The BEGINNING

With an impressive 50 years of combined sales and installation experience in the Parks & Recreation industry, Julie Gardner and Steve Larson have witnessed firsthand the challenges faced by their clients. Through their extensive expertise, they identified a critical need for improved maintenance and project management services, especially among organizations struggling with limited staff and resources.

Recognizing this gap in the market, Julie and Steve took action and founded NSP Park Services. Their mission is to enable safer play every day by easing the burden on overtasked and understaffed organizations, creating more enjoyable play environments for communities.

The company’s name, NSP, stands for “Never Stop Playing,” a motto inspired by Steve’s father, Larry Larson. Diagnosed with inoperable stage IV pancreatic and lung cancer in 2011 and given only a month to live, Larry defied the odds and continued to lead his golf league for more than two years. Inspired by Larry’s resilience, NSP Park Services carries forward his legacy, providing top-notch services and inspiring others to embrace the “Never Stop Playing” mindset.

NSP Park Services acts as a trusted partner, helping clients navigate the complexities of park and playground maintenance and project management. By leveraging their industry knowledge and experience, Julie and Steve are able to alleviate the burden on organizations, allowing them to focus on what matters most – providing exceptional recreational experiences to their communities.

Larry’s zest for life & indomitable spirit were truly infectious.

In a heartwarming display of friendship, Larry’s buddy Dick had a custom memorial golf bench made shortly after Larry’s diagnosis. The bench, adorned with Larry’s name and the phrase “Never Stop Playing,” became a source of endless amusement for Larry. “Dick said he got tired of carrying that bench in his truck for two years, so he just dropped it off,” Larry would often joke. “I’m probably the only living person to sit on his own memorial bench!” The bench, now proudly situated in front of the clubhouse at their local golf course, stands as a testament to Larry’s unwavering determination and love for the game.

Though Larry eventually passed away in January 2014, nearly three years after his initial one-month prognosis, his memory and passion for living life to the fullest continue to inspire others. At NSP Park Services, we’re proud to carry Larry’s infectious enthusiasm for play into our company’s core values, ensuring that his legacy lives on through our work. If you’d like to learn more about Larry’s incredible journey we invite you to read his story in his own words by visiting the Celebrate Life Magazine article, “Only a month to live,” at clmagazine.org.

Julie Gardner

With over 30 years in the Parks & Recreation industry, Julie Gardner is a trailblazer recognized by top equipment manufacturers for running one of the best playground equipment installation companies in the country. Her unwavering commitment to excellence and passionate dedication to children’s safety set her apart, making her uniquely qualified in her field.

Julie’s meticulous attention to detail and extensive knowledge have shaped industry standards and best practices. Her innovative designs and safety-focused approach have made her installation company a go-to choice for organizations seeking the highest quality and most reliable services.

As a co-founder of NSP Park Services, Julie brings her wealth of experience and passion to the forefront, helping deliver top-notch installations, maintenance and project management services to clients. With Julie’s expertise and leadership, NSP Park Services is well-equipped to tackle the challenges of park and playground management, delivering innovative solutions that prioritize safety and excellence.

Steve Larson

Steve Larson, a seasoned Parks and Recreation professional since 2010, has consistently demonstrated his commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction. As a three-term Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI), Steve has excelled in various roles, including Sales and Management positions at both national and regional levels. His ability to work closely with customers, planning and designing projects, and finding effective solutions has earned him a reputation as a trusted industry partner.

Witnessing the changing dynamics and staffing shortages faced by his customers due to the Covid pandemic, Steve recognized the growing need for reliable, efficient park maintenance and project management services. This realization, along with his extensive industry knowledge, played a significant role in the creation of NSP Park Services.

Steve is also the co-founder of Cognicio, a cloud-based software platform designed to streamline preventive maintenance, asset management, and mobile form-based inspections, primarily utilized in the parks & recreation and school markets. Learn more at www.cognicio.com.