Introduction to the Special Issue: Human Resource Management in Parks and Recreation


  • Michael Mulvaney Eastern Illinois University
  • Amy Hurd Illinois State University


Arguably the most critical asset for park and recreation agencies is human resources. Generally representing more than 60% of park and recreation agencies' yearly operating budget, human resources put the material resources (i.e., financial and physical) into use and convert them into recreation programs and services (Bartlett & McKinney, 2004). Park and recreation professionals guide and shape their agencies and communities in many ways, including the creation and implementation of new ideas and strategies; innovative programs, parks, and facilities; internal and external relations; decision-making and problem solving; and overall leadership. Simply put, human resources are the primary drivers of the success and, at times, challenges for park and recreation agencies.