What the President’s Budget Means for Parks and Rec

NRPA Public Policy Team | February 12, 2016
President Obama released his FY2017 budget request on Tuesday, totaling $4.1 trillion. This year’s budget is the President’s most expensive and expansive vision for federal spending yet. With the spending included in this effort, the President seeks to spur innovation, create more jobs, expand opportunity for all Americans, strengthen our national security and expand U.S. leadership abroad during his final year in office. NRPA’s Public Policy Team has looked into the major provisions of the President’s budget, which, if enacted by Congress, would be mostly positive for NRPA members and the communities we serve. Read more

Child Nutrition Reauthorization: The Senate’s Vision for Feeding Hungry Children

Oliver Spurgeon | January 26, 2016
The Senate Agriculture Committee has finally introduced the Improving Child Nutrition Integrity and Access Act–better known as the Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR). This bipartisan compromise between Sen. Pat Roberts (R-KS) and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) is far from perfect, but no bill ever is. It contains ideas that are both questionable and commendable when it comes to keeping children healthy and fed. Most importantly, it brings an end to years of ferocious public debates about child nutrition, health and hunger that have played out on the front pages of newspapers and the headlines of news broadcasts. Read more

How to Use the Economic Impact of Local Parks to Your Advantage

Melissa May | January 15, 2016

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.

Read more

A Win for LWCF and more in the Congressional Spending Package

NRPA Public Policy Team | December 18, 2015
We’ve pulled the highlights that impact parks and recreation out of the 2,000 page spending package. By any standard, this year’s final federal spending package must be viewed as a success. It’s a win for NRPA and our supporters. We thank you and congratulate you on your committed advocacy efforts which resulted in strong investments at conserving our parks and natural resources, improving the health and well-being of future generations, and strengthening the fabric of our communities. Read more

Good News for Walking and Biking

Dave Tyahla | December 9, 2015
Between looming deadlines that demand action and simply wanting to be viewed as "doing something,” Capitol Hill often fills with a flurry of activity during the holiday season. While there has been activity on other legislative priorities, this message is exclusively about transportation. AND, the news is very good. Read more

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

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

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. 
Read more

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

Parks and Rec Ending Summer Learning Loss One Meal at a Time

Oliver Spurgeon | July 29, 2015
The lessons and tutoring sessions that accompany lunchtime meals at park and recreation sites have been proven to stem summer learning loss, increase retention rates and keep children on the path to success when they return to the classroom in the fall. Thanks to the hard work of park and recreation employees across the country, millions of kids who receive summer meals will return from summer vacation healthier and better prepared for school. Read more

Moves Made in the Senate on LWCF

Dave Tyahla | July 27, 2015
Last Wednesday, there were significant developments on the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) Reauthorization coming out of the U.S. Senate. The leadership of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee introduced a broad, 350-page energy reform bill which included permanent reauthorization of the LWCF. We've laid out some key components, where things stand and how you can get involved. Read more

Five Tips to Get Your Member of Congress to Visit Your Community

Jayni Rasmussen | June 16, 2015
NRPA’s Public Policy team recently sat down with two expert Congressional staffers during the May Park Champion Webinar, “Speak Like An Advocate.” Here are some of their top tips on getting the attention of your federal elected officials. 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

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

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