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Building Better Communities: Centering Equity in Water-Based Play Spaces

By Lyndsey Younger and Kathy McKenna | Posted on October 19, 2021

Two splash pad projects in Huntington, West Virginia, and Alton, Illinois, focus not only on providing a water play experience integrated with environmental stewardship educational components, but also on ensuring these spaces are inclusive for all members of the community regardless of ability.

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American Rescue Plan Funds Now Flowing Into States and Local Communities

By NRPA Public Policy and Advocacy Team | Posted on October 15, 2021

Learn the latest on how the American Rescue Plan funds are being used and how to access them to maximize social and economic recovery in your community.

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Park Access: More Than Just Proximity

By Clement Lau, AICP, DPPD | Posted on October 14, 2021

Park access is not just about reducing travel distance to a park; it is a much more complex and multi-faceted issue that requires a variety of creative solutions.

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Coffee Talk Replay: Out-of-School Time Programs: Essential for Health and Well-Being — Episode 100

By Cort Jones | Posted on October 12, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we're replaying one of the Coffee Talks from the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference, featuring Brodrick Clarke, vice president of programs at National Summer Learning Association; Daniel Hatcher, director of community partnerships at Alliance for a Healthier Generation; and Allison Colman, NRPA director of health.

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On a Mission to End Playspace Inequity for Good — Episode 099

By Cort Jones | Posted on September 28, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Lysa Ratliff, CEO of KABOOM!, an organization that unites with communities to build kid-designed playspaces that can spark joy and foster a sense of belonging for the kids who are often denied opportunities to thrive.

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Park and Recreation Mentors in ‘Advocacy August’

By Lauren Kiefert, Dan McCarthy and Elvis Cordova | Posted on August 30, 2021

Every August, MENTOR — the National Mentoring Partnership — provides education and resources to boost advocacy efforts in support of the field’s policy priorities. Known as Advocacy August, MENTOR amps up its impact by sharing ways to get educated on how to be an effective grassroots advocate, learn more about MENTOR’s legislative priorities and take action today!

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Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources: Keeping Kids Safe and Active During COVID-19

By Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) | Posted on August 18, 2021

Like other parks departments nationwide, Raleigh Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources in North Carolina canceled all of their regular sports programming for kids in the spring of 2020 because of the pandemic. But they still offered programs to help kids in their community get active — all while working to bring back athletic opportunities for the fall.

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Parks and Recreation + Public Libraries = Partners in Advancing Community Well-Being

By Allison Colman | Posted on August 11, 2021

Libraries and park and recreation agencies are increasingly leveraging their unique resources, strengths and assets to collaborate and work towards the shared goals of advancing equity, promoting health and wellness, closing the opportunity gap, and building environmental and community resiliency.

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Collaboration and Intergenerational Programming to Promote Wellness and Healthy Aging

By Morgyn Manzer and Jill Juris, Ph.D. | Posted on July 29, 2021

Collaborations and partnerships between organizations and universities came together during COVID-19 to provide creative and innovative solutions to safely provide recreation, nutrition education and intergenerational opportunities to 120 homebound Centra PACE older adults in Lynchburg, Virginia.

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Tukwila Parks and Recreation: Keeping Community Members Active Outdoors During COVID-19

By Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion (ODPHP) | Posted on July 27, 2021

With strict COVID-19 restrictions in place, in-person programming was virtually impossible — and on top of that, Tukwila Parks and Recreation had to let all of their part-time staff go. But this shift led to some positive changes in how the department interacts with the community.

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NRPA Celebrates National Farmers Market Week

By Maureen Neumann | Posted on July 21, 2021

Hosted by the Farmers Market Coalition, National Farmers Market Week (August 1-7) is an opportunity to show how much value markets bring to communities.

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Enhancing Stewardship and Access to the Tennessee River — August Bonus Episode

By Cort Jones | Posted on July 15, 2021

The August 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 feature stories, titled, “A River Runs Through It.”

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The Genesis Project: How a Mother Is Keeping Her Son’s Spirit Alive — Episode 095

By Cort Jones | Posted on July 13, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Jennifer Holmes, who is helping to provide swim lessons and water safety education to rural areas of Charleston County, South Carolina, after her son, Genesis, tragically died in a drowning accident in 2014. We’re also joined by Gina Ellis-Strother, the chief administration officer for Charleston County Park & Recreation Commission.

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Trading Open Spaces for Online Spaces – How Kids Are Socializing Now

By Chris Korbelak, CPRP | Posted on July 9, 2021

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, researchers and youth shared an understanding that wellbeing is tied to a sense of belonging that extends to online spaces.

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Five Storytelling Activities From the New Self-Care Summer Toolkit

By Daniel W. Hatcher, MPH | Posted on July 2, 2021

The new Alliance for a Healthier Generation Self-Care Summer Toolkit includes simple ways to prioritize health this season. In celebration of Park and Recreation Month and the theme of "Our Park and Recreation Story," here are five storytelling activities from the toolkit.

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Fostering an LGBTQ+ Inclusive Environment in Parks and Recreation — Episode 094

By Cort Jones | Posted on June 29, 2021

On the latest episode of Open Space Radio, we’re joined by Peyton O’Conner, AICP, CPRE, CNP, CYSA (they/she), the parks and recreation director for Buncombe County in Asheville, North Carolina, to discuss building LGBTQ+ inclusive environments in parks and recreation.

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A Pathway to Trans Inclusion in Youth Sports

By Teresa Morrissey and Allison Colman | Posted on June 25, 2021

Following a record-breaking year of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation, park and recreation professionals have a unique opportunity to positively influence norms, practices and policies to create a youth sports culture that is inclusive and welcoming to all.

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Supporting Inclusive Health Through Parks and Recreation

By Maureen Neumann | Posted on June 22, 2021

In partnership with Special Olympics, NRPA has developed three key resources specifically detailing ways in which park and recreation professionals can ensure that facilities and programs are inclusive and welcoming to all, especially those with intellectual disabilities.

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