5 Things We Learned from the Economic Impact of Local Parks Study

Kevin Roth;Melissa May | November 24, 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.

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Lauren Hoffmann | November 23, 2015

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.

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2016 Spending Package Offers Opportunity to Boost Parks and Recreation

Oliver Spurgeon III | November 19, 2015
With sequestration caps pushed aside for now, and a spare $50 billion to spend, Congress is in a mad dash to pass a spending package and avoid another shutdown before December 11, 2015. Since 2011, sequestration has wreaked havoc on state and local budgets and has threatened important investments in parks and recreation that keep Americans healthy and protect the integrity of our air, land and water. The debate in Congress these next couple of weeks is crucial for parks and recreation. Read more

Update on LWCF and Active Transportation

Dave Tyahla | November 6, 2015
It has been a busy week on Capitol Hill, with important action being taken involving two of NRPA’s most important policy priorities – the reauthorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and continued federal funding for active transportation options, including biking and walking. Here is a comprehensive breakdown of all the action. Read more

Tales From a Park and Rec Kid

Dirk Richwine, CPRE | October 23, 2015
If you grew up participating in activities at your local parks and recreation, then you probably have vivid memories of the people you met, lessons you learned, sports you played, camps you went to, etc. There is something about being a “park and rec kid” that many of those experiences stick with you as you get older and continue through your life. As part of NRPA’s 50th Anniversary, we have been challenging people to share their Park and Rec Kid story with us. It is these stories that serve as inspiration for people of all ages and walks of life to get out and use their local parks and recreation. Read more

What Happens in Vegas Doesn't Always Stay in Vegas

Melissa May | October 14, 2015
After the exhibit hall doors are shut, the final session ends, and the convention center halls are empty, it’s time to reflect on the successes and challenges of the event. More than 1,200 people evaluated, ranked and commented on their experience in an online survey. Not only will we use this feedback to continue to improve this annual event, we also want to share it so you can see the results. Here are some of the highlights. Read more

No Action Taken on CNR and LWCF — What Does This Mean?

David Tyahla | October 1, 2015
September 30 has come and gone, and no action has been taken on the Child Nutrition Reauthorization or the Land and Water Conservation Fund. So what does this mean for parks and recreation? What are the next steps? NRPA's Senior Government Affairs Manager, David Tyahla breaks it all down. Read more

What the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Walking Means for Parks and Recreation

Rachel Banner, MPH | September 11, 2015
As we all know, living a physically active lifestyle is one of the most important steps people can take to improve their health. On September 9, the U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, released his Call to Action on Walking and Walkable Communities titled Step it Up!, explaining to the nation that, “Walking is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to build up physical activity in your life.” The report not only encourages people of all abilities to get out and take a brisk walk every day but it also calls on professionals and advocates from many sectors — including parks and recreation — to create safe, supportive environments for everyone to walk or wheelchair roll. Read more

Overtime Changes and What They Mean for Parks and Recreation

Oliver Spurgeon III | August 21, 2015
Last month, the Obama administration released its long-awaited update to the Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA)overtime regulations. FLSA guarantees overtime pay of 1.5 times an employee’s regular wage for any time worked over 40 hours a week. The proposed rule would increase wages for 21.4 million workers by raising the overtime salary threshold to $50,440 -- an amount that is in line with the Obama administration’s “fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work” theme.
So what’s the background of all this and what is the potential impact of the change in rule?  
Here are some details to help make sense of it all. 
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7 Ways to Make Your Parks Millennial Friendly

Scott Hornick | August 19, 2015
Millennials, the group of people born between the mid 1980’s and early 2000’s, are different from their Generation X counterparts in a number of ways. They are seen as tech-savvy, socially conscious, achievement-driven people with more flexible ideas about wealth, work and play. It stands to reason, therefore, that their expectations about park activities would be different, too. In order to figure this out, it is important to look at what’s important to millennials, and from there we can see what they think makes a great park and recreation experience. Read more

50 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your NRPA Membership

Hayley MacDonell;Lauren Hoffmann | August 10, 2015

You often hear people say “you get out what you put in” when referencing various clubs or organizations that they join. In fact, we’ve even heard that from members of NRPA. Part of the benefits of being in an association are the ample opportunities to get involved and have valuable, rewarding experiences that help you excel in parks and recreation.


As part of our 50th Anniversary, we challenged ourselves to come up with a list of 50 ways members can get engaged and take full advantage of NRPA membership. 


Very quickly the list filled up!  As you read through, how many of these items have you or your agency accomplished? Are there any on the list that you want to accomplish this year?  Are there any you weren’t familiar with? Drop us a note, leave a comment or tweet us your thoughts! 

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Three Best Practices for Parks

Barbara Heller | July 17, 2015

Parks today aren’t what they were ten years ago. Where people used to utilize parks as a place to throw a frisbee with friends, have a picnic or just enjoy some quiet time with a book, today city residents are looking for a more social experience from parks, with formal programming like yoga, movie nights and lawn games.


Given these increasing demands, how can we create and manage parks in a way that meets the public’s expectations?

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4 Easy Ways to Celebrate Park and Recreation Month

Roxanne Sutton | July 10, 2015

For parks and recreation, the most wonderful time of the year is upon us. No, not Christmas—Park and Recreation Month! And this month is particularly special as we celebrate the 30th anniversary of July as Park and Recreation Month. Here are just some of the ways you can celebrate Park and Recreation Month in July!


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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

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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