Healthy Eating Starts with Elephants and Pizza

Adriane Clutter | August 27, 2014
Because we understand the essential role of parks and recreation in creating healthy communities, NRPA has worked tirelessly to promote initiatives that help our members implement top-notch programs for fitness and nutritious eating. Our Commit to Health campaign supports the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites across the country, like Maryland’s Montgomery County Department of Recreation. Here, Manager of Youth Development Adriane Clutter gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how her agency took steps to implement HEPA standards in both public-facing programming and everyday activities among staff. Read more

Austin: Everything for a Reason… and BBQ!

Kevin O'Hara | August 26, 2014
NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs Kevin O’Hara continues his series of dispatches from urban park and recreation agencies.  He recently spent time visiting some of the Lone Star State’s best and brightest parks and recreation facilities. In July, O’Hara regaled us with tales from his trip to Houston — here, he details a visit to Austin, one of Texas’ best-known and best-loved cities. Read more

Let them Play in the Park

Jessica Culverhouse | August 20, 2014
In a recent NPR story on play, correspondent John Hamblin made the case that play is good for the developing brain. As a parent and former educator, I couldn’t agree more. I am often struck by the determent of unstructured play by parents, teachers and caregivers, even in the toddler years. Read more

Innovative Sessions: A Seasoned Congress Presenter Speaks Out

Mat Duerden, Ph.D. | August 19, 2014
From attendee to seasoned presenter, Mat Duerden, Ph.D., shares his story of the experience that is NRPA Congress. Not only does he touch on his personal evolution but that of the evolution of sessions he’s been involved in from research all the way to leading a Congress Live session! Read more

What Happens When a Congressman Visits a Summer Food Service Program

Sage Learn | August 15, 2014
This past Tuesday was a beautiful day in Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Minnesota. On this day I, along with a few other NRPA staff, had the pleasure of visiting park and recreation agencies in the Twin Cities that are providing free meals and snacks to children through the USDA Summer Food Service Program (SFSP). We saw firsthand how special these programs are for the children and the park and recreation professionals involved. Not only that we were able to witness what happens when you demonstrate the impact these programs have to elected officials too! Joining us on this visit were special guests Congressman Keith Ellison and representatives from Senator Al Franken and Senator Amy Klobuchar’s offices. Read more

Your Marketing is Missing Something

Jason Genck | August 12, 2014
Do you find yourself searching for training and resources in marketing, branding and communication, yet finding the same tiring information told in different ways? That was me in 2012. It’s easy to hear of the latest and greatest, but difficult to find out what really works. Well, Brand+Aid changed all of that. Read more

This Exists: Wild Boar in Houston Parks

Kevin O'Hara | July 22, 2014
We’ve shipped Kevin O’Hara, NRPA’s vice president of urban and government affairs, out of D.C. and all over the country to visit with some of the nation’s urban parks and recreation agencies to see how their innovation and leadership is shaping the future of cities and those that reside in or nearby. He’s reporting back from these visits with some key takeaways that any park and recreation department can learn from no matter your size or location.  His first urban spotlight, Houston, Texas…  Read more

Your Park is Your Family

Samantha Bartram | July 18, 2014
This week, the nation clutched its collective pearls about the story of Debra Harrell, whose 9-year-old daughter was taken into state custody after the child was discovered playing alone at a park near her mother’s place of employment. The 46-year-old worked at a McDonald’s in North Augusta, South Carolina, and on some days during her shift she allowed her daughter to spend the day at Summerfield Park, where she had access to a splashpad, playground and open green spaces. Read more

9 Ways to Have a Better Summer Camp

Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio | July 16, 2014
Summer camp is the ultimate adventure for a kid. It’s a place to discover new things, push comfort zones and experience the outdoors in a whole new way. While every summer camp is different, there are some universal “must-dos” that are worth checking off.  Authors Ken Keffer and Stacy Tornio, offer their 9 favorites for keeping kids busy and happy while gaining a whole new appreciation for nature. Read more

What You Need to Know About LWCF Right Now

Barbara Tulipane, CAE | July 14, 2014
Gateway Park in Fort Worth, Texas is a treasured community park.  Close to home for many, this park is a prime destination for outdoor recreation, with trails, fields and waterways.  This park is a place where the community can gather, connect with nature and improve their quality of life. Gateway Park is also a success story – a success story of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) State Assistance Program – one of over 40,000 LWCF State Assistance program successes across America, to be exact.  That’s why it was only fitting that last week’s announcement of this year’s funding for the LWCF State Assistance Program was made in Gateway Park. Read more

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