- Within the overall leisure-service system, local public recreation
and park departments are usually designed the role of providing
leisure facilities and programs to meet community needs.

- Such agencies, sponsored by township, county, municipal, or
other forms of local government, must normally function within a
framework of state legislation.

- As recreation became a more widely recognized form of
government responsibility, the following types of legislation were

Special Recreation and Park Laws
• These laws are passed by state legislatures and empowered cities or towns
to sponsor recreation and park facilities and programs.

• They usually dealt with specific types of facilities such as auditoriums,
community buildings, stadiums, swimming pools, or golf courses, and
provided legal authorization for taxing, floating bonds or other wise
funding such ventures.

Regulatory Laws
• These laws seek to control, license, censor, or supervise recreation
programs to protect the public health, safety, and general well being.

• They usually apply not only to governmental agencies but also to voluntary,
commercial, private, educational and other organizations.
Enabling Laws
• A state legislation affecting recreation and parks and empowers local
branches of government to acquire, develop, and maintain recreation and
park areas and facilities and to operate programs under leadership.

• It usually specifies the types of local governmental units that may operate
such programs and their specific permissible functions, including fiscal
practices, co-sponsorship activities, and other operational processes.

• Usually permissive rather than mandatory, it permits local communities
to establish recreation and park programs, but does not compel them to
do so. In some cases, it may be found as part of the state education code
in which local school districts are authorized to sponsor community
education and recreation programs.

Special District Laws
• Permits two or more municipalities or other political subdivisions to
establish joint park or recreation programs (passed from special enabling

• Normally done by setting up independent districts that function in this
area of government alone- may include provisions giving special districts
the right to impose taxes on residents within their borders and the power
to acquire, develop, and maintain recreation areas and facilities, sponsor
programs and employ personnel.

Home Rule Legislation
• Many states encourage a high level of local self-determination by
permitting municipalities and countries to develop their own charters for
home rule.

• If provision for recreation and parks is not made in the original charter, it
may be added in the form of an amendment that provides general
authority for this function, to be followed by more specific ordinances
outlining the responsibilities and powers of government in this area.

Varying Sponsorship Arrangements

• Recreation and park agencies sponsored by local govt. have several
different kinds of sponsorship arrangements.
These include:

1. Separate recreation departments operating under their own
boards or commissions or reporting directly to mayors/city
2. Separate park departments similarly structured
3. School-sponsored programs, often linked to adult education
4. Combined recreation and park departments
5. Other municipal or county agencies. Eg. Youth boards,
housing authorities, welfare dept., or police which may
operate or assist leisure-service programs.

• A growing trend in local recreation and park operations has been for two
or more units of local govt. to join forces in carrying out specific service
functions (intercommunity partnerships)

Commercial Recreation Businesses

• For profit recreation enterprises fall into three categories of ownership
and management control:

1. Sole proprietorship – which one individual owns the business
fully and is in total charge of its operation
2. Partnerships – which two or more persons own and operate a
business with shared financial responsibilities and
management functions
3. Corporations – which are legal entities with all the rights and
powers of individuals

• However, of the three of ownership, sole proprietorship is the most
common form of business sponsorship. Although this arrangement may
give the flexibility in decision making power over the operation, it lacks
certain advantages of partnerships.


Nonprofit Youth Serving or Recreation Organizations

• Voluntary nonprofit leisure-service organizations are usually established
on a legal basis to gain charitable tax-exempt status to carry out their
programs with a degree of public recreation and stability

• Examples – YMCA, YWCA, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts

Employee Recreation Units

• Recreation programs are often established as a secondary function within
the on-going operation of a larger institution/organization.

• For example, employee recreational programs within a larger corporation
functioning as a service unit and linking to other employee social-service
or benefit function. Eg. Fitness programs have become importantly
emphasized in employee-service units and these might be linked
administratively to health-service or medical functions.

• In some cases, recreation may be established in a separate employee
associations, attached to the company and using its facilities but
operating under its own financing and leadership.

- Several different types of recreation, park and leisure-service

1. Public Agency
2. National Non-profit Organization
3. Armed Forces Recreation
4. Commercial Recreation

- From these types of organizations, we will focus more on
Commercial Recreation (For-profit recreation businesses) since
the commercial recreation are commonly practiced in most of the

(Given example : Disney World)
- As a leading for-profit recreation businesses, Disney World has a
structure which include internal functional divisions and external
subsidiary companies.

- The following operational units which pointed out in Disney World and
most commercial recreations include:

1. Finance
2. Food
3. General services
4. Administration
5. Employee relations
6. Entertainment
7. Facilities
8. Operations
9. Marketing
10. Merchandising
11. Hotels


- With the overall organizational structure; many park, recreation and
leisure organizations develop a system of separate units or work teams
designed to carry out specific functions with a degree of independence
and the ability to draw together different resources of the organization.

- Besides, many organizations formulate specific mission statements
that summarize their own values and purposes.

- Some examples are:

Public Park and Recreation Dept.

 Providing safe, well maintained and attractive parks, open space and
community center facilities
 Offering wide range of leisure opportunities for all age groups that
enhance the physical, intellectual, social and cultural growth
 Ensuring reasonable access to all programs and facilities by bridging
physical and economic gaps
 Preserving and protecting the natural resources including urban forest,
public open spaces, pedestrian and bicycle trails, landscaped medians
and islands


Therapeutic Recreation Service

 To provide programs in recreation and leisure, vocational rehabilitation
and supported employment, adult development, children services and
care services
 To promote the development of the recreation and social skills
appropriate and necessary for successful participation in community life
 To promote the development of vocational training skills needed for
successful community based employment
 To create and provide programs designed to give people with disabilities
the opportunity to live and work safely in the least restrictive
 To educate the community by serving as advocates for the rights of
persons with disabilities, and training professionals in methods to meet
the community’s changing needs.


- Mission statements usually serve as the basis for more specific and policy-
oriented goals that managers formulate or developed as part of planning.

- Goals generally represent the organization’s effort to translate its mission into
concrete accomplishments during a given period of time ahead.

- Two categories of goals:

1. Operational – effort to make effective decisions, use its resources efficiently,
adapt to changing circumstances, gain community support, recruit, supervise
productive staff members or develop partnerships.
2. Outcome-directed – seeks to accomplish through its programming efforts.
Might involve improving health and fitness of its participants, reducing juvenile
delinquency, strengthening neighborhood, family unity, or improving racial

There are seven (7) important steps in program development which are:

o Establish mission

o Assess needs, interests and resources

o Identify program goals and objectives

o Select appropriate activities, services and events

o Develop detailed program plan

o Implementation

o Program evaluation

Some popular categories of activities and services in park, recreation
And leisure that they offer are:

1. Sports, Games and Fitness Programs
2. Outdoor Recreation Activities
3. Aquatic Recreation
4. Arts, Crafts, and Related Hobby Activities
5. Music, Drama and Dance
6. Special Events
7. Social Recreation Activities
8. Cognitive Forms of Play
9. Life-Adjustment and Personal Skills
10. Social Service Functions

In the past, park, recreation and leisure-service educators and authors have
identified a number of popular approaches or models, which suggest the
different ways in which programs are developed as the following:

1. The traditional approach – relies on familiar and popular recreational
activities that have been used widely in the past.

1. The current-practices approach – emphasizes on program elements that are
influenced by present-day trends and fads.

1. The expressed desires approach – reflects the wishes or requests of
residents/organization members.

1. The authoritarian approach – managers/planners rely chiefly on their own
judgment and interests.

1. The cafeteria approach – offers participants an extensive menu of varied
activities from which to choose.

1. The prescriptive approach – employs recreation as a tool for personal
intervention or social change.

1. The sociopolitical approach – responds directly to changing social conditions
and the influence of pressure groups.
Some major categories of recreation and park facilities:

▫ Designed primarily for children and youth, in range size from tiny
“tot-lots” to larger play areas that are often attached to schools or
indoor recreation centers.
▫ Their equipment may be limited to such familiar items as slides,
swings, sandboxes, and jungle gyms, structures based on themes of
children’s play, or areas and materials used for creative play or

▫ These may include small neighborhood parks, and larger areas or
nature reserves which sometimes amounting to hundreds of acres.
▫ Larger parks typically offer sports facilities, band shells, riding trails,
skating rinks, and other specialized facilities for play.
Recreation centers
▫ Traditionally these have been buildings with both indoor and
outdoor facilities for a variety of sports, social, creative and other
group activities.
▫ These centers may include facilities or areas for youth centers, senior
centers or human-service programs, sometimes shared with other
community agencies.

Sports facilities
▫ These include fields, courts or other outdoor areas for popular team
and dual or individual sports, such as baseball, softball, soccer,
tennis and golf.
▫ Often the facilities attached to recreation centers, or in some cases
they may be freestanding in parks, as sport complexes serving several
seasonal activities or indoor centers which often contain spaces for
basketball, volleyball, floor hockey or martial arts.
Art centers
▫ A growing number of cities have art centers that house studios for
classes in various creative activities.
▫ The centers also can be as exhibition galleries and in some cases
there are meeting rooms for lectures, auditorium that house music,
theater and dance groups.

Civic arena and auditoriums
▫ Many cities today sponsor civic auditoriums or exhibition halls, with
rooms of various sizes that are useful for music, dance or theatrical
performances, or for community meetings.
▫ These facilities are built through a combination of public and private
funding and management, and house entertainment events, hobby
shows, trade shows, conferences, and garden and home shows.
Facilities serving people with disabilities
▫ Many communities today operate facilities serving individuals with
physical or mental disabilities. In some cases, these facilities constitute
special sections of other facilities used by non-disabled persons to
facilitate integrated participation in selected program activities.
▫ All new recreation facilities or structures being renovated must be
designed in accordance with architectural standards, ensuring access to
persons with disabilities.

Other facilities
▫ Other recreation areas today may include marinas or boat launching
ramps, stadiums, zoos and botanical gardens, various types of museums,
historic mansions, skating rinks and ski centers, environmental
education centers and other more specialized facilities.
▫ Many public agencies own and operate camping sites of various types,
ranging from close-by locations for day-camp operations to wilderness
camps at a distance.

Some other aspects that organizations will consider are:

1. Safety and security
2. Customers (Marketing)
3. Finance and budget
4. Staff (Human Resources)
5. Resources (Site and Experience)
6. Partnerships
7. Problems and solutions

General Planning Principles
 The system should be established to meet varied community needs
and provide equal recreational opportunity to all.

 Planning should reflect the needs and wishes of all citizens and
should involve them in systematic assessment processes.

 Facility should be centrally located within the area that intended to
serve and provide safe and convenient for all residents.
 Facility should be designed individually to ensure that it is adapted
to the specific needs of the area it will serve (functional efficiency,
economy, safety).

 Planning must take into account the capability to operate the facility
under consideration for a fuller discussion of fees and charges as a
key factor.

 Communities should have a long range plan for site acquisition with
a regularly updated plan to ensure that properties are acquired
while still available.

 There should be a comprehensive plan for effective maintenance of
all properties

 Plans for acquiring and developing new facilities must be reviewed
(long term budgetary and staffing factors).

 Intergovernmental planning with other public agencies is a must (
cooperative projects with govt. and private – acquisition,
construction and operation of facilities)

 Facilities should be designed and developed to permit the fullest
possible use by different groups, it is not only consider the physical
sites and structures, but also program operations.

Design Criteria
A few questions should be asked for designing:

• Does the facility’s design serve the agency’s key goals and objectives, and
meet the public needs and interests?
• Will the facility be one that can be efficiently managed, with convenient
access and egress by staff members, handle different types of activities and
not requiring excessive maintenance?
• Are the projected costs of construction and ongoing operation available
within the budget, and realistic enough to be demonstrated?
• Are there any design options at a lesser costs if the construction turn out to
be excessive?
• Has the impact of the planned design been carefully reviewed by experts in
this field, and approved by stakeholders?
• Have all safety hazards of the facility been analyzed and eliminated in the
planning and design stage?

(Example of Safety design features : refer page 135, Kraus and Curtis)
Specific Areas of Safety Concerns
Several specific areas of recreation participation: (pg. 283, Kraus & Curtin)

• Children’s Playgrounds (guidelines for playground safety – pg 285)

• Youth Sports
Health and fitness club

• Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Activities
Environmental and weather risks
Transportation guidelines

• Aquatic Safety
Lifeguard selection and training
Other aquatic element

• Theme Parks
Several ways how management can influence the improvement of
health and safety procedures in parks and recreational:

 staff training
 implementing legislation
 regular inspections
 budgeting for health and safety
 seeking advise on health and safety
 having system in place
 customer with special needs
 essential maintenance
 visitor and traffic management
Gigerenzer (2002) addressing these critical issues offers a more user-
friendly approach:

1. Ignorance of risk – where a person is not aware of the risks
2. Miscommunication of risk – where a person knows the risks but cannot
communicate them in an understandable way
3. Clouded thinking – where a person knows the risks but not how to draw
conclusions from them.

There are a range of types of risk addressed by Dowd (1994):

1. Business risks – e.g. those specific to the recreation and leisure sectors.
2. Market risks – e.g. movements in share prices
3. Credit risks – e.g. money owed may not arrive
4. Liquidity risks – e.g. assets potentially sold at a loss
5. Operational risks – e.g. failure of internal systems
6. Legal risks – e.g. third party contracts that may not be enforceable.
• Risk Management Model – An approach to managing risk

1. Risk awareness
2. Risk analysis
3. Risk evaluation
4. Total Risk management

• Potential responses – strategic risk framework

 Retain
 Transfer
 Minimize
 Control

1. Reporting and Record Keeping
2. Facilities Inspection and Hazard Abatement
3. Participant Safety Briefing and Preparation
4. Staff Training, Goal Setting, and Supervision
5. Emergency Procedures and Follow up
6. Insurance, Waivers and Legal Responsibilities


 Knowledge of the law has become an important job-related
requirement for recreation/leisure managers.
 Liability is one of the most important issues affecting
recreation/leisure service managers.
 This term is commonly used to describe the situation in which an
individual or organization is subject to lawsuit because of failure to
carry out certain responsibilities as defined by law or within a
contractual agreement.
 The principle holds that any person who fails to live up to his/her
responsibilities through negligence or intent must provide
compensation to the other party or legal entity.

 Types of liability :
1. Tort Liability
2. Contractual Liability
 Concept of negligence

- Negligence : the key element that must be proved satisfactorily
before an individual or organization can be held legally responsible
for unintentional torts that have resulted in injury to others.
- Beyond this rather general concept, several more specific elements
must be proved before a claim for injury or other loss based on
negligence can be won. These include :

1. Duty
2. Breach
3. Proximate cause
4. Damages

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful