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Anne Marie Donnelly
Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate
Assistant Superintendent, Recreation & Community Services, San Francisco Recreation & Parks, San Francisco, CA
What drew you to the field of urban park management? What is the most gratifying aspect of your job?
My love of recreating, especially outdoors, has always been a draw for me in this field. Connecting people to programs and outdoor spaces that are safe and fun, and watching youth grow through interaction with each other and nature instills in me a source of great pride in my department and city.
Why did you choose the Essentials of Urban Park Management Certificate, offered by the Central Park Conservancy and the CUNY School of Professional Studies?
I am always interested in learning more about the many facets of the work we do as park managers and the added bonus of meeting others in the field was something I looked forward to.
What is the most significant impact you will have on your park as a result of applying what you have gained from this program?
Sharing the knowledge with colleagues and other staff will benefit all of us.
Tell us about your experience with completing the Certificate program as a fully online experience.
It was challenging to set aside time and be solely responsible for completing each module. But for me, having the flexibility to log on when it worked for my schedule each week was very convenient.
How did you balance participating in the Certificate program with the priorities of your career and personal life?
I often tried to set aside time in advance each week, similar to a meeting, to work on the program. I occasionally had to move the time to a Saturday, but because the modules were short, it didn't take up my whole day. Breaking it all up into digestible pieces made it more reasonable.
What was your favorite unit in the program? Why?
Each unit had something valuable to learn from. I loved the Making Checklists unit because it's so simple and very easily incorporated into our daily work. Also, the Engaging Communities unit was particularly helpful since an important part of our responsibility as park managers is the connection to our communities.
What advice would you offer someone who is considering applying for the Certificate?
It’s a great program and there is a lot of helpful content. Set aside time in advance to complete each weekly unit. Also, don't give up - when it's completed you'll feel accomplished!