Parks and Rec: Ending Summer Learning Loss One Meal at a Time

Oliver Spurgeon | July 29, 2015
This summer, kids are flocking to local parks and recreation centers to exercise, play with friends, and eat nutritious and free meals. Parks and recreation centers are doing their part to close the education gap by pairing healthy meals with targeted, high-quality, and research-based reading and math interventions. The lessons and tutoring sessions that accompany lunchtime meals at park and recreation sites have been proven to stem summer learning loss, increase retention rates and keep children on the path to success when they return to the classroom in the fall. Thanks to the hard work of park and recreation employees across the country, millions of kids who receive summer meals will return from summer vacation healthier and better prepared for school. Read more

Moves Made in the Senate on LWCF

Dave Tyahla | July 27, 2015
Last Wednesday, there were significant developments on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Reauthorization coming out of the U.S. Senate. The leadership of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee introduced a broad, 350-page energy reform bill which included permanent reauthorization of the LWCF. We've laid out some key components, where things stand and how you can get involved. Read more

Three Best Practices for Parks

Barbara Heller | July 17, 2015

Parks today aren’t what they were ten years ago. Where people used to utilize parks as a place to throw a frisbee with friends, have a picnic or just enjoy some quiet time with a book, today city residents are looking for a more social experience from parks, with formal programming like yoga, movie nights and lawn games.


Given these increasing demands, how can we create and manage parks in a way that meets the public’s expectations?

Read more

4 Easy Ways to Celebrate Park and Recreation Month

Roxanne Sutton | July 10, 2015

For parks and recreation, the most wonderful time of the year is upon us. No, not Christmas—Park and Recreation Month! And this month is particularly special as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of July as Park and Recreation Month. Here are just some of the ways you can celebrate Park and Recreation Month in July!


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Inherit the Earth, or Borrow it from our Children?

Paul Gilbert, Executive Director of NOVA Parks | June 30, 2015
We have parks and programs that reach the people. We are a trusted voice on issues related to natural resources. By taking a more proactive role in environmental protection, we can serve our communities better, and our world.  It is the old adage of “think globally, and act locally.” Read more

Flip the Switch on Screen Time: Eight Tips

Daniel Hatcher | June 25, 2015

Limiting screen time in your park and recreation summer and out-of-school time programs can be a challenge, especially on inclement-weather-days. What about educational programs? Perhaps your program occasionally shows short videos as part of an anti-bullying project or maybe you lead a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. Kids need to use a screen to learn coding right?


Here’s the deal. What’s important about this standard is limiting unnecessary screen time. It’s about ensuring that if screen time is used, it is balanced with physical activity time.


Are you ready to flip the switch on screen time? Try one (or all) of these tips!

Read more

Staying a Top Workplace

Martin Dease | June 22, 2015
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! This week NRPA was named to The Washington Post Top Workplaces 2015. Being awarded the title of Top Workplace means even more to us because it is based solely on employee surveys. The list is determined by results from confidential surveys asking staff members 22 questions related to pay, benefits, work/life balance, how they view their role and satisfaction with the organization. Read more

The Power of Many

Michele White | June 19, 2015
Throughout May, we asked if you could give up one coffee for a park. It was a small ask, and for those of you who decided to take the challenge, the power of many became apparent. Generally, $5 may not go far, but when a network of 50,000 park and recreation professionals came together along with our supplier community, big things happened Read more

The 17 Goals of the United Nations Parks and Recreation Should Know

Jimmy O'Connor | June 17, 2015
The United Nations spent the last three years identifying the most pressing issues affecting the planet; in particular, the human element of the planet. Resulting in 17 goals that are critical to improving lives around the world; these Universal Sustainable Development Goals will set the framework for countries to address the most pressing issues facing us – and our neighbors worldwide. These goals will be adopted by world leaders this coming September. Read more

Five Tips to Get Your Member of Congress to Visit Your Community

Jayni Rasmussen | June 16, 2015
NRPA’s Public Policy team recently sat down with two expert Congressional staffers during the May Park Champion Webinar, “Speak Like An Advocate.” Here are some of their top tips on getting the attention of your federal elected officials. Read more

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