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

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

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

Arlington, Virginia: Growing Fast, Lean, and Green

Jayni Rasmussen | January 13, 2015
NRPA’s Public Policy team took advantage of a quintessentially beautiful – although admittedly brisk - afternoon and ventured to a neighboring community to NRPA’s headquarters, Arlington, Virginia. Our tour gave us the opportunity to see, first-hand, how this compact county is balancing its size with its green building initiatives and its status as one of the fastest-growing areas in its state. 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

Austin: Everything for a Reason… and BBQ!

Kevin O'Hara | August 26, 2014
NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs Kevin O’Hara continues his series of dispatches from urban park and recreation agencies.  He recently spent time visiting some of the Lone Star State’s best and brightest parks and recreation facilities. In July, O’Hara regaled us with tales from his trip to Houston — here, he details a visit to Austin, one of Texas’ best-known and best-loved cities. Read more

What Happens When a Congressman Visits a Summer Food Service Program

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

This Exists: Wild Boar in Houston Parks

July 22, 2014
We’ve shipped Kevin O’Hara, NRPA’s vice president of urban and government affairs, out of D.C. and all over the country to visit with some of the nation’s urban parks and recreation agencies to see how their innovation and leadership is shaping the future of cities and those that reside in or nearby. He’s reporting back from these visits with some key takeaways that any park and recreation department can learn from no matter your size or location.  His first urban spotlight, Houston, Texas…  Read more

Vice President Biden and Honorable Guests Tour CityArchRiver Project

Emma Klues | May 27, 2014
On May 13th, NRPA Board of Directors member Susan Trautman, CPRP, had the great honor of welcoming Vice President Joe Biden and Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell to St. Louis, Missouri. It was an exciting day to hear such honored guests laud the important work of practicing conservation, promoting recreation and building parks! Read more

Meeting Demands of our Two and Four-Legged Residents

M-NCPPC Montgomery Parks Park and Trail Planning Staff | March 20, 2014
What exactly is a dog park and what is the demand for dog parks like—especially in urban areas? Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC) staff dive into the topic and discuss the issues they've faced with best serving the needs of their two-legged and four-legged residents. Read more

“Parke Diem”— Mobilizing Grassroots to Support Your Parks

Nick Hardigg | February 13, 2014
In the February issue of Parks & Recreation (“Seizing the Day”), we shared the story of “Parke Diem” — a grassroots campaign for volunteering and raising awareness of park needs. With a small staff and limited funds, we built a citywide coalition of 50 park-supporting groups for two days of stewardship. More than 1,400 volunteers came out for 73 projects. Read more

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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Parallel Parking Not Required: Parks in Parking Spaces

December 3, 2013

They paved paradise and put up a parking lot. The trend of diminishing green space is pretty well summarized in the song “Big Yellow Taxi,” by Joni Mitchell and later the Counting Crows. Luckily for us though, there is a newer trend of taking back some of those parking spaces and converting them into open space and parks—parklets.  At the NLC Conference last month, we met with Seattle’s Department of Transportation who launched a pilot parklet program in August of 2013 that aims to create new public spaces while ensuring the flow of traffic and parking are maintained. Read on to find out more about how parklets might bring unique open space to your community or city. 

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