Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals is proud to present the 2014 National Outdoor Recreation Conference


“Thriving in a New Economic Reality”

The early bird deadline is April 18 – register now and save

The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals is proud to present the 2014 National Outdoor Recreation Conference. This year we are featuring presentations that demonstrate how you are adapting and thriving in our new economic reality. You will learn about innovative partnerships, diversifying funding sources, use of technology to streamline, entrepreneurial solutions, adaptive reuse of aging facilities, cultivating political and community support, and other case studies that present new ideas and tools to succeed in today’s economic reality.

Session Spotlight

Communicating with our many stakeholders is an important but sometimes challenging task of a successful outdoor recreation project. Learn from several SORP members and their colleagues about the different approaches they’ve taken in listening and learning from their stakeholders.

Benchmarking: The Art of Talking to People on Benches in an Effort to Keep Them Happy

Intercept surveys are an incredibly useful tool for gaining a solid understanding of existing park user’s perspectives and desires as well as understanding who your agency is currently serving. Intercept surveys generate the type of information professionals crave when developing system plans, master plans, and project plans.

However, this level of outreach can be awkward (walking up to strangers and asking for all kinds of personal information – yikes!!!) and intimidating (resources, bias, data entry/analysis…where do you start???). And what do you do with the information once you have it?

This presentation will walk you through parallel studies conducted in 2008 and 2013 across a system of 19 park units encompassing 27,000+ acres whose annual visitation exceeds 5 million and discuss how to share and use the survey findings to guide thoughtful decisions and long-term plans. Join SORP members Thomas Mercier, Research & Evaluation Coordinator and Kelly Grissman, Director of Planning, Three Rivers Park District to hear about examples that will provide insight on the realistic expectations of the resources required and project outcomes.

A Road Runs Through It

Park planning can be greatly affected by past history. Strong and independent pioneers settled the Ozarks in the mid-1800s. A hardscrabble existence fraught with peril refined the Ozark character. Today, some descendants are thriving and others continue to get by in a beautiful and unforgiving landscape. For all, their ties to the land remain strong and independent, helping further shape today’s Ozark culture. At Current River State Park, local perspectives have been shaped by experiences with the Ozark National Scenic Riverways. Not all of the experiences have been regarded as positive by the populace. The long-festering cultural clash came to a head when local authorities unilaterally pushed a road into the new state park. Join SORP member Bill Bryan, Director of Missouri State Parks, and learn how Missouri reconciled with park neighbors to move forward with the new park even though A Road Runs Through It.

Building Your Plan for Community Engagement and Outreach

The East Bay Regional Park District is comprised of over 113,000 acres in 65 parks and over 1,200 miles of trails within Alameda and Contra Costa County in California. The district, serving the Bay Area for 80 years, is dedicated to improving access to and use of the parks by members of groups that are underrepresented, such as persons with disabilities, the economically disadvantaged and elderly park visitors.

In early 2011, the district opened the Tidewater Boating Center which was funded by State Prop 40 monies to provide outdoor recreational opportunities to under-resourced populations. Through successful partnerships with low-income schools, cities and local non-profit organizations, the district has been able to increase access and awareness of outdoor recreation programs and services in the regional parks. Join SORP member Anne Kassebaum, and her colleagues from the East Bay Regional Park District as you learn how to develop strategies to successfully engage under-resourced populations, develop deep engagement experiences for youth and families in the outdoors and how to utilize community mapping to develop strategic partnerships for engagement and outreach.

Seeking public input through online surveys for resource management planning

Public input is an important factor when preparing a state park Resource Management Plan (RMP), the purpose of which is to document management responsibilities for balancing the use of water and land resources related to recreation. With the growing public demand for outdoor recreation, it is critical to take the public’s interests into consideration. Survey participants were obtained from various sources including Facebook, cabin and campground reservation, golf course membership, and state park friend groups. The SERVQUAL (Service quality survey) was modified to assess park visitors’ desired and perceived service quality for the Oklahoma State Park system. The results provide managers and decision-makers valuable long-term direction and guidelines for effective and efficient management of natural resources. The presentation focuses on the process of obtaining survey participants and developing the survey instrument. You won’t want to miss this session from SORP members Stella Liu and Nicky Wu from Oklahoma State University.

Join the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals for their 2014 National Outdoor Recreation Conference May 13-16 in San Francisco, California. Outdoor recreation professionals from local, special district, state, and federal agencies; private sector firms and consultants; university faculty and students; and non-profit organizations gather annually to share success stories, collaborate on challenging situations, and strategize new solutions.

Visit to learn more, download a preliminary program and register for the 2014 National Outdoor Recreation Conference.

Early bird rates are available through April 18. Register now to save $100 or more on your registration.

Brenda Adams-Weyant
Association Manager
Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals
PO Box 221
Marienville, PA 16239
(814) 927-8212(814) 927-8212
(814) 927-6659 FAX

HIP-TEC Unveils the Future of Head Injury Prevention Technology

These guys understand the issues. Wow!

Passion to Change Helmet Standards and Save Lives Drives HIP-TEC Founders

Check out the website: 


HIP-TEC (Head Injury Prevention Technology)—maker of the HIP-TEC Inside interior helmet protection system—today announced the company’s global launch and partnership program.  HIP-TEC focuses on making the best impact-absorbing interiors for the world’s top helmet companies.

HIP-TEC’s Inside interior helmet protection system is designed to fully integrate with other companies’ helmet shell concepts in an ingredient brand approach, meeting the needs and new benchmarks of the action sports industry and athletes that continue to push the limits of their sports.  HIP-TEC’s formulated and tested interior capsule dramatically exceeds today’s outdated helmet standards and designs, which concentrate on reducing single, high impact skull fractures.

In extensive independent testing at certified labs, with HIP-TEC implemented into a partner’s helmet, the severity of an impact is reduced by 40 – 60 percent across all angles, impact testing velocities and drop test heights.

“Our interior technology system is a game changer because it mitigates against all three accident scenarios that can contribute to head injuries — high velocity impacts, low speed falls and rotational impacts,” says HIP-TEC co-founder Nick Turner.  “Not only do helmets with HIP-TEC Inside technology significantly reduce the force of these impacts better than top helmet brands’ current interior technologies, HIP-TEC Inside outperformed while being 20 percent thinner than a traditional ski or bike helmet’s protective core.”

The technology has been co-developed over the past decade at internationally certified labs with development through Johns Hopkins University joint research projects and testing at HIP-TEC’s Truckee-based helmet lab.

Current medical research indicates that the lower the g-forces associated with an impact, the less likely a concussion will occur. HIP-TEC’s patent-pending layered design, lowers g-forces during an accident by slowing down the speed at which the head feels the weight of an impact, thus lowering the critical peak acceleration to dead stop and decreasing head and brain injuries. The formulated design of HIP-TEC allows protective layers to engage together as one unit or as separate energy absorbers depending on the severity of an impact.

 “Because of current standards decision makers refusal to recognize the progression of sport and new medical research findings, helmets are not evolving at the speed of the athletes they are designed to protect,” comments HIP-TEC co-founder Tom Feiten.  “International standards still require that a helmet is tested to keep an impact below 250 g’s (g-force) and then it’s certified to sale.  We firmly believe helmets still need to pass this standard, but at the same time they also must address accidents that are causing the majority of concussions happening at smaller, low falls that register between 90 and 150 g’s. HIP-TEC Inside does this and does it better when engineered into another brand’s helmet.” 

With its proven ability to lower the severity of head injuries and compatibility with current helmet shell designs, HIP-TEC technology is set to revolutionize action sports safety.

“It’s our friends and families pushing these sports and getting injured,” adds Turner. “Our mission and passion is to protect them through education and offering helmets brands the most protective interior technologies to integrate into their products.”

Based in Truckee, California, HIP-TEC (Head Injury Prevention Technology) solely focuses on making the best impact absorbing interiors for the world’s top helmet companies. The proprietary technology far outperforms current products and standards, meeting the needs and new benchmarks of industries and athletes that continue to push limits. HIP-TEC is part of FT Accelerator, a San Francisco-based growth program for fashion tech startups. Visit to learn more about our technology and the future of interior helmet design.


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