2016 Spending Package Offers Opportunity to Boost Parks and Recreation

Oliver Spurgeon III | November 19, 2015
With sequestration caps pushed aside for now, and a spare $50 billion to spend, Congress is in a mad dash to pass a spending package and avoid another shutdown before December 11, 2015. Since 2011, sequestration has wreaked havoc on state and local budgets and has threatened important investments in parks and recreation that keep Americans healthy and protect the integrity of our air, land and water. The debate in Congress these next couple of weeks is crucial for parks and recreation. Read more

Update on LWCF and Active Transportation

Dave Tyahla | November 6, 2015
It has been a busy week on Capitol Hill, with important action being taken involving two of NRPA’s most important policy priorities – the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and continued federal funding for active transportation options, including biking and walking. Here is a comprehensive breakdown of all the action. Read more

No Action Taken on CNR and LWCF — What Does This Mean?

David Tyahla | October 1, 2015
September 30 has come and gone, and no action has been taken on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization or the Land and Water Conservation Fund. So what does this mean for parks and recreation? What are the next steps? NRPA's Senior Government Affairs Manager, David Tyahla breaks it all down. Read more

Overtime Changes and What They Mean for Parks and Recreation

Oliver Spurgeon III | August 21, 2015
Last month, the Obama administration released its long-awaited update to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA)overtime regulations. FLSA guarantees overtime pay of 1.5 times an employee’s regular wage for any time worked over 40 hours a week. The proposed rule would increase wages for 21.4 million workers by raising the overtime salary threshold to $50,440 -- an amount that is in line with the Obama administration’s “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” theme.
So what’s the background of all this and what is the potential impact of the change in rule?  
Here are some details to help make sense of it all. 
Read more

It's More Than a Meal

Oliver Spurgeon | August 3, 2015
Short-sighted thinking about child hunger threatens the health, wellness and academic success of our children. Instead of bringing hungry children together in one place and giving them access to healthy meals, STEM and reading classes, and a safe place to play, some in Washington think these kids would be better off with to-go meals. Our young people should never miss valuable tutoring, training and healthy meals because adults choose the easiest path forward — not the most effective one. Read more

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

Oliver Spurgeon | July 29, 2015
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

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

Three Ways You Can Advocate for Summer Nutrition

April 8, 2015
One of the most critical times of the year to keep children healthy is during the summer, when many children may not have access to healthy food and may not be as physically active as they are during the school year. Providing a nutritious meal to hungry kids is an important way to ensure that they are able to reach their full potential both in and out of school. Read more

Playing in the Streets

Kevin O'Hara | March 2, 2015
Back in September 2014 NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs Kevin O’Hara continued his duties as serving as a member of the Open Streets Network of Champions by taking a trip to Guadalajara, Mexico to experience their open street network, aka ViaRecreActiva. Read more

How Parks and Recreation Fared in the Congress FY15 Spending Package

Kevin O'Hara;Sage Learn | December 17, 2014
Congress returned to DC for a post-election “lame duck” session where the most pressing piece of unfinished business was to approve a final budget to keep the federal government open and running for the remainder of Fiscal Year 2015 (ending September 30, 2015). In what has become the norm (unfortunately), they went right up to their funding deadline (December 11) and even needed to approve a couple of multi-day extensions just to keep the lights on while they completed debate. Read more

Demonstrating the Power of Parks to Combat Hunger

Sage Learn | November 7, 2014
Park and recreation agencies are located in almost every community across the country and are the largest public provider, outside of schools, for United States Department of Agriculture-funded feeding programs. These initiatives provide healthy meals and snacks to children in low-income areas during out-of-school times. For many children, these may be the only nutritious meals they enjoy on a normal day. It is vital in communities across the country to continue funding for the Child Nutrition Act, Summer Food Service Program and Child and Adult Care Food Program, all of which will be addressed by Congress next fall. Read more

What the Midterm Congressional Election Results Mean for Parks and Recreation

Dave Tyahla | November 6, 2014
The results of the November 4 Congressional elections were, by any standard, a big win for the Republicans. Seeing the GOP take control of the Senate and strengthen their majority in the House certainly will have an impact on three very important NRPA legislative priorities for the coming year including the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) State Assistance Program, funding for active transportation (walking and biking), and the Child Nutrition Act Reauthorization. Read more

What Happens When a Congressman Visits a Summer Food Service Program

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

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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