Professional Member Benefits

Join Now - Professional     Join Now - Professional Non Metro

Why join IPRA?

IPRA exists to advance the professional careers of its members. One of the greatest ways you can advance is by becoming more educated about, and involved within, your profession. IPRA provides a variety of opportunities to help you along your career path.


We offer educational workshops and webinars for the development and improvement of the knowledge and leadership skills of professionals in the field of parks, recreation and conservation.

The Annual IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights Conference features more than 150 educational sessions, an exhibit hall where more than 300 exhibitors showcase their latest and greatest products and services, and a variety of networking opportunities. Each year nearly 4,000 of Illinois’ park and recreation professionals, elected and appointed officials/commissioners, and students make this conference the event to attend to learn and share new ideas from industry experts


IPRA has opportunities like no other professional association. You can get involved with IPRA through sections, committees and affiliates. Park and recreation professionals continually turn to IPRA to assist in growing their networks. Find mentors, like-minded professionals to bounce ideas off of, future employers, friends and fun!

Get tools you can use! Utilize our online communities, IPRAConnect, where members can pose questions, share resources and collaborate with each other across the state.

Join the fun! Experience the legendary Park Pursuit – where teams engage in a day-long race where team building, healthy competition, and recreation take center stage.


Getting recognized for the hard work you do is something that goes beyond just getting a plaque or award. Winning an individual or agency award is a testament to the dedication and long hours put in to make your community a better place to live and play! The Awards and Recognition Programs are a wonderful way to recognize leaders in the field and outstanding projects accomplished over the past year.

Be a mentor! Join ProConnect  - a unique and multi-tiered mentoring experience that includes early career, mid-level career and seasoned/retired professionals. Participants are encouraged to apply from all domains within the parks and recreation field.   

Designed with your needs in mind, the Unplug Illinois Transformation Kit is equipped to provide you with the resources, templates, tools and inspiration needed to communicate the value of parks and recreation through education and storytelling. Plug in to the Unplug Community Campaign to discover how to recruit advocates for parks and recreation and how to customize your messages based on what you do best.

Your membership experience includes…
  • Access to network of 2,500 members and growing 
  • Access to IPRA’s online Membership Directory and IPRAConnect online communities
  • Discount on registration to IAPD/IPRA Soaring to New Heights conference 
  • Discounts on professional development & event registration, including: CPRP Prep Training Classes, Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) Course and Professional Development School 
  • Discounts on online job postings
  • Leadership and volunteer opportunities with IPRA sections, committees, and/or Board of Directors
  • Membership in targeted Special Interest Groups (Sections)
  • Opportunity to apply to our award-winning mentoring program, ProConnect
  • Recognition for outstanding achievements at the individual and agency level through our Awards and Recognition program
  • Subscription to IL Parks & Recreation magazine and IPRA Today eNewsletter
  • Scholarships offered by the Illinois Park & Recreation Foundation for both students and professionals
  • Voting rights on IPRA leadership

Network and learn from fellow professionals in your chosen IPRA section(s)

  • Administrative & Finance 
  • Communications & Marketing 
  • Diversity
  • Facility Management
  • Forest Preserve & Conservation
  • Park & Natural Resource Management Recreation
  • Therapeutic Recreation

Join Now - Professional     Join Now - Professional Non Metro

Memberships are valid through December 31, 2022

I love all of the opportunities IPRA provides to its members to grow as professionals.  The involvement choices are varied and reach out to many different interests, skill levels, and time commitments.  IPRA Membership Survey 2018

          Volunteer with IPRA!  Leadership Opportunities Are Available in Your Association!