Event designed to promote healthy outdoor activities
WICHITA — On Oct. 19-20, the Kansas Recreation and Park Association (KRPA) will conduct a two-day event entitled the 2010 Built Environment and Outdoor Summit. The event will take place at the Wichita Marriott, 9100 Corporate Hills Dr. in Wichita.

According to event organizers, "The design of a community — where people live, work, learn and play — heavily influences their well-being. The built environment — its biking and walking spaces, access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and safety — all affect an individual’s ability to be active and eat healthy." Participants will learn to identify resources that promote these ideals and how to affect environmental policy within a community.

Keynote speakers will be Fran Mainella and Dan Burden. Mainella is currently a visiting scholar at Clemson University and was the 16th director of the National Park Service. She is a member of the board of directors for the Children and Nature Network and is co-chair of the U.S. Play Coalition. Mainella’s session, "The Value of Play and Reconnecting to the Outdoors," will address the crisis and consequences — obesity and emotional and mental disorders — of play deprivation. Mainella will focus on author Richard Louv’s "nature deficit disorder" and the important role parks and recreation play in solving this growing problem.

Burden is co-founder and executive director of the Walkable and Livable Communities Institute in Port Townsend, Wash. Burden will discuss building healthy, sustainable, livable and walkable communities — with a focus on active transportation, smart growth, and green streets — to create thriving communities, with a focus on how transportation policy and land-use initiatives create healthy and safe environments that promote physical activity.

The public is invited, but event organizers encourage the attendance of architects, city administrators, construction and project managers, developers, engineers, environmental professionals, health and nutrition professionals, landscape architects, park and recreation professionals, planners, public works and utilities directors, surveyors, and trail advocates and planners.

Register online here. For more information, visit www.krpa.org or phone Doug Vance at 785-235-6533, ext. 21, or Bonnie Simon at 785-235-6533, ext. 20.

The 2010 Built Environment and Outdoor Summit is sponsored by Kansans for Children in Nature, the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, the Kansas Department of Transportation, the Kansas Department on Aging, the Kansas Health Foundation, the Kansas Recreation and Park Association, Kansas State University, the Kansas Trails Council, the Kansas Department of Wildlife and Parks, KC Healthy Kids, Parks and Recreation of Topeka, and the Wichita Park and Recreation Department.