The San Joaquin Valley Recreation Summit will promote efforts for developing, maintaining and supporting recreation services in Valley communities.

It will be held from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 11 at the Ted C. Willis Community Center (770 N. San Pablo Ave.) and will be followed by a community engagement event showcasing the Sustainable Park and Recreation Community Initiative. The event will be co-hosted by Fresno State’s Office of Community and Economic Development and Department of Recreation Administration,

“The objective of the Recreation Summit is to understand the complexity of providing recreation services while recognizing the links to other issues such as health and quality of life, social equity, social and organizational trends and financial realities,” said Dr. Sam Lankford, chair of the Department of Recreation Administration.

The Recreation Summit brings together recreation and park professionals, health advocates and professionals, economic and community developers, city and regional planners and community-based organizations.

Education sessions throughout the day will feature panels that explore strategies to deliver recreation services in light of shifting organizational and societal forces. Topics include:

  • Recreation for Youth and Families
  • Social Justice and Equity in Recreation Programs
  • Recreation, Health and the Quality of Life
  • Financial Considerations of Park and Recreation Development
  • Planning for Recreation: Parks and Open Spaces
  • Serving Our Diverse Communities
  • The Fresno Park Rx Program

The opening session “Recreation Programming in the San Joaquin Valley: Challenges, Opportunities and Successes” features Manuel A. Mollinedo, former director of Parks, After School, Recreation and Community for the City of Fresno. Other speakers include Stephanie Stephens, executive director of the California Park and Recreation Society and Sedrick Mitchell, deputy director of the California Department of Parks and Recreation.

Panelists represent a mix of local, regional and statewide organizations, companies and firms, including: California Parks and Recreation Society, Leadership Counsel for Justice and Accountability, County of Fresno Department of Public Health, Cultiva La Salud, California Department of Public Heath, California State Parks, North of the River Recreation and Park District, Trust for Public Land, Every Neighborhood Partnership, Clinica Sierra Vista, Fresno PARCS, Pros Consulting, WRT Design and QK Inc.

The Recreation Summit will showcase Fresno State’s Sustainable Park and Recreation Community Initiative, a partnership between the University and parks and recreation agencies in the Valley. Students and faculty will be on site to display projects during the Recreation Summit.

The Recreation Summit is the second part of a three-part series that was initiated with the Parks Summit in 2016 and a Recreation Facilities Summit planned for 2018.

For more information and to register for the 2017 San Joaquin Valley Recreation Summit, visit or contact Dr. Jill Lankford at 559.278.2838 or