2022 National Outdoor Recreation Conference
September 11-15, 2022
Knoxville, Tennessee
"Outdoor Recreation: Solutions for Transformation"

The National Outdoor Recreation Conference, held annually by the Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals (SORP), showcases innovative and creative approaches to nature-based outdoor recreation research, planning, and management.

Since 1983, SORP has been serving the outdoor recreation profession. It is the nation’s leading association of outdoor recreation and related professionals who strive to protect our natural and cultural resources while providing sustainable recreation access.

The National Outdoor Recreation Conference brings together recreation resource planners, land managers, organizational partners, researchers, consultants, innovators and leaders in outdoor recreation from across the the U.S. and North America. Average conference attendance is ~400, including over 50 presenters. In order to optimize networking opportunities as well as prioritize health and safety of attendees within the conference venue, we plan to cap attendance at 500.


Marriott Knoxville Downtown
525 Henley Street, Knoxville, Tennessee

Check back soon for registration information for the new September dates! 

Registration opens in July

Early full-conference rate:
$495, SORP members
$595, non-members
More details TBA

Key dates:

March/April: presenters and award recipients notified 

April: scholarship recipients notified, draft program announced                                                                                                                                     

May: hotel reservations open

July: registration opens

August: hotel registration closes 


The Society of Outdoor Recreation Professionals' goal is to make the conference as welcoming and accessible, as feasible, for all participants. For questions about accessibility or to request accommodations please contact Rachel Franchina, [email protected] For more information about accessibility at the conference venue, Marriott Knoxville Downtown, visit this page.

COVID-19 Protocols

Safety and health are our utmost priority. We are closely monitoring the CDC's curret guidance for large gatherings and will post updated COVID-19 protocols soon.

Scholarship Opportunities
The National Outdoor Recreation Conference (NORC) is the premier opportunity for new professionals and students to present their work, learn about best practices and network with outdoor recreation professionals. SORP provides scholarships to students and new professionals to facilitate participation in the conference and to help foster the next generation of outdoor recreation professionals. 

  • Student scholarship recipients are undergraduate or graduate students enrolled full-time in an outdoor recreation research, planning, management, or policy development or closely related degree program. Award includes: Full conference registration and a 1-year membership to SORP
    Apply for Student Scholarship
  • New Professional Scholarship recipients are employed in the outdoor recreation profession and have completed an outdoor recreation degree within the last five years or be under 35 years of age. Award includes: Full conference registration and a $750 stipend for travel/lodging expenses
    Apply for New Professional Scholarship
  • Scholarship applications open: January 4 - February 18

Project Excellence Award

Call for Nominations: January 4 - February 18
The Project Excellence Award is presented annually at NORC to exemplary outdoor recreation projects. The award is presented to the collaborating agencies and organizations key to the success of the planning effort.  Selection criteria will include (a) unique or special circumstances, (b) problem-solving, (c) level of innovation and creativity, (e) impact or effect of project, and (f) collaborative team effort.
Past award recipients

Individual Service Award

Call for Nominations: January 4 - February 18
The Distinguished Service Award is presented annually at NORC to up to three recipients who have made significant and lasting contributions to the outdoor recreation profession. The award may recognize one specific contribution or a series of contributions over one’s career.
Past award recipients

Sponsorship Opportunities

Your brand will be seen by thousands of agency, government, business, academic, and nonprofit outdoor recreation leaders across the US through social media and direct email. Onsite, you will have access to 300+ attendees, 75+ speakers, and multiple channels of outreach. Help us build a better way to work together by attending, sponsoring, developing a conference that provides a premiere learning and networking opportunity for all within the field of outdoor recreation