Workshop: Parks and Recreation Policy and Legal Tools for a Healthier Future, March 2012

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On March 1, 2012, the Public Health Law Center joined the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association, its Step Up to Health Committee, and the American Heart Association to conduct a day-long training for Minnesota park and recreation departments. The workshop focused on policy and legal tools related to the parks and recreation profession.  Obesity rates are on the rise, in part because of the public’s lack of access to clean water, healthy food, and safe and accessible places to be physical active. 

To view the agenda, click here

Session 1: Why Healthy Eating and Active Living Policies are Important to Parks and Recreation Agencies

Presenters outline the latest science related to the obesity epidemic and its devastating consequences to healthy communities. Presenters also outline what “policy change” means in the context of healthy eating and active living and how policy change in shifting the tide of obesity and promoting healthy living within communities.

Session 2: Liability Issues 101

As active living and healthy eating policies are being promoted throughout Minnesota, questions about liability are being raised in a variety of contexts.  This presentation describes the basics of liability, and highlight how liability can be viewed in light of Minnesota law. The presenters identified laws and risk management strategies relating to waivers and releases, shared use agreements, concussions, food safety issues (school and community gardens), using volunteers and background checks. 

Natasha Frost and Mary Marrow, Staff Attorneys at the Public Health Law Center –Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Session 3: American with Disabilities Act

This session provided an overview of the ADA laws impacting park and recreation agencies and how organizations can work to provide opportunities for people with all disabilities.

Tracey Crawford, CTRS, CPRP - Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Session 4: ADA: Recreation Inclusion Mandate and Accessible Facilities

This session described in-depth how park and recreation agencies can make accommodations for special needs requests and how organizations can remove physical barriers which may be preventing equitable access for all.  The session also provided information on the new ADA laws which require all park and recreation agencies to be compliant with by March 15, 2012.

Tracey Crawford, CTRS, CPRP - Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Session 5: Active Living and Healthy Eating as a National Effort

Minnesota is part of a larger national movement to combat the problem of obesity.  The esteemed Dr. Stephen McDonough presented on national efforts, and how promoting outdoor activity is a critical component to promote a healthier community.

Dr. Stephen McDonough, MD, President’s Council on Fitness, Sports & Nutrition - Click here to view the PowerPoint.

Session 6: Minnesota’s Legislative Landscape: What is in Store for Minnesota in 2012

Rachel Callanan joined Boe Carlson from the Minnesota Recreation and Park Association to outline the legislative agenda for 2012.