Making Healthy Foods the New Comfort Foods

Michelle Martinez;Brian Kates | August 24, 2015
There are new changes at work in the City of Colorado Springs, specifically at the Meadows Park Community Center (MPCC). And these changes aren’t just affecting the children who attend MPCC’s after-school programs, they’re affecting the whole city. Michelle Martinez of Colorado Springs Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services share how receiving a Healthy Out-of-School Time grant from NRPA and the Walmart Foundation has impacted her community. As children head back to school and out-of-school time programs kick off, now is a good time to think about how your park and recreation sites can Commit to Health. Read more

Confessions of a Former Parks and Rec Kid

Ava Young | August 17, 2015

I confess, I was a major Parks and Recreation kid. I still have a drawer full of brightly colored, oversized and permanently stained turquoise t-shirts from every summer of my youth spent at the Middletown Department of Parks and Recreation Day Camp. I vividly remember the daily fight for a seat at the counselor’s picnic table, the monthly field trips to Water Wiz, those rainy days spent overtaking the nearby library and coming home so sweaty and dirty from hours of endless play that all my parents could do was hose me off in the driveway. It was there that I learned to play tennis with Counselor Mike, make a mean friendship bracelet with Head Counselor Christine, and jump beach waves with Counselor Kelly. Yes, those were the days.

 

Flash forward a few decades later and here I am, National Network Manager with the Alliance for a Healthier Generation reliving the glory days of my summer recreation past every day.

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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

Flip the Switch on Screen Time: Eight Tips

Daniel Hatcher | June 25, 2015

Limiting screen time in your park and recreation summer and out-of-school time programs can be a challenge, especially on inclement-weather-days. What about educational programs? Perhaps your program occasionally shows short videos as part of an anti-bullying project or maybe you lead a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program. Kids need to use a screen to learn coding right?

 

Here’s the deal. What’s important about this standard is limiting unnecessary screen time. It’s about ensuring that if screen time is used, it is balanced with physical activity time.

 

Are you ready to flip the switch on screen time? Try one (or all) of these tips!

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Can You Walk to Your Park?

Allison Colman | May 5, 2015
Parks have the ability to bring together communities to experience a plethora of health and wellness activities!  With so many amazing programs taking place at parks, it’s important to consider one important factor in particular—how are your community members getting to your parks?! 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

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

Innovating for Health

Samantha Bartram | March 20, 2015

Take a look out your window — what do you see? Likely roads, trees, buildings, perhaps some green space and people going about their daily routines. Most of us would regard this as an unremarkable everyday American tableau. Leaders at Miami-Dade County’s Department of Parks, Recreation and Open Space (PROS), however, view scenes like this through an entirely different lens. Their concepts of place-making through strategic policies, programs and partnerships to encourage healthier lifestyles was the focus of NRPA’s first Innovation Lab, held March 12-13 in Miami, Florida.

 
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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

Are You Committed?

Kellie May | February 11, 2015
Last year, NRPA committed, in a big way, to help improve the health and wellness of our nation’s youth by implementing a set of standards in out-of-school time programs at park and recreation sites across the country. These are the programs that kids attend before school, after school and in the summer.

Why is this important? Read more

Five Tips to Help You Get Grant Funding

Kellie May | February 5, 2015
NRPA is excited to announce the availability of $1.8 million to local park and recreation agencies to support their out-of-school time programs thanks to the Walmart Foundation. This grant program builds on the success we all had in 2014 increasing meals to children in low income communities and implementing healthy eating and physical activity standards. Read more

Why Crumb Rubber is in the News

Caroline Smith, CPSI | December 11, 2014
If you are a playground owner or operator you already know that your choice of playground surfacing is one of the most important decisions you will make. You may have read that roughly 70 percent of playground injuries are due to falls to unsafe surfaces. You probably considered whether the surfacing was impact attenuating, whether or not it was accessible and what you would need to do to maintain the surfacing, as well as a number of other factors. Among those factors, did surfacing health risks for your users come to mind? 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

The Hairy Truth About Parks and Recreation

Matt Brubaker | November 14, 2014
The moustache is a powerful entity. Not only can it be a work of art, it has also had great impact on our country. Many people don’t know just how influential the moustache has been in the advancement of parks and recreation in America. Here is a brief summary of some of the most significant lip brows in American parks and recreation history. 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





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