The Legends of Parks and Recreation

Supporting Sponsor

The Academy's Legends Program is the ONLY visual history of individuals involved in parks, recreation, and conservation efforts in the United States.  Through one-on-one interviews, professionals, educators, citizens, and policy makers share stories about their contributions to the profession. The interview records the Legend's personal background, professional insights, advice and philosophical beliefs.

Interviews are available online for viewing at no charge, as they are posted [indicated with a “v” in the listing below]. Early videos are 45 minutes in length and are available to purchase in DVD format ($10 each with a $5 shipping and handling fee). Videos are now 15-20 minutes in length. 

Click here to read brief bios of the 2020 Legends.

2021 nominations will open February 2021. Membership in the Academy is NOT required as a nominator or a nominee. To nominate an individual please consider the following criteria:

  1. Name of proposed Legend along with any credentials
  2. Place(s) of work or involvement with corresponding positions, elected office, or volunteer leadership, listing most current first
  3. Summary of why this person is being nominated as a Legend (provide one or more of the following):
    1. Major project(s) completed
    2. Concept, idea, support instituted 
    3. Applied research to the field of parks and recreation
    4. Any other significant contributions, and
  4. Closing recommendation

On-going Legend projects are to (1) post the remainder of the original interviews online; and (2) create a series of themed videos focused on specific topics. The following videos have been completed and are available at no charge by clicking on the title either for viewing online or to download:

Current themed videos: 
Four more themed videos are in the works, and sponsors are being sought. For more information, please contact the Academy Office at



Donald Jolley
Fran Mainella, Chris Jarvi & Bill Walters on the National Park Service
Charles Hartsoe, Robert Toalson & Douglas Sessoms on the merger of organizations to form the NRPA