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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

Healthy Eating Starts with Elephants and Pizza

Adriane Clutter | August 27, 2014
Because we understand the essential role of parks and recreation in creating healthy communities, NRPA has worked tirelessly to promote initiatives that help our members implement top-notch programs for fitness and nutritious eating. Our Commit to Health campaign supports the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating, Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites across the country, like Maryland’s Montgomery County Department of Recreation. Here, Manager of Youth Development Adriane Clutter gives us a behind-the-scenes look at how her agency took steps to implement HEPA standards in both public-facing programming and everyday activities among staff. Read more

What Happens When a Congressman Visits a Summer Food Service Program

Sage Learn | 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

Look Who’s Committing to Health

Editor | June 16, 2014
Virginia’s Arlington County Department of Parks and Recreation has a mission to be the happiest, healthiest place to live, learn, work and play. This ambitious mission is one that’s being accomplished through numerous interventions led through parks and recreation.  In April, the department pledged with NRPA to Commit to Health in three after-school programs and in two summer camps.  Find out why and how they are committing to health for their community. Read more

Creating a Healthier Community Through Meals, Outdoor Adventures and More

Sage Learn | June 2, 2014
One of the best parts of working for the National Recreation and Park Association is visiting our members and seeing all of the terrific work that is being done in communities across the country.  Our recent visit to Knoxville Parks and Recreation Department in Tennessee, one of 50 agencies that recently received a grant through NRPA and the Walmart Foundation to provide better access to healthy meals, was no exception. Read more

Journey to Healthier Lifestyles through Commit to Health

Kim Chappelow-Lee | May 19, 2014
When out of school time (OST) programs first began to appear back in the early 1980’s they were seen primarily as safe havens where kids could spend the late afternoon hours while their parents were still at work. Park and recreation agencies were quick to get involved in this rapidly growing and evolving industry doing what we do best, keeping kids active and engaged in numerous games, sports and group socialization activities.  It was a simple formula that worked well.  Kids were noisy, active and happy. Read more

Gwinnett County Commits to Health!

Tina Fleming;Elizabeth Radley;Lindsey Daniels | April 10, 2014
Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation (GCPR) recently joined the National Recreation and Park Association’s Commit to Health Initiative in part because in Gwinnett County, GA more than 170,000 residents are not involved in weekly leisure time. That’s 20 percent of our residents who are not participating in any physical activity. 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

Connecting Seniors to Parks and Rec

Danielle Taylor | December 17, 2013

December’s cover story by John Crompton focused on the evolving lifestyle and financial factors motivating today’s seniors toward recreation. Senior Editor Danielle Taylor discusses how the seniors in her life found a wide range of ways to stay active and well. 

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Walk This Way

Zarnaaz Bashir | December 12, 2013

Recently the Every Body Walk! Collaborative held the first ever walking summit. NRPA was there representing parks and recreation and the great news is that community parks and recreation continues to be recognized and viewed as a key component for improving health and getting people active through walking. This post gives some insight into the summit and resources you can use to help create more walkable communities.

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Four Steps Parks and Rec Can Take to Wipe Obesity from the Headlines

August 23, 2013

Have you noticed obesity in the news lately? Numerous articles and studies published recently give us good reason to pat ourselves on the back. But still, other headlines stress that we have a lot more work to do and more investment must be focused on prevention. How can park and recreation agencies continue to contribute to the fight against obesity? We have identified four critical steps you can take now to demonstrate your leadership and contributions to health and wellness.

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A Doctor Knows Best: Parks Do Equal Wellness Speed Session Preview

August 13, 2013

It is here, your next Speed Session preview! If you are heading to Congress, you have got to plan to attend one of these fast-paced sessions on Wednesday, Oct. 9.  If you’ve got 20-minutes then you have enough time to learn how parks working with doctors can be a prescription for good community health. In fact, that is what this blog post written by a team of colleagues from the Montgomery County Department of Parks, part of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission in Maryland explores. They preview their Speed Session about the Parks = Wellness program and how agencies can implement similar programs to demonstrate the important role parks and recreation have in health and wellness, one of NRPA’s Three Pillars.  

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