Gaining an understanding of the recreation and parks profession is crucial to success in the field and to effective leadership within the field. Recreation and Parks: The Profession is a one-of-a-kind resource that delineates the components that make this complex field a profession. Written by well-known recreation authority Betty van der Smissen, this book defines the marks of the recreation and parks profession and identifies the steps involved in becoming a professional in the field; profiles 62 professional organizations within the profession; provides a Web site that features a time line of the development of areas and organizations of the profession and the most up-to-date Web addresses for organizations detailed in the text; outlines a comparative history of 15 categories of the recreation and parks field in the United States and Canada; and presents a classic-to-contemporary bibliography of resources that showcases an inclusive body of knowledge on the profession. Part I describes recreation and parks as a profession and provides students with steps to lay a solid foundation to become a professional. Part II grounds readers with a comparative historical overview of the recreation and parks field from the 1500s to the present day. The author divides the field into 15 categories and offers suggestions on how to use the time line. Part III profiles 62 professional organizations. Each profile includes the organization's mission, goals, structure, history, publications, services, and professional credentialing information. In addition, it lists the organization's Web sites, contact information, and other vital information that students use in completing course work, in applying for internships, and in researching various aspects of the profession. Part IV contains a bibliography of selected resources on recreation and parks, from classic to the present. Recreation and Parks: The Profession includes a Web site that not only provides links to other current Web sites for the organizations profiled, but it also is linked to a color-coded version of the time line. The time line is ready to download, print, and use in the classroom or office. This version of the time line provides the most effective way to obtain an overall picture of the historical comparison of the categories in the recreation and parks profession. Recreation and Parks: The Profession is a unique resource for students, professors, and professionals in recreation and parks. The text brings together the important aspects of the field as a profession. Ancillaries Recreation and Parks: The Profession Web Site Recreation and Parks: The Profession also includes a Web site that not only contains current Web addresses for the organizations profiled, but it is also linked to a color-coded version of the time line, which is ready to download, print, and use in the classroom.