The Legends in Parks & Recreation Program creates and shares video interviews of distinguished administrators, educators, citizen advocates and policy makers who have made outstanding contributions to the field of Parks and Recreation. Designed to inspire innovation, promote professional development and foster leadership in the field, the Legends videos share personal backgrounds, professional insights, advice and philosophical beliefs. Each video is approximately 30 minutes in length and is available online and in DVD format.

Through one-on-one interviews, administrators, educators, citizen advocates and policymakers share stories about their contributions to the profession. The interview records the Legend's personal background, professional insights, advice and philosophical beliefs.

The Academy's Legends in Parks and Recreation Program was initiated by Robert Toalson in 1981. Through the years more than 100 interviews have been recorded including such notables as Dr. Edith Ball, Conrad Wirth, Robert Crawford, William Penn Mott, Patricia Delaney, Charles Jordan, Ford Hughes, Karla Henderson, Ira Hutchinson, Fran Mainella, Leon Younger, John McGovern and Robert Stanton. Early videos are 45 minutes in length. Newer videos are now approximately 30 minutes in length.  Legends videos are currently being moved to a new platform and will be available for viewing shortly. Additionally, using excerpts from the individual Legends interviews, themed videos have been created, and more are in the works.

CLICK HERE to read brief bios of the 2020 Legends.



Nomination due date June 8, 2022

It is time to honor those individuals who have made outstanding and noteworthy contributions to parks, recreation and conservation. Membership in the Academy is NOT required as a nominator or a nominee. Questions? Contact Legends Chair, Dan West.

To nominate an individual please consider the following criteria when completing the application:

  1. Experiences (professional and/or volunteer related to the Field of Parks and Recreation).
  2. Description of why this person is being nominated as a Legend (provide one or more of the following chief accomplishments):
    1. Major project(s) completed
    2. Instituted concept, idea, or support for
    3. Made advancements in outdoor recreation in their field
    4. Significant positive changes for the betterment of parks and recreation through their leadership
    5. Applied research to the field of parks and recreation
    6. Any other significant contributions


On-going Legend projects are to (1) post the individual interviews online; and (2) create a series of themed videos focused on specific topics.

Four more themed videos are in the works, and sponsors are being sought. For more information, please contact the Academy Office at info@aapra.org.