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: Oklahoma City, OK

How Communities Can Attract Businesses: Parks Making the Case for Quality of Life

Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
May 16-18, 2018
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Innovation Lab: Seattle, WA

#Winning: The Art of Getting Voters to Open their Wallets for Parks

Seattle, Washington
August 8-10, 2018


Past Innovation Labs and Resources

Innovation Lab TX Austin

Connecting Communities to Nature

Austin, Texas
May 17-19, 2017
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Innovation Lab CA Los Angeles

Homelessness in Parks

Los Angeles, California
January 25-27, 2017
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Portland Oregon

What Parks and Recreation Can Do About Equity

Portland, Oregon
August 3-5, 2016
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Innovation Lab MA Boston

Data Driven Government and Parks and Recreation

Boston, Massachusetts
May 12-13, 2016
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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
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For questions or more information contact Jayni Rasmussen, NRPA’s Advocacy and Outreach Manager at

For questions about sponsorship opportunities, contact Gina Mullins-Cohen, NRPA's Vice President of Magazine, Marketing and Communications at

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

News Stories

3.15.18Top Story

Former reservoir could be transformed into multilevel park in San Francisco

3.15.18Around the Country

Study examines usefulness of signage at neighborhood parks

3.15.18Around the Country

Ga. city's parks department is reorganized, rebranded