NRPA Invites Park and Recreation Community to Collaborate on “Our Park and Recreation Poem”

(July 6, 2021)

NRPA is partnering with bestselling author Kwame Alexander to create a shared poem celebrating the impact of parks and recreation in communities nationwide

This year, to celebrate Park and Recreation Month, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is partnering with bestselling author and park enthusiast Kwame Alexander, to create a community poem incorporating the diverse voices of the park and recreation community. 

NRPA, the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, invites members of the park and recreation community to submit original poems — or meaningful thoughts and phrases — about parks and recreation. The poem should begin with, or include somewhere in the poem, the line:  "Everything around you is..."

Alexander will select lines from the submissions and combine them into a single community poem titled “Our Park and Recreation Poem.” The poem will be showcased online at the end of the month and during the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference. 

Since 1985, people in the United States have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation, and to recognize the more than 160,000 full-time park and recreation professionals — along with hundreds of thousands of part-time and seasonal workers and volunteers — that maintain our country’s local, state and community parks. “Our Park and Recreation Poem” continues the tradition of celebrating the essential role parks and recreation serve in our communities.

Park and recreation community members can submit poems via an online portal. The deadline for submission is Friday, July 9, 2021. 

You can learn more about Park and Recreation Month by visiting:

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

About Kwame Alexander

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, including, “Swing”; “Becoming Muhammad Ali,” co-authored with James Patterson; “Booked,” which was longlisted for the National Book Award; “Rebound,” which was shortlisted for prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book; “The Undefeated,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson; and, his Newbery medal-winning middle grade novel, “The Crossover.” A contributor to NPR's Morning Edition where he regularly creates community crowdsourced poems, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he founded the publishing imprint VERSIFY, and opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. He is the writer and executive producer of “The Crossover” TV series on Disney Plus.