Community Parks and Recreation

An Introduction
Community Parks & Recreation: An Introduction

Pre-order this book now!

Dimensions:7 x 10
Format: This is the PRINT format of this title Paperback
Author(s): Christopher R. Edginton
Samuel V. Lankford
Rodney B. Dieser
Christopher L. Kowalski

Print web price:

Pricing not currently available
Available Soon

Format(s) also available:



Call us for quantity discounts:
(800) 327-5557

Request Desk Copy

Email to a Friend



Over the past 150 years, communities have focused their attention on enhancing quality of life, health and wellness, and the greening of their environments through the provision of park and recreation services and amenities.

The greening and beautification of communities as well as tying recreation services to clean economic development provide a direct connection between the work public park and recreation departments and community development.

This text asks students to consider important questions, such as:

  • What are the most important elements of a livable community?
  • In what type of community they would like to live?
  • How important are building social connections amongst family, friends, neighbors, colleagues, and others?
  • How are such relationships developed and sustained?
  • What types of organizations are more likely to create such opportunities for building ones social capital?
  • What agencies in the community are concerned with addressing environmental degradation and on the flipside enhancing community beautification and greening?

All of these questions point toward the importance of public parks and recreation and its community development efforts.

Community Parks & Recreation: An Introduction is organized into three major parts.

Part I focuses on the History and Philosophical Foundations of Public Parks and Recreation. The major intent of this section is to provide an underpinning to assist the student in understanding the major dimensions of public parks and recreation and its impact socially, culturally, environmentally and economically.

Part II of the book focuses on Managerial and Administrative Aspects of Park and Recreation Systems. This section of the book provides practical strategies for administrative activities, planning, marketing, budgeting, engaging the public and land acquisition.

Part III of the book is focused on The Public Sector Service Provision in Parks and Recreation. This section of the book focuses on program and service delivery including chapters dealing with programming for community recreation, youth programming, programming for adults and seniors, programming special events and community-based therapeutic recreation.

The authors of this text all share a deep interest in community, parks, and/or recreation services.

At various times in their careers, they have have served as playground leaders, recreation specialists, youth leaders, community therapeutic recreation specialists, recreation center directors, recreation supervisors and/or directors of parks and recreation.

The authors hold a strong commitment to community parks and recreation that is clearly reflected in this new text.

Table of Contents: 

Part I: History and Philosophical Foundations of Public Parks and Recreation
Chapter 1: Introduction to Community Parks and Recreation
Chapter 2: History of Public Parks and Recreation
Chapter 3: Serving Diverse Communities and Populations
Chapter 4: Benefits and Impacts of Parks and Recreation

Part II: Managerial and Administrative Perspectives of Public Parks and Recreation Systems
Chapter 5: Organizational and Administrative Practices
Chapter 6: Planning for Parks and Recreation
Chapter 7: Social Marketing
Chapter 8: Budgeting and Financial Management for Parks and Recreation
Chapter 9: Boards and Commissions
Chapter 10: Engaging the Community
Chapter 11: Acquisition of Parks and Open Space

Part III: Public Sector Service Provision in Parks and Recreation
Chapter 12: Programming
Chapter 13: Services for Children and Youth
Chapter 14: Services for Adults and Seniors
Chapter 15: Event Management
Chapter 16: Community-Based Therapeutic Recreation/Inclusive Recreation

About the Author(s)

Christopher R. Edginton

Dr. Christopher R. Edginton served as Director of the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Services at the University of Northern Iowa from 1991-2010. He currently serves as a full professor in the Division of Leisure, Youth and Human Services.

Also, he currently serves as Secretary General of the World Leisure Organization, a non-governmental agency operating in consultative status with The United Nations.

He has held direct leadership, supervisory and administrative positions in the park and recreation field and has been identified as a leading proponent of the application of contemporary management concepts in the park and recreation field.

Author of over 240 articles and 31 text books, he has received many prestigious honors and awards. He is the founder of Camp Adventure Youth Services, a nationally award-winning service learning program. Dr. Edginton's research interests have focused on organizational goals, organizational culture, work motivation and youth development.

Samuel V. Lankford

Samuel V. Lankford is professor and chair, Department of Recreation Administration at Fresno State.

Formerly he served as professor, graduate coordinator, and doctoral intensive study area coordinator, and director of the Sustainable Tourism and the Environment Program at the University of Northern Iowa.

He also taught at the University of Hawaii in the School of Travel Industry Management, and was the Coordinator of the Recreation and Leisure Science degree program from 1990-2001.

He has conducted training workshops in the U.S., Canada, The Netherlands, Japan, and Vietnam.

He has a PhD with a focus in community tourism and recreation planning and development, and a master of Urban and Regional Planning degree from the University of Oregon.

He holds a master of arts in recreation and park planning and a BA in geography/community and regional planning from CSU-Chico.

Dr. Lankford has been a practicing planner in both staff and consulting roles in California, Oregon, Washington, Iowa, Hawaii, and Canada.

He has conducted park and recreation masterplanning projects, needs assessments, community impact studies, carrying capacity studies, and market research in those states and other countries.

He specializes in tourism, park and recreation development.

Rodney B. Dieser

Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D., currently is an Associate Professor in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services (HPELS) (College of Education) at the University of Northern Iowa. Rod currently serves as the program coordinator for the Master's Degree in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development and teaches the doctoral level qualitative research class within the College of Education.

Rod holds a Bachelor's and Master's of Science degree from the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, with a graduate level minor in educational psychology (adolescent-based counseling). He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Alberta (Canada). His research and teaching interests include: (1) cross-cultural therapeutic recreation and leisure practice, (2) therapeutic recreation as an adjunctive therapy for people with mental illness and people with disabilities, (3) historical and philosophical foundations of leisure, youth, and non-profit human services, including Hull-House from 1889-1953, (4) representations of health in popular culture, and (5) hegemonic masculinity and youth development in leisure, sport, and physical activities.

Rod has co-authored two academic textbooks in Leisure Studies (both over 500 pages), has written over 60 academic articles, and has made countless national and international research and professional presentations in both Canada and the United States. Although the bulks of Rod's academic writings are in the areas of leisure studies and therapeutic recreation (e.g., American Journal of Recreation Therapy , Annuals of Therapeutic Recreation , Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure Science, Leisure Studies, Leisure/Loisir, Therapeutic Recreation Journal ) his research has appeared in other academic fields, including: Counseling Psychology ( Transactional Analysis Journal ), Education ( Alberta Journal of Education Research, Journal of College Student Development ), Human Services (e.g., Human Service Educator, Journal of Progressive Human Services ), and Physical Education (Journal of the International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance ).

Rod has served as an associated editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and as an editor for the academic newsletter the SPRE Professor and was awarded a Presidential Citation by the Society of Parks and Recreation Educators for his work as the SPRE Professor editor. In 2006 he received the Outstanding Professional Research Award by the National Therapeutic Recreation Society in the United States. He has also received outstanding research and writing awards by the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association and the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association respectfully. Born and raised in Alberta, Canada, over the years Rod volunteers as a consultant for the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association. Rod has year of experience working in the non-profit area of health, recreation, and social services and for the past five years has has worked in administration in the area of nonprofit religious services.

Christopher L. Kowalski

Dr. Christopher Kowalski has been with the LYHS Division at University of Northern Iowa since 2000. Along with teaching classes in the area of youth development, his other duties include advising the students in the programming and youth services emphasis areas, as well as serving as administrator with Camp Adventure Youth Services. Outside the university, he is active in the youth sports arena, serving as a head coach for the Northern University High School boys soccer team. He is a founding member of Just For Kicks, a research and service collaboration specializing in research and publication in youth athletics.