By Anna Skinner
Fishers Parks and Recreation will be able to showcase its uniqueness at the Jan. 20 Indiana Parks and Recreation Association annual conference. Three Fishers staff members will lead educational panels and speak at the event.
Parks Director Tony Elliot, Community Engagement and Volunteer Coordinator Dan Domsic and past Marketing and Public Relations Manager Casey Cawthon will each speak on what makes Fishers parks successful.
“I think the reason behind (us speaking), in my opinion, is that Fishers parks really is kind of a unique breed in a lot of ways,” Elliot said. “We serve our community in a way that’s very tailored and specific to the needs of the community and the needs of the city as a whole. As a result of that, I think we have spearheaded new initiatives that I think are unique within parks and recreation and within city government as well.”
The conference spans a few days, and the team had to apply to speak. Domsic and Elliot will speak on how the department conducts business. Cawthon will speak on engagement during her “Getting Social Outside” panel.
“I’m speaking on not only making sure (community members) know what’s happening, but engaging them during events to make sure they share photos and to learn what they like and have them provide feedback,” Cawthon said. “Boo Bash is a great example.”
This will be the first time Fishers has participated inthe IPRA conference.
“We are definitely more of a collaborative city government structure than I’ve ever seen,” Elliot said. “I think a good example in the case of the educational session is Dan and I are related to community engagement. A community engagement division within parks and recreation is a very rare thing within the state of Indiana. We used that initiative within parks and recreation as a chance to enhance the department through volunteers and engagement in local business, and also as an opportunity to serve almost as a PR capacity to be a point of contact for the community, for the city and be a great dot connector among different groups.”
“We get to tell other agencies about what we do for parks and recreation so they get other ideas,” Domsic said.
For more, visit ipra.org.