Update on the Final Federal Regulations for Overtime Pay and Exempt Employee Status

Dave Tyahla | May 24, 2016
Last week, the Obama administration released its highly anticipated final regulations and guidelines for the updated Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA).The new regulations state that beginning December 1, 2016, the standard overtime salary level threshold will increase from the current $455 per week to $913 per week (annual salary of $47,476). Read more

Congress Gets the Ball Rolling on Zika Funding

Oliver Spurgeon | May 20, 2016

After months of Congressional hearings, hours of expert testimony by some of the brightest minds in public health, and repeated warnings from advocates, including NRPA, about the dangers of waiting to mount a full-throated response to the Zika virus, Congress has taken the first step to paying for a comprehensive effort to ZIka’s spread.


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One Step Closer to Making LWCF Permanent

David Tyahla | April 26, 2016
Last week, the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved a comprehensive energy reform package (S. 2012) which includes permanent reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF). The bill includes a significant change to how future LWCF dollars would be distributed by requiring a minimum of 40 percent of annual LWCF support go to a "suite" of existing programs which benefit the states, including the State Assistance Program, Forest Legacy Program, Co-Operative Endangered Species grants and American Battlefields preservation grants. Read more

“Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act” Not Worthy of the Name

Oliver Spurgeon | April 22, 2016
After months of good faith efforts by NRPA to help craft a sensible, bipartisan renewal of the Child Nutrition Reauthorization, Rep. Todd Rokita (R-IN) and other House Republicans have introduced the Improving Child Nutrition and Education Act. This bill will not only deny thousands of hungry children meals during the school day, it will cut the number of kids parks and recreation agencies feed during the summer and impose budget-busting costs on our summer meals programs. Read more

If You Invite Them, They Will Come

Jayni Rasmussen | March 28, 2016
This year, we’re pretty excited to build on the successes and lessons learned during the summer of Park Champion advocacy by expanding the initiative to a year-round movement. As we’ve mentioned in our 2016 Park Champion strategy, we plan on holding at least one Park Champion event in all 50 states! That may seem like a lot of events, but it’s Park Champions like Michele Potter, Director of Parks, Recreation and Culture for the City of Gaithersburg, Maryland who give us confidence that we’re going to meet our goal. Read more

New Federal Funding Opportunity: $15 million to Develop Urban Outdoor Recreation Spaces

Dave Tyahla | March 11, 2016

The National Park Service (NPS) has opened the application process for this year’s Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP). This $15 million nationally competitive grant program specifically targets recreation spaces in urban communities.

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Red and Blue Make...Green

David Tyahla | February 26, 2016
With the 2016 election cycle now in full swing, the news media and even candidates themselves seem to have taken pleasure in reminding us how divided and politically polarized our society has become. While there certainly appears to be very strong differences of opinion on many things, one area that voters of all party or political affiliations continue to agree on is the value of local public parks and recreation service — and we have the numbers to prove it! Read more

The PHIT Act: Making Fitness Part of Routine Healthcare

Oliver Spurgeon | February 23, 2016

You and I both know that physical fitness is vital for overall wellness and preventing lifestyle diseases. While parks and recreation facilities are typically the accessible and affordable option for fitness, physical activity costs can still be a barrier for many Americans. Whether it’s new cleats for growing feet, athletic league fees, or deciding whether you can afford that Zumba class, prioritizing funds for physical activity can be a serious challenge.


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What the President’s Budget Means for Parks and Rec

NRPA Public Policy Team | February 12, 2016
President Obama released his FY2017 budget request on Tuesday, totaling $4.1 trillion. This year’s budget is the President’s most expensive and expansive vision for federal spending yet. With the spending included in this effort, the President seeks to spur innovation, create more jobs, expand opportunity for all Americans, strengthen our national security and expand U.S. leadership abroad during his final year in office. NRPA’s Public Policy Team has looked into the major provisions of the President’s budget, which, if enacted by Congress, would be mostly positive for NRPA members and the communities we serve. Read more

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: The Senate’s Vision for Feeding Hungry Children

Oliver Spurgeon | January 26, 2016
The Senate Agriculture Committee has finally introduced the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act–better known as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR). This bipartisan compromise between Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is far from perfect, but no bill ever is. It contains ideas that are both questionable and commendable when it comes to keeping children healthy and fed. Most importantly, it brings an end to years of ferocious public debates about child nutrition, health and hunger that have played out on the front pages of newspapers and the headlines of news broadcasts. Read more

How to Use the Economic Impact of Local Parks to Your Advantage

Melissa May | January 15, 2016

As a park and recreation professional, you already know that public parks are important contributors to the standard of living in our neighborhoods, with benefits spanning from environmental gains and improved health to being a central meeting place that brings residents across ages and social strata to connect to nature. But in a time of scarce resources and tight fiscal budgets, you have to fight for funding to continue your mission.

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A Win for LWCF and more in the Congressional Spending Package

NRPA Public Policy Team | December 18, 2015
We’ve pulled the highlights that impact parks and recreation out of the 2,000 page spending package. By any standard, this year’s final federal spending package must be viewed as a success. It’s a win for NRPA and our supporters. We thank you and congratulate you on your committed advocacy efforts which resulted in strong investments at conserving our parks and natural resources, improving the health and well-being of future generations, and strengthening the fabric of our communities. Read more

Good News for Walking and Biking

Dave Tyahla | December 9, 2015
Between looming deadlines that demand action and simply wanting to be viewed as "doing something,” Capitol Hill often fills with a flurry of activity during the holiday season. While there has been activity on other legislative priorities, this message is exclusively about transportation. AND, the news is very good. Read more

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

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