50 Ways to Make the Most Out of Your NRPA Membership

By Hayley MacDonell,Lauren Hoffmann | Posted on August 10, 2015

You often hear people say “you get out what you put in” when referencing various clubs or organizations that they join. In fact, we’ve even heard that from members of NRPA. Part of the benefits of being in an association are the ample opportunities to get involved and have valuable, rewarding experiences that help you excel in parks and recreation.  

As part of our 50th Anniversary, we challenged ourselves to come up with a list of 50 ways members can get engaged and take full advantage of NRPA membership.  

Very quickly the list filled up!  As you read through, how many of these items have you or your agency accomplished? Are there any on the list that you want to accomplish this year?  Are there any you weren’t familiar with? Drop us a note, leave a comment or tweet us your thoughts! 

Here are 50 ways to get engaged and take advantage of your membership

1. Share your Park and Rec Kid story and challenge others to share too!

2. Take advantage of NRPA’s insurance programs through AON ranging from blanket recreational activities/medical insurance plans, team sports, and more.

3. Attend the NRPA Annual Conference

4. Share a success story on the Success Stories Database, which is a searchable compilation of stories from the field.

5. Attend one of the five professional development schools

6. Become a Certified Park and Recreation Professional (CPRP) illustrating your commitment to the profession, as well as your knowledge and understanding of key concepts within parks and recreation.

Fun_Express_Logo7. Use your 20 percent discount to purchase products from Fun Express to help you program on a budget. 

8. Stay current on the latest trends and best practices in the field by participating in a webinar

9. Help your college or university become COAPRT accredited. 

10. Join a Network of like-minded members on NRPA Connect. 

11. Volunteer for NRPA’s extensive leadership opportunities in our Networks, Committees, and Board.

12. Read NRPA’s Official Publication, Parks & Recreation magazine on your tablet. Magazine

13. Become an advocate for parks and recreation by learning about our issues and communicating effectively with elected officials.

14. Share a document in the Knowledge Center

15. Apply for one of our grant opportunities

16. Share the #PowerofParks video and infographic. 

17. Manage and reduce your energy expenses using APPI Energy’s energy procurement services. 

18. Achieve the mastery level certification, Certified Park and Recreation Executive (CPRE), which focuses on the practical knowledge and current real-world skills necessary in today’s changing park and recreation environment.

19. Embrace NRPA’s Three Pillars of conservation, health and wellness, and social equity.

20. Import or update your agency’s data in NRPA’s national database tool, PRORAGIS.

21. Post on NRPA Connect; you can start your own topic or answer a colleague’s question. 

22. Support the Parks Build Community project and help make a difference in building and revitalizing a local park chosen each year near the city of our annual conference. Be sure to attend the dedication event at the conference.

23. Earn CEUs from the comfort of your own home or office by taking an Online Learning Course

24. Check out NRPA’s Recommended Guidelines for Volunteer Background Screening and perform a discounted background screening through First Advantage.Advantage_Logo_Blog

25. Apply to be recognized in one of NRPA’s award programs that highlight the efforts of those who go above and beyond to make a difference in the community.

26. Commit to Health and take the pledge to implement the healthy eating, physical activity standards to help kids in your community get healthy. 

27. Post a job opening on the NRPA Career Center using your member discount. 

28. Write an article for Parks & Recreation magazine

29. Help your agency become CAPRA accredited

30. Attain the Certified Playground Safety Inspector (CPSI) certification, learning the most comprehensive and up-to-date training on playground safety.

31. Become a Park Champion.Park_Champion

32. Sign up with Go Strive to create a free mobile program guide app listing of all of your events and activities.

33. Create a free mySidewalk page to gather feedback from your community residents. 

34. Share a sample job description on the Employer Resources section of the Career Center. 

35. Celebrate Park and Recreation Month in July!

36. Subscribe to the NRPA SmartBrief to stay on top of breaking news in the park and recreation field. 

37. Make sure your agency is ADA compliant by contacting Recreation Accessibility Consultants

38. Follow NRPA on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube , Instagram and Pinterest.

39. Register with U. S. Communities today to have access to the thousands of quality products from multiple suppliers available through its contracts.

40. Write a blog post for Open Space.

41. Purchase a product from the store. 

42. Earn your Aquatic Facility Operator (AFO), state-of-the-art certification for pool operators and aquatic facility managers.

43. Volunteer at the NRPA Conference and the hours will count toward a percentage of credit for registration.  

44. Take action on legislation affecting parks and recreation.

45. Apply to be profiled on Fund Your Park, the crowdfunding platform designed exclusively for park and recreation agencies.

46. Become and AFO Instructor and host a course in your community. 

47. Join the sharpest minds both in and outside the field of parks and recreation at a future Innovation Lab.Innovation_Lab_Logo

48. Use your member discount to purchase a journal subscription

49. Use the NRPA Field Guide ezine to help find a great vendor or supplier. 

50. Keep up-to-date on how you can promote conservation in your community including helping the Monarch, connecting kids to nature and more. 


How do you engage with NRPA? Leave a comment below or tweet us @NRPA_News #NRPA50


Hayley MacDonell is NRPA's Membership Programs Manager. 

Lauren Hoffmann is NRPA's Director of Marketing and Communications