The Department of Recreation Administration at Fresno State will enhance its relationship with community park and recreation organizations in the Valley through its newly formed Recreation Research and Service (R2S) program. Beginning in spring 2016, faculty will engage students in solving community problems and addressing park and recreation needs through a proposal process with park and recreation agencies. Students will receive credit through RA 190: Independent Study.

“The R2S project will enhance education by linking theory to practice, while providing research and training services to parks and recreation agencies,” said Dr. Sam Lankford, chair of the Department of Recreation Administration. “Some of the park and recreation organization needs include master plans, program evaluations, needs assessments, and studies of the economic impacts of various events held by the organization.”

One of the core missions of R2S is to promote park and recreation planning and policy in the San Joaquin Valley and to facilitate the use of sustainable practices with management practices. This mission will be enacted through third and fourth year recreation students, who will have the unique hands-on opportunity to join community and University resources in developing park and recreation opportunities.

Some of their tasks will include proposal writing, data collection, data entry, and reporting phases of each project. As an added benefit, students will receive a stipend, while the client receives a first rate research product at a very reasonable cost. Students will be supervised by professional project managers and faculty who have over 30 years of experience in conducting projects for public, private, and non-profit organizations.

“Many states, including California, are developing recreation amenities to enhance local economies,” said Lankford. “R2S is interested in fostering development of communities to improve the overall quality of life, while addressing economic well-being, cultural and social support and environmental quality.”

To accomplish this, R2S will assist public and non-profit recreation organizations with their community planning, needs assessments and professional training needs. Examples of some of the projects that the program will address include:

  • Research and planning services: open space and park planning, policy analysis, needs assessment
  • Training services: management/staff training, leadership training, facilitation
  • Programming services: risk management, recreation programming, festival and event management, program evaluation

Project completion may take one semester or be multi-year, depending on the scope of work. The new program, currently offered only through Fresno State, is affiliated with the University of Northern Iowa’s Department of Leisure, Youth and Human Services.

The Department of Recreation Administration at Fresno State offers a bachelor’s degree in various specializations, including Adventure Recreation and Tourism, Commercial Recreation and Event Planning, Community Recreation and Youth Services, and Therapeutic Recreation. Faculty, students and staff are committed to the enhancement of park and recreation systems and opportunities in the San Joaquin Valley.

To learn more about the R2S project, contact Sam Lankford at 559.278.2838 or visit the Department of Recreation Administration website.