Member Biography

Steve Wolter CPRP, CPP-I

With 40 years of experience in the park, recreation and public land management profession across the nation and world, Steve Wolter, CPRP, CPP-I currently serves as the Executive Director of the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands at Indiana University.  In his experience Steve has served as a manager and executive in local government agencies, and closely collaborated with federal, state, local, non-profit and for profit organizations in his extended career.
In leading the award winning Eppley Institute and its programs; including the National Center on Accessibility, ProValensLearning, Great Lakes Park Training Institute, World Parks Academy, Playground Maintenance Technicians Training,  LEAP LMS, and Eppley’s research, consulting and planning services; Steve’s focus has been on the advancement of the profession and the communities that they serve. This micro-macro focus is unique in the profession, and Steve clearly appreciates the impact of the programs that he leads.  Since his start as Executive Director of Eppley in 2001, Steve has helped to develop Indiana University’s and the Eppley Institute’s capacity to serve agencies, professionals and communities in parks, recreation, and public lands management through: 
  • Publication of over 300 online courses and webinars,
  • Development and delivery of dozens of professional certificate programs,
  • Development of over 50 agency comprehensive park and recreation plans,
  • Facilitation of literally 1,000’s of public engagement and participation meetings, 
  • Delivery of professional development training to 10,000’s of learners annually.
As an Assistant Professor (p/t) with Indiana University’s Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies, Steve has taught over 100’s of graduate  and undergraduate students in park management courses.  His publications include manuscripts in refereed journals, professional periodicals, online coourses, technical reports, and policy briefings, with countless presentations at national, regional, and state conferences. 

Mr. Wolter’s leadership development expertise is recognized nationwide as has guided a leadership development program for the National Park Service for over 15 years where over 85%  of the graduates have risen to leadership roles in the agency.  Steve’s experience includes work with the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, American Battle Monuments Commission, state parks, and local parks of all sizes across the United States.  His international impact includes developing a global competency framework for park, recreation, and public land managers, and extensive training via the World Parks Academy for many different national and international organizations.  Finally, Steve has presented around the world in Australia, the People’s Republic of China, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Denmark, Portugal, France, South Africa, and by virtually in countless other nations. . [updated 10/20]