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Park Improvements That Won’t Break Your Community’s Budget

By Little Tikes Commercial | Posted on May 11, 2021

Here are seven cost-effective ways you can improve your parks and playgrounds from Little Tikes Commercial.

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How to Onboard New Volunteers Safely and Efficiently This Summer

By Background Investigation Bureau | Posted on May 6, 2021

Background Investigation Bureau, the exclusive background screening provider of NRPA, provides what you need to know to be efficient in your on-boarding practices and keep your community safe.

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Coffee Talk Replay: Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change — Episode 090

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on May 4, 2021

On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're replaying one of our Coffee Talks from last year's NRPA Virtual, when we were joined by Kenny Weigandt from Willamalane Park and Recreation District in Oregon,  and John DiSpaldo, a regional preparedness liaison for FEMA, to discuss being prepared for disasters due to a changing climate.

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How Mindfulness Can Improve Your Family’s Health

By Shea Pease | Posted on May 3, 2021

Mindfulness is the practice of focusing on what you’re sensing and feeling in the present moment, without passing any judgment or allowing interruptions. BOKS, a free physical activity program for kids and families, has just launched a new Mindfulness & Movement Flows resource designed to take the planning out of mindfulness activities.

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Supporting Transgender Inclusion in Youth Sports

By Allison Colman, Teresa Morrissey, Autumn Saxton-Ross and Tiff Cunin | Posted on April 30, 2021

As bills aimed at preventing transgender youth — particularly transgender girls — from participating in girls’ sports continue to appear in state legislatures, here are some best practices, resources and learning opportunities as it relates to transgender inclusion in youth sports.

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Celebrating Park and Recreation Professionals on Thank a Hunger Hero Day

By Maureen Neumann | Posted on April 30, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic highlighted and emphasized the critical role park and recreation professionals play in supporting access to healthy food for community members, especially during times of crisis. This #ThankAHungerHero Day, we’re taking a moment to celebrate the essential role of park and recreation professionals.

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New Toolkit to Assess Climate Threats and Park-Specific Strategies

By Jenny Cox | Posted on April 29, 2021

Climate.Park.Change. is a pilot toolkit created by Sasaki in partnership with NRPA. This toolkit compiles data on how climate change is affecting park and recreation spaces and offers physical design and community engagement solutions to address climate impacts and other challenges.

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Summer 2021: Safe, Fun, Healthy and Family-Friendly Activities in Parks and Rec

By NRPA Programs and Partnerships Team | Posted on April 21, 2021

We asked NRPA's Conservation, Health and Park Access teams for some summer activity recommendations — check out a few of their ideas highlighting fun ways you can spend time together as a family and make new memories this summer.

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New Research Brief: The Evidence Base for Afterschool and Summer

By Nikki Yamashiro | Posted on April 20, 2021

As the country now looks to reopening and recovery, afterschool and summer programs, which decades of research have shown are able to help meet the academic, social, and emotional needs of students, will continue to be a valuable resource.

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Addressing Issues at the Intersection of Climate and Health — Episode 089

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on April 20, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we're discussing how the Climate for Health Ambassador Training, taking place this June in partnership with Climate for Health, will benefit park and recreation professionals at all experience levels.

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Columbus Recreation and Parks Department Celebrates Earth Month

By Betty Blockinger | Posted on April 16, 2021

When the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department began planning what Earth Day would look like in 2021, they decided to take a new approach. What if they planted pollinator habitats instead of trees?

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Equity-Centered Planning Is About More Than Just Metrics — May Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on April 15, 2021

On the May bonus episode of the podcast, we’re talking with Clement Lau, AICP, a departmental facilities planner for the Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation, about park and recreation planning with equity at the center.

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Planning for Summer Meals Success

By Clarissa Hayes | Posted on April 14, 2021

To support continued meal access during COVID-19, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) has extended key nationwide waivers that will allow park and recreation professionals across the country to adapt and adjust operations to provide meals to children in a variety of ways.

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Free Earth Day Concert and Programming with MISTER G

By Roxanne Sutton | Posted on April 9, 2021

This Earth Month we’re excited to be working with MISTER G to promote a series of online workshops and a livestream virtual concert for kids of all ages. You are invited to register for the workshops and concerts for free and utilize them in your childcare and out-of-school time programs or however you see fit.

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New Resource Aims to Build a Fairer, Healthier World

By Alyia Gaskins and Tiffany Pertillar | Posted on April 7, 2021

NRPA's new resource, Elevating Health Equity Through Parks and Recreation: A Framework for Action, guides local park and recreation professionals in applying an equity lens when designing, implementing and evaluating programs and services.

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What Inclusion and Accessibility Mean to a Special Olympian — Episode 088

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on April 6, 2021

On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're joined by Abby Hirsch, an athlete for Special Olympics Minnesota, to learn about her story and what inclusion and accessibility mean to her.

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Conducting a Regional and Rural Parks Needs Assessment

By Clement Lau, AICP, DPPD | Posted on March 24, 2021

The Los Angeles County Department of Parks and Recreation is starting a community engagement and outreach process to develop a needs assessment to address regional recreation, beaches, rural areas and open space.

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Time-Sensitive Federal Funding Notice: Local Community Project Funding (Earmarks)

By Elvis Cordova | Posted on March 23, 2021

As Congress begins to consider funding for the fiscal year 2022, the House Committee on Appropriations — the committee overseeing this process — has announced “Community Project Funding,” which is a revised version of “earmarks,” or federal funding for congressional district-specific projects.

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From Experiencing Homelessness to Becoming a Community Leader — Episode 087

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on March 23, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Dr. Samose Mays, the director of Bryan County Parks and Recreation and the Georgia Recreation and Park Association district two commissioner, to learn more about his story of adversity, resilience and how parks and recreation saved his life.

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COVID-19: What Can We Expect for Summer Camp 2021?

By Allison Colman | Posted on March 22, 2021

Recent conversations with the CDC, American Camp Association and other national out-of-school time organizations, as well as newly released studies highlighting the effectiveness of multi-layered prevention measures in camp and childcare settings, have confirmed that while summer camp programs will continue to have significant prevention and mitigation strategies in place this year, they can safely operate (yay!).

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Case Study: How One Successful Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz Led to Another

By Della Killeen | Posted on March 22, 2021

Learn about the successes of a Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz in Peoria, Arizona, and join us to raise awareness of pollinators nationwide by hosting a Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz in your community this September and you could win one of three $1,000 prizes or one of three Scotts Miracle-Gro prize packs to help with your pollinator habitats or programs!

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NRPA Parks Snapshot: March 16-19 Survey Results

By Kevin Roth | Posted on March 19, 2021

Park and recreation professionals continue to play a vital role in the community when it comes to testing and vaccination distribution. In the latest NRPA Parks Snapshot, we find 82 percent of park and recreation agencies across the country supporting these efforts.

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The Importance of Amplifying Contemporary Indigenous Voices — April Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on March 18, 2021

The April issue of Parks & Recreation magazine is out now, and on today’s bonus episode of the podcast, we’re diving deeper into one of this month’s cover stories, “Protecting the Land and Its History.” We're joined by Sara Sinclair and Stephanie Lozano about the importance of land acknowledgment and amplifying Indigenous voices.

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How the American Rescue Plan Will Help Parks and Recreation

By Kyle Simpson | Posted on March 12, 2021

To help park and recreation agencies maximize the economic relief opportunities provided by the American Rescue Plan, NRPA's public policy and advocacy team has prepared a summary of the relevant provisions of the bill.

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How Park and Recreation Departments are Reimagining Themselves During COVID-19

By Jon Solomon | Posted on March 12, 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has shed light on just how essential parks and recreation is to our communities and has forced agencies to get creative – to adapt and reimagine programming and other offerings as we all adjust to new norms following the pandemic.

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Introducing Parks as Community Nutrition Hubs

By Maureen Neumann | Posted on March 11, 2021

Park and recreation agencies are uniquely suited to serve as community nutrition hubs, connecting all members of the community to programs and services that improve health outcomes.

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USDA Extends Free Meals Through Summer 2021

By Dan McCarthy | Posted on March 11, 2021

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently extended waivers that allow all children to continue to receive free nutritious meals through the summer.

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One Year Later: COVID-19 and Parks and Recreation — Episode 086

By Roxanne Sutton and Cort Jones | Posted on March 9, 2021

We're two days away from the one-year anniversary of COVID-19 being declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization, and on today’s episode of Open Space Radio, we're joined by Jesús Aguirre, NRPA board member and superintendent of Seattle Parks and Recreation, and Allison Colman, NRPA's director of health, to discuss the impact the pandemic has had on parks and recreation.

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New Tools to Support COVID-19 Vaccine Education for Communities and Employers

By Allison Colman | Posted on March 2, 2021

To educate the public and build confidence around the COVID-19 vaccines, The Ad Council and COVID Collaborative have launched the “It’s Up to You” campaign. Through the campaign, various toolkits, creative assets, and other resources are available to support messaging for community-based organizations and employers.

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Engaging Youth as Park and Recreation Leaders

By Maureen Neumann | Posted on March 1, 2021

Youth are one of the most powerful yet under-utilized community groups. So, how can park and recreation professionals engage with youth in their community to serve as leaders, inspire change, and support critical life skills and career readiness?

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The Texas Energy Crisis: How Parks and Recreation Meet the Moment

By Dan McCarthy | Posted on February 24, 2021

President Joe Biden has declared a federal emergency in Texas as the state starts to recover from the recent disastrous winter weather event and subsequent overwhelming of the state’s energy grid, and park and recreation professionals in the state are answering the call to support their communities and keep them safe.

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Why the Fight for Access to Playgrounds is a Racial Justice Issue

By Kevin Paul | Posted on February 24, 2021

Playgrounds have always been a racial justice issue, so let’s treat them like one.

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Creating a Space for Women in Parks and Recreation — Episode 085

By Roxanne Sutton and Cort Jones | Posted on February 23, 2021

On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're talking with the three women who created the "Women in Parks and Recreation” Facebook group, which is made up of more than 8,000 women working in the park and recreation profession.

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Building ‘An Equal Future’ with TEDxCollegePark — March Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on February 18, 2021

On the March bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Neelay Bhatt, vice president of PROS Consulting, and Roslyn Johnson, director of Baltimore County Recreation and Parks, to talk about TEDxCollegePark’s event, ‘An Equal Future,’ which is taking place virtually on March 19.

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GameTime’s 2021 Park and Playground Trends

By Kent Callison | Posted on February 12, 2021

These trends from GameTime indicate the industry's direction in the upcoming year while simultaneously calling attention to innovations from 2020.

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How Parks and Recreation Plays a Role in COVID-Impacted Youth Sports

By Jon Solomon | Posted on February 10, 2021

Quality, community-based sports will be more important than ever during the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. Park and recreation departments have a greater opportunity to market their role in this area given the likely desire by parents for more local and affordable sports offerings.

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The Best Things in Life Are Free

By David Sabgir, MD, FACC | Posted on February 10, 2021

In celebration of February being Heart Health Month, Walk with a Doc has teamed up with Fresh Avocados – Love One Today® to offer a brand new, virtual Grand Canyon Adventure. This virtual event will last two weeks and is free to participate in!

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Creating Opportunities for Underserved Youth in Louisville — Episode 084

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on February 9, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we're talking with staff from Jefferson Memorial Forest and the Urban Conservation Corps at YouthBuild Louisville about the work they're doing to foster equity and address systemic racism in the outdoor spaces in their city.

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NRPA Parks Snapshot: February 2-5 Survey Results

By Kevin Roth | Posted on February 5, 2021

Park and recreation professionals continue to play a vital role in the community when it comes to coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and vaccination distribution. In the latest Parks Snapshot, we learned that nearly 4 in 5 park and recreation agencies across the country are supporting these efforts, among others.

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Kids Just Want to Have Fun

By Lynn Pinoniemi | Posted on February 1, 2021

When people pass by a community park sprouting colorful, inviting play structures, they might recall the fun, carefree days of childhood and smile. Park and recreation professionals go beyond just those memories.

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Serving the Better Angels of Our Nature

By Daniel L. Dustin, Ph.D. | Posted on January 27, 2021

Daniel L. Dustin, Ph.D., a professor of outdoor recreation studies at the University of Utah, shares some of the principal lessons he has learned during his 43-year tenure in higher education.

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Coffee Talk Replay: Park Equity and Racial Justice — Episode 083

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on January 26, 2021

On this episode of Open Space Radio, we're replaying one of our Coffee Talks from the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience (NRPA Virtual), "Park Equity and Racial Justice," featuring Glenn Harris of Race Forward and NRPA's Vice President of Education and Chief Equity Officer Autumn Saxton-Ross.

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Celebrating Parks and Recreation’s Inaugural 30 Under 30 — February Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on January 21, 2021

On the February bonus episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Michael Biedenstein, past chair of the NRPA Young Professional Network, and Hayley Herzing, NRPA’s senior member of membership, to talk about the inaugural 30 Under 30 program, which recognizes the 30 best and brightest park and recreation professionals under 30 years old.

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Play and Recreation Spaces — Vital Places in Our Communities

By Sarah Lisiecki | Posted on January 15, 2021

Play, playgrounds and recreation areas remain crucial to both personal and community development and we need more of them. With a new year upon us, let’s plan to explore even more and advocate for the spaces that are always there for us.

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How a Group of Teens Is Bringing a Skatepark To Their Community — Episode 082

By Cort Jones and Roxanne Sutton | Posted on January 12, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we're joined by three teenagers who saw a need in their community for a safe, legal place to participate in their favorite activity - skateboarding. They took it upon themselves to start a grassroots movement to create a skatepark, and the results will inspire you!

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January is National Mentoring Month!

By Lauren Kiefert | Posted on January 8, 2021

January is National Mentoring Month, a time to recognize the value and impact that mentors have on our youth.

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Intergenerational Nutrition: Community Members of All Ages Can Join the Fun!

By Dr. Danielle Hollar | Posted on January 8, 2021

What types of intergenerational fun can be had that promotes good nutrition and healthy eating? Here are some ideas to help get the creative juices flowing!

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Good News in Parks – A Show that Celebrates YOU

By Anne-Marie Spencer | Posted on January 6, 2021

Anne-Marie Spencer of PlayCore shares how the show "Good News: in Parks" is bringing park and recreation professionals together, sharing good news and offering an opportunity to learn from one another.

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