Social Equity




Three Pillars LogoEnsuring all people have access to the benefits of local parks and recreation.

True to the very philosophy of public parks and recreation is the idea that all people – no matter the color of their skin, age, income level or ability – has access to programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great.

It is a right, not just a privilege, for people nationwide to have safe, healthful access to parks and recreation. Because of this, people connect with one another and build bonds that last a lifetime. Places transform into destinations with influx of new businesses and local economies flourish. Parks and recreation truly build communities – communities for all.

This philosophy of social equity and access, which is upheld by all public parks and recreation, is the foundation that allows people to benefit from what public parks and recreation provides such as improved health and restorative green space.

Now we must show how essential public parks and recreation are to our society and how parks are the answer to creating viable communities for all. Watch NRPA’s President and CEO, Barbara Tulipane, CAE talk about the value of social equity for parks and recreation.

Position Statement

Communities Influenced by Social Equity

Parks & Recreation Magazine: Social Equity Articles

Equity in Agency
By Samantha Bartram
September 2015 Issue
Summary: Targeted teen programming at Carver Park teaches healthy skills and behaviors to last a lifetime.

The EPA and Parks, Environmental Justice and the Disposable of Society
By Robert Garcia and Ariel Collins
August 2015 Issue
Summary: How can the EPA help to improve access to parks and recreation and the health, environment and resiliency of communities of color and low income communities?

Diversifying Mainstream Environmental Groups Is Not Enough
By Robert D. Bullard and Robert Garcia
July 2015 Issue
Summary: Transformational change is necessary to modernize the environmental, climate and health movements.

Healthy Communities of Opportunity: An Interview with Mildred Thompson and Victor Rubin
By Zarnaaz Bashir, MPH
June 2015 Issue
Summary: NRPA’s Director of Strategic Health Initiatives Zarnaaz Bashir, MPH, interviews PolicyLink’s Mildred Thompson and Victor Rubin for a discussion about health equity.

NRPA Resources for Social Equity

Social Equity Poster Thumbnail
Download a PDF copy of our Social Equity poster to display at your agency or share with the public. (High Resolution version or Low Resolution version)