NRPA Announces More Than $2.5 Million in Funding to Support Equitable Access to Parks

(July 19, 2021)

Resilient Park Access Grant funding awarded to seven park and recreation agencies

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) awards grant funding totaling more than $2.5 million to support the advancement of community-driven, systems-level strategies for equitable park access that improve the environmental resilience and health of communities. The grant funding also will provide ongoing peer learning and coaching, professional development and access to networks of like-minded park and recreation professionals throughout the country.

“NRPA strives for a future where all people have access to the benefits of quality parks and recreation. Achieving this future requires recognizing the systemic inequities that have created very different lived experiences in communities across the country — differences based on factors like racial disparities and socioeconomic gaps,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “Putting equity at the center of our work means we are committed to supporting and advancing local solutions through grant opportunities, and we are proud to work with these six communities leading the way.”

Grant awards range from $300,000 to $433,800. The recipients and projects include:

  • City of Detroit Parks and Recreation, Detroit, Michigan – With the goal of increasing access to nature and making it more equitably available to all, the City of Detroit will identify and build pocket parks in high need areas and engage the community on programming and stewardship of the project through workforce development.
  • City of Farmington Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs, Farmington, New Mexico – The City of Farmington is committed to critical observation of our system to illuminate success or failure, especially upon vulnerable groups like our Native and disabled communities. Grant funds will be used to design an All Ability Park, a project that uplifts and values all groups in one space.
  • City of Lynnwood Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department, Lynnwood, Washington – The City of Lynnwood plans to create a park capital prioritization framework tool to evaluate and score all future possible park capital projects by creating equity, resiliency, inclusive, and health indices. In collaboration with a community co-design committee, staff will create a comprehensive Parks & Trails Capital Plan which uses the prioritization framework to develop a suite of projects to form a future bond measure.
  • New Orleans Recreation Development Commission, New Orleans, Louisiana – This project will fund the creation of a citywide parks and recreation master plan – a strategy to build an equitable and resilient park and recreation system accessible to all New Orleanians. The planning process will engage a wide array of community-based organizations and residents to gather feedback and create action strategies to advance the city’s goals.
  • Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources, Navajo Nation – The Diné Canyon Trails in the Navajo Tribal Parks bordering Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will provide an opportunity for the Navajo community to experience their shared cultural and physical bond with the Navajo landscape. Meaningful signage and significant physical spaces will offer healing to communities experiencing imbalance due to long term poverty, poor health, historical injustice, biodiversity decline, and loss of indigenous culture and language.
  • The ONEPGH Fund, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – This project will empower Pittsburghers to transform the city's 1,200 acres of unmanaged greenways from neglected liabilities to community assets. An innovative partnership between the ONEPGH Fund, City of Pittsburgh, neighborhoods and the public and private sectors, the Pittsburgh Greenways Platform Partnership will properly resource communities with the funding, tools, partnerships and expertise required to create accessible, thriving, and healthy outdoor spaces that mitigate the impacts of climate change.

NRPA believes that everyone should have just and fair opportunity to access great parks. NRPA works to improve park access by providing opportunities for funding, networking, capacity building and professional development to local park and recreation agencies. Fair and just access to parks is linked to increased physical activity, improved mental health, stronger community bonds and enhanced sustainability. NRPA distributes more than $4 million annually to directly improve park spaces and have developed best practices, learning opportunities and more for park professionals. Funding for these projects is provided by The JPB Foundation.

To learn more about NRPA’s mission is to advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people, visit

To learn more about NRPA, visit


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 For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit