Urban Connections and the Role of State Parks (Recorded)

This previously recorded one-hour webinar examines the efforts of Michigan State Parks and Maryland Conservation Job Corps to program, manage, and integrate better the outdoor experience into urban residents’ lives.





The presenters describe the efforts of Michigan State Parks related to Belle Isle Park and the success of the Maryland Conservation Jobs Corps, a summer job program serving urban teens. These programs have become essential outreach programs for their respective agencies, particularly as the agencies work to incorporate outdoor experiences into urban residents’ lives.

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About the Presenter

Ron Olson is Chief of the Parks and Recreation Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Ron’s career in parks and recreation has spanned more than three decades, with significant contributions to agencies in Michigan, Maryland, and Indiana. During his tenure, Michigan’s state parks received the National Gold Medal Award for Excellence in State Park and Recreation Management from the National Recreation and Park Association, and in 2014, Ron was awarded the Distinguished Service Award by the National Association of State Park Directors.

Fred Banks is Program Director for the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. His recent work includes the development of Maryland’s first All-Sensory Trail, a collaborative project between the Maryland DNR and the National Park Service resulting in a trail designed for visitors with visual impairments.

Webcast Format

This webcast was conducted through online conferencing software and captured for future viewing. This webcast includes a digital recording of the presentation and a download of the presentation.

Course Completion

To be awarded an electronic certificate of completion for attending or viewing this webcast, you must successfully complete a brief assessment to demonstrate your understanding of key course concepts.

Be able to:

  • Explain the potential benefits of connection urban populations with resource-based state park programs.
  • Develop outcomes and objectives for urban connection programs.
  • Use examples from Michigan and Maryland State Park programs to explore possible programs for implementation in other urban areas.

Aired: 2 June 2016

Sponsored by

This professional development webinar series was brought to you by Indiana University’s Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands and the National Association of State Park Directors.


Good content, not great webinar audioReview by Addison
The purpose of the course was very useful for what I was looking for. However, the webinar audio was painful. I found it easier to mute the audio and read the PowerPoint. (Posted on 5/3/2020)
Good programReview by Laurie
I appreciate the opportunities that have been made to help both the at-risk youth and state parks concurrently. My only real criticism of this program would be that the first speaker's sound system made it incredibly difficult to understand his message. (Posted on 1/29/2019)

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