Rate: $95

CEUs – 0.5

Off-Site Institute #10 – Inclusive Play Field Guide: A Day of Play at Frank Kent’s DREAM Park and Ernie Roberts Park

Monday, October 9, 2023

10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The playground should be a place to experience laughter, friends, and fun for all. Traditional compliant design focuses on minimal physical access. With intentional design, we can support a much wider range of disabilities. In this field session, we will visit two local inclusive play spaces to see inclusive design at work at a destination space versus a pocket park. As we go, we will discuss sensory diverse design, developmental and cognitive disabilities, as well as its importance in development for all children. Along with sensory play we will discuss elements within the park that support blind/low vision diagnoses as well as Deaf/hard of hearing. Presented by Jill Moore, a full time wheelchair user, we will discuss the reality and need of pushing past ADA design, and we’ll see play for all, live and in action! Jill will actively be demonstrating the accessible elements of the park to show what works, what’s impactful, and showcase the reality of inclusive design considerations.

Member Rate: $50 / Non-Member Rate: $70

CEUs – 0.5

2023 Leisure Tours (LTs)

Leisure Tour #1 – Cowboys and Rangers Stadium Tours

Friday October 13, 2023

8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Cowboys Stadium Tour description:

Our most knowledgeable and experienced tour guides meet you in the Pro Shop to lead your VIP Guided Tour. Beginning at the Main Club your tour stops include a private suite, the print media press box, the Cotton Bowl Office vestibule, and the Dr. Pepper Star Bar or the Ford Motor Company Fountain, the football field, the Miller Lite Club, the postgame interview room and both the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders locker rooms.

Globe Life Stadium Tour description:

When the team is away, you can play! We are now offering 60-minute premium tours with 30-minutes of field access. Go behind-the-scenes with a ballpark tour of Globe Life Field and explore locations like premium venues, unique club spaces, luxury suites and more! Discover rich history, impressive architecture and fun photo opportunities around every corner. Come to play catch or simply take photos on the field. Guests who wish to play catch may bring 1 ball and glove per person.

Member Rate: $105 / Non-Member Rate: $125

No CEUs eligible

Additional Local Host Events

Golf Tournament

Monday, October 9, 2023

11 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

Join us on Monday, October 9 at the historic Cedar Crest Golf Course. This legendary course is the home of the 1927 PGA Championship. Compete as a PGA champion with the rolling terrain, greenside bunkers, and tree-lined fairways.

$100 ticket fee

5K Fun Run, Walk or Roll

Thursday, October 12, 2023

8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Run/Walk/Roll the NRPA 5K on the historic Katy Trail, Dallas’s most popular running trail, as you take in the sites of uptown Dallas. Receive a swag bag, finisher’s medal and t-shirt (sizes cannot be guaranteed). Stay for the Texas-style, post-race breakfast! Race shirts will be given out in first-come, first-served order at the 5K packet pickup.

$35 ticket fee

 NRPA Annual Conference 5K 8:00 AM (

Goat Yoga

Wednesday, October 11, 2023

7:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Come and get your goat yoga on in Dallas while adorable goats graze and jump around (or on) you!

$35 ticket fee