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.



Conservation Initiatives

Wildlife Explorers

Wildlife Explorers

Wildlife Explorers is NRPA’s turn-key initiative that connects youth to nature by utilizing local park and recreation spaces to encourage nature discovery. 

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Climate Resilient Parks

Climate Resilient Parks

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.

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Great Urban Parks Campaign

Great Urban Parks Campaign

NRPA’s Great Urban Parks Campaign aims to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure projects in local parks. 

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Monarch Butterfly

Parks for Monarchs

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. 

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Learn more about NRPA's other initiatives aimed at connecting communities to nature and preserving open space.


Conservation Resources

NRPA Report: Park and Recreation Sustainability Practices

Park and Recreation Sustainability PracticesParks 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.

Conservation Poster

Conservation PosterParks 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.

Position Statements


News Stories

10.19.17Top Story

Historic Philly green space connects with residents in multiple ways

10.19.17Around the Country

S.C. county looks at uses for greenbelt fund

10.19.17Health and Wellness

Study offers ways parks can draw visitors, improve public health