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Making the Case: Parks and Health

Rope Swing PhotoMaking the Case: Parks and Health is an easy-to-use resource to help park and recreation leaders make the objective case to elected officials that parks are a critical part of the community’s public health infrastructure. The resource includes data-rich fact sheets, presentations, infographics and other resources that will help you get support for your agency.


Why Did We Develop It?

In an era when city and county budgets are mostly flat or shrinking, demands on our parks and recreation systems continue to grow. That means parks and recreation leaders need to go beyond demonstrating the obvious community benefits of great parks, but provide evidence-based reasons for public officials to invest in parks. This resource provides consolidated, accessible research that makes the case that an investment in parks is an investment in health.

How to Use the Communications Kit

Built on input from NRPA members, external stakeholders, and research partners such as Active Living Research, we’ve compiled data from numerous studies and organized it into a suite of materials to use in briefings, presentations, budget meetings, community forums, print media and other venues. Contents of this resource include:

  • Parks and health fact sheets, broken down into different issue areas with citations. We have provided this in HTML format, so it’s easy to cut and paste from our website to your documents, as well as formatted PDFs you can print and distribute.

  • Infographics library. This contains links to publicly available infographics that help tell the story of the positive impact of parks on community health and well-being in easy-to-scan visual content.

  • Parks and health PowerPoint slides. These slides condense the information from the fact sheets. For each fact sheet topic, there is one master slide with several facts, followed by four to six slides with one fact and one image apiece. The slides are designed to supplement your presentation. The content, layout and design can be modified based on your needs.

  • Success stories drawn from the NRPA online database highlighting examples from around the country of recreation and parks departments serving as public health leaders in their communities.

  • Social media calendar. We’ve included ready-to-use social media posts to coincide with different times of the year when we can start a conversation with your community about how they use parks to get and stay healthy.

  • Testimonials from researchers and elected officials about the health benefits of parks, and how those benefits translate into tangible, positive community impacts.

For more information about these resources, please contact Zarnaaz Bashir, Director of Strategic Health Initiatives, at zbashir@nrpa.org