While California has the largest
and most diverse system of state parks and cultural sites in the nation, most
parks are not where most people are – especially in urban areas like Los
Angeles where lower income neighborhoods tend to be “park poor” and there are
disparities in access to open space based on race, ethnicity and poverty.
The beach helps fill this void – it is where people of all ages, cultures
and incomes come together with family, friends and nature. For 40 years, the
California Coastal Act has helped ensure beach access is open to all.
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.
Nationally, 2015 was a turbulent year to say the least.
Looking back at the headlines, we see terror attacks, mass shootings, plane
crashes and more. Despite the tragedies, parks and recreation continued to
serve their communities to the fullest—providing them safe places to get
healthy, enjoy nature and come together.
Among the national headlines, parks and recreation had their
own. From dealing with emerging technologies to expiring legislation, here are
the top stories from our field in 2015.
NRPA released the results of the first economic impact study capturing the tremendous
nationwide contribution that thousands of local and regional parks make to the
U.S. economy. America’s local and regional public park agencies generated
nearly $140 billion in economic activity and supported almost 1 million jobs
from their operations and capital spending alone in 2013. Beyond the headline numbers, there are five things that you
should take away from The Economic Impact
of Local Parks study.
It never ceases to me amaze me how quickly Thanksgiving comes around. It literally feels like yesterday we were saying goodbye to summer and getting ready for the NRPA Annual Conference. But alas, Thanksgiving is here.
If you have read the NRPA blog the last few years we started a tradition with our Thanksgiving-themed blog posts that we hope you look forward to just as much as you do that special pie or side dish at your Thanksgiving feast! And this year, the tradition continues.
The opinions of NRPA blog contributors don't necessarily reflect the editorial position of National Recreation and Park Association as a whole.
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