Natural Play: New Guidelines Mean New Opportunity for Parks and Recreation

Richard J. Dolesh | September 11, 2014
The long-awaited national guidelines on the design, development and management of nature play areas written by Robin Moore, noted professor of landscape architecture and head of the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) of North Carolina State University, have been released this week. These guidelines will be invaluable to the park and recreation profession. 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

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

5 Tips for Camping With Kids

Jessica Culverhouse | June 26, 2014
My family and I love to camp. My husband and I both grew up in camping families, and when our son was born, we knew we wanted to take him camping early and often to help foster a love for the outdoors and spend fun, quality time together. Our first camping trip as a family was to nearby Lake Fairfax Park when James was two months old. With camping season underway in much of the country, I encourage you to pack up the kids and the tent and head to your local park. Read more

5 Ways to Celebrate Kids to Parks Day

Jessica Culverhouse | May 15, 2014
If you’re a regular Open Space reader, you may have seen my first blog for NRPA, 5 Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids this Winter. Mercifully, that long, white winter is behind us, and it’s time to shed the extra layers of clothing and head back to the park to enjoy spring: the season of renewal and rebirth. There is so much to do in the park during the springtime – from baseball games to busy afternoons at the playground. Spring is also great time to get into the park to enjoy the wonders of the natural world as plants and wildlife reemerge from their winter rest. Read more

Five Days to Big Green Results during Earth Week

Lauren Hoffmann | April 29, 2014

 A few weeks ago, we told you all about the plans the NRPA Green Team put together for celebrating Earth Day and Earth Week here at NRPA HQ.  Our week wrapped up this past Friday and I think I can speak for the whole staff; it is amazing how much good you can do in just a little bit of time.

 

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NRPA Gears Up for Earth Week

Roxanne Sutton | April 15, 2014
Earth Day is celebrated every year on April 22—a reminder that we’re all part of this world and we’re responsible for taking care of it. However, as park and recreation professionals know all too well, one day out of 365 isn’t enough. Park and rec pros are the green leaders in their communities, so your national association is working on being the green leader here in our community. Read more

Share Your Story the Three Pillars Way

Claudine Heizer | March 7, 2014
Just like many of you, every time I attend the annual NRPA Congress and Exposition, I’m inspired by the ideas and strategies that are presented throughout the week. During the conference I feverishly take notes, dreaming of implementing cutting edge practices and techniques when I return to my desk. The last day of conference feels almost like graduation – full of hope and optimism. Unfortunately, reality strikes within a week or two of returning to my office. Once again, I’m consumed with the traditional day-to-day, keep-your-head-above water tasks and my inspired plans seem to disappear as quickly as they had appeared. Read more

Your Advocacy Can Help the Federal Government Blossom

Sage Learn | March 4, 2014
Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming in the local parks and cherry blossoms will soon be out in D.C. Help plant the seeds or cultivate current ones with your congressional members. Our political leaders need to hear from you, their constituents, to know what issues are important in their communities. Join your colleges and the NRPA Public Policy team at NRPA’s Legislative Forum in D.C. on March 25 and 26 to advocate for the issues that are critical to your agency. Our team will help provide all the training and information you need to have successful meetings and become the valuable resource to Congress, which you already are. Read more

5 Ideas for Exploring Nature with Kids this Winter

Jessica Culverhouse | January 23, 2014

Here in the mid-Atlantic region, we have experienced a winter of wild temperature fluctuations and, most recently, an unusually heavy snowfall. Most of us would like nothing more this time of year than to snuggle up with a warm drink and a good book or old movie. For me, though, a “snow day” involves entertaining a busy toddler who would rather be out tromping through the fluffy white stuff than spending the day inside.

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Environmental Stewardship; Parks and Recreation Leading the Way

Dr. June N. Price-Shingles | January 15, 2014

Research demonstrates that students who learn in the field gain greater command of their subjects and enjoy their time learning. In today’s highly competitive global economy continued professional development, such as that offered by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), is vital for professionals as well as those studying recreation-related careers at university. The charge of “reconnecting youth to nature,” focuses candidates on the need to become environmental stewards with a thorough understanding of sustainability issues.

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Are You Attending NRPA’s Green School?

December 10, 2013

Are you attending NRPA's Green School? Mike Trigg, Superintendent of Parks for the Waukegan Park District, Waukegan, Illinois did, and highly recommends it to all park professionals. Read why he says so and about the award-winning results attendance at the school had for his agency.

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Toys R Us Should Support, Not Bash, Kids’ Trips To The Woods

November 7, 2013
You may have seen the ad on TV  A school bus load of kids think they are headed out on a field trip to visit the “forest”  They look bored and can barely respond to the teacher standing in the front who asks them to identify a leaf  Suddenly, the teacher tears off his outer shirt, reveals his red Toys R Us logo wear and announces that the kids are really headed to the toy store for their pick of a free toy They go nuts with joy and the rest of the ad is about all the fun they have at the store picking out their gift For anyone with kids, there is no doubt they love trips to the toy store  But, what about that forest and the otherwise “boring” field trip from which they were saved?  What if the bus had, indeed, taken them to the woods? Read on to find out what NRPA President and CEO Barbara Tulipane has to say about the infamous Toys vs Trees ad. Read more

Ways to Celebrate Visit a Park Day on October 4 2013

September 12, 2013

Have you heard that October 4, 2013 is National Visit a Park Day?  This is something that NRPA and the Young Professionals Network (YPN) have celebrated over the last couple of years to help promote the wonders of our natural and treasured resources out there – local parks.  The Young Professionals have put together some great ideas on how to celebrate Visit a Park Day and want to encourage park and recreation agencies, community leaders, civic groups, schools and other organizations to come together and participate!

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Committed to Getting Kids Outdoors — 10 Million to be Exact

August 30, 2013

For many, outdoor play was a part of childhood. Rather than sitting in front of the TV or playing with electronics, we were outside socializing with other kids at parks and playgrounds. At Carmel Clay Parks & Recreation, they believe in providing outdoor experiences for children, making them natural partners for the 10 Million Kids Outdoors campaign. In this blog, Lindsay Labas, Marketing Manager from Carmel Clay shares how this agency is leveraging the 10 Million Kids Outdoors campaign in their community and offers tips on how your agency can take advantage of the program. 

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