In 2017, 41 local park and recreation agencies received grant funding from NRPA, with support from the Walmart Foundation, to implement the Commit to Health program in their out-of-school time programs. Agencies have shared inspiring stories of kids excited to try new fruits and vegetables, thanks to the Foods of the Month curriculum, and who are energized by increased physical activity opportunities.
One of Spartanburg's most popular recreation and physical activity destinations is the Mary Black Foundation Rail Trail. This two-mile rail-to-trail conversion is a wheelchair accessible recreation and activity hub that parallels two major roads and connects many neighborhoods to downtown Spartanburg, South Carolina.
Carmody Park is an incredibly special place, because it is Lakewood’s first universal playground, offering kids of all ages and abilities the chance to play, without limits, alongside each other.
Using CDC’s park access measures, Five Rivers MetroParks of Dayton, Ohio evaluated access to its Five Rivers MetroParks for residents within a half mile radius of the parks. This method included looking at proximity to parks, walking access to parks, and park connectivity.
In an effort to empower residents to take an active role in their health and wellness, the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), Department of Parks and Recreation in Prince George’s County is now offering the Walk With Ease program.
The Walk With Ease Program was developed by the Arthritis Foundation and is beneficial for anyone looking to engage in physical activity, but especially for those suffering with arthritis.
San Francisco recently commemorated the great success of being the first city in the nation where every resident lives within a 10-minute walk to a park. It is, indeed, a great feat worth celebrating. But not every 10-minute walk is the same.
A grant from NRPA allowed Southgate Recreation & Park District to offer the Arthritis Foundation’s Walk With Ease program to older adults. The WWE program is a low-impact group-based walking program designed for people with arthritis.
Friends of Hemming Park, a nonprofit organization was contracted by the City of Jacksonville in 2014 to manage Jacksonville’s oldest public park. Since our inception, we implemented placemaking projects and brought regular amenities and programming to the park. Although great things have happened in Hemming Park, the park has also had some recent challenges.
In my three years working at R.O.C.K. (Recreation Of City Kids) Programs with the City of San Jose, the opportunity to implement nature focused enrichment in our daily afterschool program had yet to come up until this past Fall. My supervisor informed me that my school site Majestic Way Elementary was chosen to pilot the Wildlife Explorers Program through the NRPA.
Mary Hyland, just like millions of Americans struggling with arthritic symptoms, needed more physical activity to help cope with her arthritis. While she never considered joining a support group in the past, she discovered an enjoyable program being offered by the City of Apopka that encourages all people facing the same age-old challenge to get outside and walk.
A nutrition coordinator for a summer program helped provide six weeks of nutrition literacy as part of the 2016 Out-of-School Time Programs Grant from NRPA and the Walmart Foundation. Each week, the coordinator visited 8 playgrounds and recreation centers and engaged hundreds of children in learning about the importance of healthy eating.
It’s the summer of 1985, and the disco era is transitioning into dance-pop and rock. The outdoor roller skating rink at Durham Parks and Recreation’s W.D. Hill Recreation Center continues to flourish for skaters who have found a new way to dance on wheels with inline skates and rollerblades. The 15-year-old rink, layered with a Sport Court surface, is equipped with a concession building for skate storage and rentals that doubles as the DJ hub for tunes that waft through the neighborhood on summer evenings. The picnic shelter serves as a shaded area for admirers to observe talented skaters “doing their thing.”
It’s hard to imagine that in nine months’ time, a vacant lot in the Dutch Kills area of Queens was transformed into a lively community garden to enjoy nature, promote healthy living, and engage local youth. Soon after being licensed and registered as a GreenThumb community garden, Windmill Community Garden’s development was set into high-gear with the help of the 2016 Disney Parks Build Community program.
As a graduate from art school, and someone who was previously known for avoiding bugs at all costs, I never imagined myself as a leader in the nature-based Wildlife Explorers program. However, my perception and willingness to engage with the natural world has dramatically changed since the beginning of my employment about two and a half years ago at the Carrie Murray Nature Center, under Baltimore City Recreation and Parks.
"Please send me kids that can share my garden with the community," prayed Dana Caley as she stood on the soil that had previously not been successful as a community garden. Quincy Teen REACH was the answer to her prayer--a partnership which resulted in at-risk kids becoming gardeners and Dana's harvest being more than vegetables.
Bounce houses and balloon animals. Popcorn and painted faces. While this fair offered the traditional activities anyone would expect, what made our first Commit to Health Fair extra special was all the OTHER options available to the guests. The focus on healthy choices and physical activity was clear from the moment the doors opened until the last guest left.
Baltimore City Department of Recreation and Parks’ Therapeutic Recreation Division has continued to expand its strong partnership with Special Olympics Maryland. This partnership has allowed the Special Olympics program in Baltimore City to increase the number of athletes participating in community based programming and in programming geared toward individuals in day care programs.