Protecting open space, connecting people to nature, and engaging communities in conservation practices.
Local park and recreation agencies play a vital role in the protection of our environment through green infrastructure, conservation of public lands, providing wildlife habitat and more. In a world where people are increasingly disconnected to nature, local parks also are essential in creating environmental stewards who will advocate for and protect our most precious public resources – our land, water, trees, open spaces and wildlife.
NRPA works with local park and recreation agencies to provide tools, resources and technical assistance to better connect communities to nature and enhance sustainability through conservation practices within parks. Our areas of focus include promoting sustainable practices including green infrastructure and other strategies that address the effects of climate change, preserving wildlife, growing a next generation of environmental stewards, and supporting programs and policies that encourage a commitment to conservation.
Wildlife Explorers is NRPA’s turn-key initiative that connects youth to nature by utilizing local park and recreation spaces to encourage nature discovery.
With limited resources, it can be a heavy lift for park and recreation agencies to incorporate principles of climate resiliency into their operations, programs and management. NRPA is providing resources to help park and recreation agencies to address the impacts of climate change.
NRPA’s Great Urban Parks Campaign aims to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure projects in local parks.
NRPA is part of the Monarch Joint Venture (MJV), a partnership of national organizations and government agencies that are leading the way to restore monarch populations nationwide. Through MJV, NRPA is better connecting our members and our network of parks to monarch conservation resources.
Learn more about NRPA's other initiatives aimed at connecting communities to nature and preserving open space.
NRPA Report: Park and Recreation Sustainability Practices
Parks are key community stakeholders when it comes to addressing the effects of climate change. From protecting water resources via green infrastructure practices, to reducing urban heat island effect through city wide forest restoration - parks play a critical role in ensuring that our communities successfully adapt and thrive in light of a rapidly changing planet.
Parks play an important role in providing habitat for pollinator species across the country. But parks can't do it alone. Help us restore habitat for pollinators by learning which native plants are best for your area. Then, get outside and exercise your green thumb!
Download a PDF copy of our Conservation poster to display at your agency or share with the public.
- Full Report of the Conservation Task Force (8 MB PDF)
- Top Ten Recommendations on how to implement conservation practices in your community (1 MB PDF)
- Conservation Best Management Practices and Case Studies: The full library is available to NRPA Members in the Knowledge Center (Environment & Conservation > Conservation Task Force Resources ). Five public selections are shown below:
- Rain Gardens (2 MB PDF)
- Reduced Mowing Saves Funds and Improves Natural Resources (1 MB PDF)
- Creating Partnerships to Engage Youth in Conservation and Stewardship (5 MB PDF)
- How to Develop an Energy Conservation Program for Your Agency (5 MB PDF)
- Wind and Solar Learning Center (2 MB PDF)
- The role of parks and recreation in Conservation and the Environment
- NRPA Statement on President Trump’s ‘Energy Independence’ Executive Order
- NRPA Statement on Senate Confirmation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt