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

Are You Committed?

Kellie May | February 11, 2015
Last year, NRPA committed, in a big way, to help improve the health and wellness of our nation’s youth by implementing a set of standards in out-of-school time programs at park and recreation sites across the country. These are the programs that kids attend before school, after school and in the summer.

Why is this important? Read more

Five Tips to Help You Get Grant Funding

Kellie May | February 5, 2015
NRPA is excited to announce the availability of $1.8 million to local park and recreation agencies to support their out-of-school time programs thanks to the Walmart Foundation. This grant program builds on the success we all had in 2014 increasing meals to children in low income communities and implementing healthy eating and physical activity standards. Read more

Why Crumb Rubber is in the News

Caroline Smith, CPSI | December 11, 2014
If you are a playground owner or operator you already know that your choice of playground surfacing is one of the most important decisions you will make. You may have read that roughly 70 percent of playground injuries are due to falls to unsafe surfaces. You probably considered whether the surfacing was impact attenuating, whether or not it was accessible and what you would need to do to maintain the surfacing, as well as a number of other factors. Among those factors, did surfacing health risks for your users come to mind? Read more

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

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