Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute 


2019 Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute 

February 3 - 6, 2019

Institute News

2019 Opening Keynote Speaker

Phil Gaines, Professor of Practice in the Parks Recreation and Tourism Management Department at Clemson University and retired South Carolina State Park Director.

Phil is a native of Greenville, South Carolina and a graduate of Clemson University. Phil completed a 37-year career in State Parks in 2018. He began his park career as an entry level Park Ranger at Kings Mountain State Park, and served as Park Superintendent at three different state parks. Phil served as Director of South Carolina State Parks for 13 years. Phil has served on the Board of Directors for the National Association of State Park Directors, and the National Association of State Outdoor Recreation Liaison Officers. He has severed as Past Chairman of the Board of Regents for the America’s State Park Leadership School in Wheeling West Virginia where he still is an instructor. Phil has served on the External Advisory Board for the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemson University and the Board of the Institute for Parks at Clemson University. Phil has received the Distinguished Service Award for national leadership for America’s State Parks from the National Association of State Park Directors and the Walter Cox Award for Public Service and Leadership in Natural Resources, from Clemson University.


The Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute accepts donations to help support a variety of programs and activities for the Annual Institute. All donations are tax deductible as the Southwest Parks and Recreation Training Institute is a non-profit 501-C3 organization. Donate Today!

Dwain Miller Memorial Donations

Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute has lost a great friend, Mr. Dwain Miller.  Dwain was not only a great friend of the Institute, but a founding member, past president, and great leader at a time when leadership was needed.  Following the immediate passing of Dr. Bill Kitchen, Dwain stepped up to lead the Institute until the reins could be handed over to the current president.  Dwain was a graduate of Texas Tech University, where his foundation for park and recreation and the need for additional green space was forever ingrained in his mind, heart, and soul.  Dwain spent his career identifying green space, developing parks, and sharing his passion through teaching others how to do the same.  

A Funeral Service in memory of Dwain will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at 2:00 p.m., at the First Presbyterian Church in Ft. Collins, CO.  Those who desire may make memorial donations in memory of Dwain to the Southwest Park and Recreation Training Institute. 

The Institute wishes to thank Mrs. Miller and his family for this generous consideration.   Thoughts and prayers to the family.

Visit our Donations page and select Dwain Miller Memorial  from the drop down to make a donation in memory of Dwain.

Register Today

"Thank you for all your work. Once again the Institute was a highlight! "

Lowell Caneday, Ph.D.

"What an honor to be selected as a speaker for the 63rd Annual Southwest Parks and Recreation Training Institute.  This great group of professionals came together from all agency levels and divisions across the country for continuing education.  The institute offers a unique opportunity for Parks and Recreation Professionals to gain national insight from real-time projects and programs."

– Kevin Eatherly, 2018 Speaker

“Again, thank you for not only the blessing of tuition assistance, networking, and insightful professional development learning, but also for the warm reception and welcome that I enjoyed from all your friendly and hospitable members and speakers. If I am in Africa this time next year, I will surely be missing and wishing for the opportunity to be with y'all again.” 

- Karl Noren, 2018 Scholarship Recipient

"All of my staff that attended said it was a great experience so you and the Board are to be congratulated. We plan to try and have more at the 64th and I think OKC will be sending at least one person to your new Maintenance school over in Colorado."

- Douglas Kupper, OKC

Thank You to Our 2019

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Contact Us

Sally Rodriguez, Executive Director
9660 Audelia Road, Ste. 123-74
Dallas, TX  75238
Phone: 214-538-3344

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