Funding expands on The Walt Disney Company’s commitment to improved access to places for play and sports
Ashburn, Va. (September 15, 2020) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), today, announced the recipients of its 2020 Youth Sports and Outdoor Play grants. Part of a $1 million donation provided by The Walt Disney Company early this year, this grant funding supports projects that increase access to youth sports and play spaces in local parks for children and families. The donation also supports NRPA resources aimed at training and mentoring park and recreation professionals to help close gaps in access to youth sports programs and facilities. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, NRPA is focused on addressing the barriers to access so that when it is safe to return to youth sports, more kids are able to participate.
As part of the donation, 12 communities will be receiving grants and technical assistance as they look to increase access to youth sports that increase opportunities for physical activity and are inclusive and welcoming to all:
The 12 communities receiving grants are:
- Los Angeles County, CA - Lennox Park
- City of Santa Clarita, CA - Pop-up Play for All
- City of Bristol, CT - Rockwell Park
- City of Orlando, FL – Emery Hamilton Sports Complex
- Broadview, IL - Schroeder Park
- Town of Vivian, LA - Schroeder Park
- City of Quincy, MA - Snug Harbor Park
- City of Mexico, MO - Garfield Park
- Durham, NC – Fun Caravan
- City of Pierre, SD – Community Pool
- West Valley City, UT – Parkway Park
- Evanston, WY – Bear Meadows
Since 2015, NRPA and Disney have collaborated through Meet Me at the Park on more than 130 park improvement projects. Last year, the organizations met their combined goal to reach more than 1 million children and families through the Meet Me at the Park program from 2017 to 2019. Evaluation of these projects has shown a positive impact on the communities — including an increase in visitors engaging in moderate-to-vigorous activity at the project sites and an increase in the number of adults and children who exercise and play at the park.
“Gaps in access to affordable, high-quality and versatile sports opportunities for youth continue to grow, contributing to a decline in sports participation and physical activity,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA President and CEO. “This continuation of our long-standing relationship with Disney will promote the expansion of fair access to youth sports throughout the country and contribute to creating healthier communities. We are proud of the work our organizations have done together in support of NRPA’s mission to strengthen communities through the power of parks and recreation.”
By working with local park and recreation professionals across the U.S., children and families will have increased access to healthier lifestyles as well as safe, inclusive and innovative play opportunities for years to come.
To learn more about NRPA’s work in youth sports, visit www.nrpa.org/youth-sports.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.
About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.