Playing the Long Game: Roadmaps for Parks & Rec Planning at #MACoCon

Ensuring the future of parks and recreational spaces in communities takes a long and thoughtful process by county teams. 

When someone wants to get away from the city for a long walk in the woods, or prefers to walk a block to enjoy a community basketball game on the local courts, planning teams were likely a part of that journey years before. Creating spaces for specialized community activities and experiences is an important part of making sure residents have not only the things they need, but plenty of the things they want. The 2023 MACo Summer Conference brings together a group of experts in this field to share the secrets to success in planning and programming for parks and recreation.

Title: Playing the Long Game: Roadmaps for Parks & Rec Planning

Description: Parks provide a foundational jumping-off point for communities. It’s where neighbors convene, children play, and adults can rest and recuperate in the open air or enjoy group activities. An effective strategic plan is the engine that brings these spaces to life. This roadmap for the future can provide direction and guidance for parks and recreation agencies as they work to meet the needs of their community. In this session, experts will explore best practices for developing and implementing a successful plan. The discussion will include tactics for engaging with the community, identifying priorities, helpful case studies, and a comprehensive look at the challenges and opportunities that may arise in the planning process.


  • Shannon Q. Nazzal – Director of Parks and Recreation, Calvert County
  • Margaret Lashar – Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Planning, Maryland Department of Natural Resources
  • Sonja Ewing –  Planning Supervisor, Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Prince George’s County
  • Kristen Robb-McGrath – Director of Health and Health Policy, Maryland Department of Disabilities

Moderator: The Honorable Senator Johnny Ray Salling

The 2023 MACo Summer Conference will be held at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, MD from August 16-19. This year’s theme is “Where The Rubber Meets the Road.” More information can be found on our conference website.

Learn more about MACo’s Summer Conference:

Questions? Contact Virginia White