Park and recreation agencies are increasingly challenged to produce solutions to solve new problems and meet new challenges that come from a rapidly changing world. Demographic, social, technological, and economic changes are forcing park and recreation agencies to adapt quickly and embrace change at a pace for which they may not be well-prepared.

NRPA's Innovation Labs bring together some of the sharpest minds both in and outside the field of parks and recreation to explore how innovative thinking can meet emerging challenges, reduce costs, and better serve the public.


Upcoming Innovation Labs

Innovation Lab CA Los Angeles

Homelessness in Parks

Los Angeles, California
January 25-27, 2017

Learn More


Innovation Lab TX Austin

Connecting Kids to Nature

Austin, Texas
May 17-19, 2017

Registration Coming Soon



Past Innovation Labs and Resources

Innovation Lab OR Portland

What Parks and Recreation Can Do About Equity

Portland, Oregon
August 3-5, 2016
Learn More



Innovation Lab MA Boston

Data Driven Government and Parks and Recreation

Boston, Massachusetts
May 12-13, 2016
Learn More



Innovation Lab CA San Diego

Why Does Wall Street Care About Parks and Recreation?

San Diego, California
January 28-29, 2016
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Innovation Lab PA Philadelphia

Cross Agency Collaboration

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

December 3-4, 2015
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Innovation Lab IL Chicago

Economic Impact of Parks and Recreation

Chicago, Illinois
July 30-31, 2015
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Innovation Lab FL Miami

How Parks Create Healthier Communities

Miami, Florida 
March 12-13, 2015
Learn More




For questions or more information contact Kevin O’Hara, NRPA’s Vice President of Urban and Government Affairs

NRPA will be hosting the Innovation Labs in different cities throughout the year. Future sites will be announced soon.

News Stories

1.18.17Parks and Recreation Update

Chicago debates whether a quiet park should add organized sports

1.18.17Public Communication and Outreach

Parks department takes part in Ill. city's survey

1.18.17Public Communication and Outreach

Ind. city to build website focused on tourism, events