The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, is proud to recognize July 15, 2022, as national Park and Recreation Professionals Day. Part of NRPA’s monthlong Park and Recreation Month celebration, themed “We Rise Up for Parks and Recreation,” this special day honors park and recreation professionals nationwide.
Park and Recreation Professionals Day originally began with the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society (PRPS) as a statewide celebration in 2019. Read the full concept of Pennsylvania’s Park and Recreation Professionals Day here, as well as listen to this 2020 episode of Open Space Radio to hear Tim Herd, CEO of PRPS discuss the idea behind the day and how everyone can join the celebration.
“We are proud to honor and celebrate the dedication and strength of the people of parks and recreation,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “These individuals make up one of the nation’s most noble professions, and as their champion, we are happy to celebrate their hard work and dedication as part of Park and Recreation Professionals Day. To all of our esteemed members and colleagues, thank you for all that you do each day to make our communities healthy, equitable, and strong through the power of park and recreation.”
NRPA encourages everyone to learn more about the critical role park and recreation professionals play in communities everywhere. The July issue of Parks & Recreation magazine highlights the Ocotillo Ramada at Piestewa Peak in Phoenix, Arizona, where the City of Phoenix renamed a major landmark with a derogatory name to acknowledge Lori Piestewa, who lost her life at the age of 23 during the Iraq War in 2003 — the same attack that injured Jessica Lynch and killed other service members. Piestewa, a member of the Hopi Tribe, was the first Native American woman to lose her life in overseas combat while serving in the U.S. military. Since Piestewa’s death, the City of Phoenix has hosted the annual Piestewa Fallen Heroes Sunrise Memorial event to honor Piestewa’s sacrifice, as well as the sacrifices of other fallen heroes. Along with the renaming of the landmark, they continue to make improvements to the park, which includes recently unveiling more than 77,000 sqaure feet of improvements made, including new trailhead access, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)-accessible restrooms, parking and drinking fountains. Read more here.
Since 1985, people have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote the importance of parks and recreation in health and well-being, conservation and equity, 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.
Park and recreation professionals and agencies across the country recognize the month with summer programs, virtual events, contests, commemorations and more. NRPA encourages people that support parks and recreation to share their park and recreation story, as well as why their local park and recreation professionals are important to them, with the hashtag #RiseUpJuly and #NRPAParkandRecDay.
You can learn more about Park and Recreation Month by visiting: nrpa.org/July.
To learn more about NRPA, visit 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 nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit parksandrecreation.org.