Using Art to Connect Kids to Nature

Richard Dolesh | April 18, 2016
The Get to Know program, an art contest that encourages kids to connect with nature, was founded in part with the support of internationally famous wildlife artist, Robert Bateman, who was concerned that kids could recognize hundreds of product logos but were unable to name even the most common plants and animals around their own home. Read more

5 Key Takeaways from Park Support Study

Kevin Roth | January 19, 2016
NRPA's latest research report is out and the findings are an important tool for our profession to use when telling the story about the power of local public parks. The theme of this research is clear in the title: “Americans’ Broad-Based Support for Local Recreation and Park Services.” The message is unambiguous yet compelling: Americans are passionate about their local parks. Read more

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

NRPA’s Efforts to Save the Monarch Butterfly Receive National Recognition

Richard J. Dolesh | November 16, 2015

In the past two years, NRPA has initiated an intensive effort to engage park and recreation agencies in helping to save the monarch butterfly. In recognition of these collective efforts, NRPA has been accepted into the Monarch Joint Venture, a partnership of national and regional organizations, universities, and governmental agencies all working to protect and conserve the monarch. 


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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

Free Milkweed Plants and Grant Opportunities for Monarch Habitat Restoration

Richard Dolesh | June 5, 2015
There is new hope for monarchs. Public opinion has been galvanized by the news of the potential disappearance of monarchs across North America, and support for saving the monarch has never been higher. National conservation organizations, corporations and the federal government have initiated new initiatives to reverse this decline. Some of these resources are becoming available, and your park and recreation agency should look for opportunities to utilize these resources to expand efforts in conservation, education and research. Read more

Earth Day, Every Day

Morgan Rothermel | April 22, 2015

Happy Earth Day my park and recreation friends! Today’s the day dedicated to creating awareness for a healthier and more sustainable environment. However, we know that as park and recreation professionals our earth day is really everyday as you work to create awareness and support conservation efforts in your community.


So just how do park and recreation agencies participate in Earth Day every day? We’ll share a few!

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5 Ways You Can Get Involved This Earth Week

Morgan Rothermel | April 20, 2015

Earth Week, a time to take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this planet and make some changes so generations years from now can enjoy the same scenery we have today. Parks play a huge role, not only during Earth Week, but every week to protect natural resources and encourage conservation practices so  that we have the opportunity to enjoy and learn about the environment.


And while these conservation practices happen all year long, Earth Week can inspire us to get even more involved. But how? We have 5 ways!

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The Magic of Local Parks and Recreation

Jessica Culverhouse | April 1, 2015
Magic happens every day at local parks. A child’s first soccer goal, a grandmother picking the summer’s first tomato from the community garden, a family discovering a nest full of eggs hatching on their nature walk.This Earth Month, NRPA is thrilled to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN on an expansion of our Parks Build Community initiative to demonstrate the role of local parks and recreation in helping families live healthier, connecting kids and nature, and increasing access to sports. Together we will celebrate the power of parks to improve people’s lives – and bring a little magic to local parks across the country. Read more

NRPA Goes Platinum

Editor | December 15, 2014
Here at NRPA headquarters, we’re invested in supporting theThree Pillars of Conservation, Health and Wellness and Social Equity. We go to great lengths to communicate that commitment to you, our members and beyond, in hopes that solidarity will encourage you and your agencies to undertake projects and promises that also support the Three Pillars in your communities. But, as we all know, it’s sometimes complicated to convey our impact to the residents and leaders of the areas we serve.NRPA was fortunate to have a great opportunity to do just that at the recently held Green Business Challenge Awards. Read more

Still Thankful for Parks and Recreation. How About You?

Lauren Hoffmann | November 26, 2014
Last year, one of our most popular articles on the blog was around this time of year.It reflected on the Thanksgiving tradition of talking with friends and family about what it is you are thankful for and of course, we suggested (and still suggest) that everyone add local parks and recreation to the list. Well, just as you may serve up those traditional family favorites year after year at your holiday meal gatherings, we thought it would be fun to bring back our list of 10 reasons why we are thankful for parks and recreation.  Read more

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


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