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Building on a growing interest in people’s desire to be outdoors, Matt Dixon decided to take his career as a Park Ranger Supervisor to the next level by earning his Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) certification. “Over the past couple of years, we have seen the growth in interest in people getting outside, having a place to experience the outdoors, and being able to participate in recreational activities,” notes Matt. “COVID opened a lot of eyes to the importance of Parks and Recreation, and that is a very exciting thing for us because we are all passionate about being able to facilitate recreation for all.”
Harnessing that passion, Matt set about to earn the CPRP certification, which is nationally recognized as the gold standard for Recreation Services professionals. The coursework and test focus on four areas: programming, operations, human resources, and communications. “I learned a lot of interesting things about how to handle all aspects of my job. It was an interesting process, and I picked lots of ideas just from studying and taking the test,” says Matt, noting he’s already implemented some ideas and looks forward to the continuing education aspect of keeping his CPRP current.
The certification also puts Matt in elite company as less than 7,000 recreation professionals nationwide have achieved this accomplishment. Recreation Services Director Allison Dains says the CPRP puts him at the forefront of the industry. “This certification demonstrates Matt’s knowledge and understanding of essential concepts and innovation within the parks and recreation profession,” explains Allison. “I am extremely proud of Matt. It is a distinguished honor and achievement.”
Matt says professional development is key to keeping Buncombe County’s park offerings and resources cutting edge and in tune with the community. “I am very passionate about Parks and Recreation. I hope to use this certification to help make the County a better place to recreate,” explains Matt. “While recreation is a fun and exciting line of work, it is also extremely serious and important to the community.”
Congratulations on your certification. Buncombe County is proud to have you helping guide and innovate our Recreation Services department.