At the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), equity is at the center of all we do. Our mission is to create a future where all people benefit from quality parks and recreation, including members of the LGBTQ+ community. As Pride Month comes to a close, we celebrate the important role that parks and recreation play in our communities to support all people - no matter the color of their skin, ethnicity, age, income level, ability, sexual orientation or gender identity.
This past year, we’ve seen an increase in attacks against the LGBTQ+ community, and during this month’s celebrations, we’ve even seen hate groups target Pride events. Unfortunately, the discrimination targeting the LGTBQ+ community continues to have a lasting impact on their health and wellbeing. Studies show that LGBTQ+ youth and adults experience many specific health-related challenges and disparities. In fact, The Trevor Project’s 2022 National Survey on LGBTQ Youth Mental Health demonstrated that 45 percent of LGBTQ youth seriously considered attempting suicide in the past year, among other alarming statistics.
NRPA is committed to advancing parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. As park and recreation professionals, it is our role and responsibility to ensure we offer safe spaces for all people, where everyone has access to opportunities to participate, contribute and benefit. More and more, park and recreation professionals are making efforts to ensure that the LGBTQ+ community feels safe and can fully participate in park and recreation offerings. This month, Iowa City Parks and Rec and Iowa City Pride hosted the Pride Picnic and Pride in the Pool at City Park, and the City of Pasadena Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department hosted the City’s first Pride Month celebration this past Saturday.
NRPA will continue to provide education, support and resources to park and recreation professionals across the country so that every community can be strong, healthy, resilient, vibrant, and inclusive. Using resources like our Equity in Practice learning series, Equity Language Guide, our newly launched Community Wellness Hubs toolkit, and Elevating Health Equity through Parks and Recreation: A Framework for Action, local park and recreation agencies can support their LGBTQ+ constituents and deliver health and wellbeing for all people.
Join NRPA today, to close out Pride Month with a virtual talk to further explore the importance of LGBTQ+ inclusion in parks and recreation: Pride in Parks: Spaces of Joy and Resistance.
To all of our colleagues and community members, Happy Pride!
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 nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit parksandrecreation.org.