Stephen A Wolter

Executive Director
Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands

Assistant Professor (part-time)
Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies

sawolter@indiana.edu
(812) 855-3095
Indiana University Research Park

Education
  • Indiana University, M.S., 1980
  • University of Minnesota, B.S., 1979
Courses
  • R520 Fundraising and Management for Park and Recreation Agencies
  • R540/R440 Policy Studies in Parks & Public Lands
  • R530/R468 Planning and Site Design for Parks, Recreation and Tourism Agencies
Background
  • City park and recreation executive from 1980 to 1996 including Park & Recreation Administrator, City of Bloomington, IN; Recreation and Parks Director, City of Morro Bay, CA 1982-1993; Facility Manager, City of Santa Maria, CA 1980-1982
    
  • Campus recreational sports management positions at the University of Minnesota and Indiana University
    
  • Heavily involved in national and state park and recreation professional associations in Indiana, California and nationally including district officers, consultant, committee chair and committee member from 1980 to current
    
  • Major grant awards from National Park Service, state park agencies, state transportation departments, local government agencies and not-for-profit organizations totalling approximately $11 million
    
  • Served as School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Executive Director of Development and Communications from 2002 to 2006 completing strategic philanthropy plan, strategic communications, marketing and image plan and numerous initiatives to reposition the school in these important area
    
  • Continue to serve as Great Lakes Park Training Institute Director, board member of the Executive Development Program and provide oversight to the National Center on Accessibility, the Center for Philanthropy and Americans Outdoors, the Center for Aging and the Aged, and others
    
Research Interests

Mr. Wolter's interest research is wide spread and focused on pressing issues related to public parks, recreation and public lands including leadership and management, trails and their impact to community health, economics and quality of life and education and training in park, recreation and public land agencies. His publications and presentations focus on these issues and he is highly involved in Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands projects involving these interests including:

  • The Indiana Trails Study for the State Trails and Greenways Plan
  • Return on Training Investment for the National Park Service programs
  • Leadership Effectiveness in Parks, Recreation and Public Lands

The most current project, a replication of the Indiana Trails Study 2000 is in initial phases and will focus on economic impact as well as replicating trail user counts, reasons for trail use, trail neighbor attitudes, and congestion on trails. This project, likely to take three to four years, will be one of the seminale research studies on trails in the Midwest and likely in the nation. It is expected to be started in mid-2006 and completed sometime in 2009-2010. This chart indicates the primary reasons survey participants reported for using trails in the Indiana Trail Study 2000. This aspect of the study will be repeated in summer 2006 for the Clear Creek Trail in Bloomington, IN; and for up to 12 cities in Indiana from 2006 to 2009-2010 as part of the Indiana Trails Study for the State Trails and Greenways Plan.

This chart indicates the number of uses on the Clear Creek Trail in Bloomington, IN using infrared traffic counters for Autumn 2005. This preliminary study data clearly shows the same trail use peaks and trends as found in the 2000 Indiana Trail Study conducted on trails in Indianapolis, Ft. Wayne, Portage, Goshen and Greenfield, IN. Replication of this important aspect of trail use, and trail user interpreation of congestion on trails is an important unanswered question about trails.

Selected Publications

Recreation & Park Management - An Overview and Introduction, Management of Parks & Recreation Agencies (2nd edition), Commission on Accreditation of Park & Recreation Agencies, NRPA Publishing, 2005.

(Co-author) Asset Management Process/Facility Management Software System Manual, (4th edition) for National Park Service, Park Facility Management Division,2002-2005.

(Co-Author) The Indiana Trail Study: Research and Findings on Trail Users, Trail Management and Trail Neighbors, Sponsored Research, Eppley Institute for Parks & Public Lands, Indiana University, 2001.

(Co-author) Master Planning Chapter, Leisure; Its Comprehensive Planning, publication, Sagamore Publishing. 1999.

(Contributing Author). Entrepreneurship in Recreation, Australian Parks & Recreation, .Volume 6, No. 3., February 2003

Sport in the City Conference Proceedings, June 2000, Indiana University (Editor-in-Chief)

Hiring the right person: Using the assessment center as an alternative to the traditional interview process, NIRSA Journal, Spring, 1998, Volume 22, Number 3, pp. 38-44 (Co-author).

On Time, Athletic Business, April 1997, Volume 21, Number 4, pp. 55-61 (Co-author).

On Schedule, Athletic Business, April 1996, Volume 20, Number 4, pp. 47-52. (Co-author)

Motivation for Increased Performance - The Leader Makes The Difference, NIRSA Journal, Winter 1989, Volume 13, Number 2, pp. 42-44.