This Earth Month Let’s Celebrate Park and Recreation Professionals as Climate Heroes

By Michele White, CAE, IOM | Posted on April 4, 2024


With the arrival of spring, park and recreation professionals are planning for warmer months ahead with great enthusiasm and purpose. April is Earth Month — the perfect time to engage community members in park cleanups and park improvement projects. Whether it’s planting trees or creating pollinator habitats, hosting outdoor activities to connect communities to nature, or fostering community engagement through environmental initiatives, park and recreation professionals are the driving force behind transformative change in our public spaces. At the heart of their efforts lies a deep commitment to education. These climate heroes understand that awareness is the first step towards action. They empower us to become stewards of the environment, nurturing a sense of responsibility towards our planet and the public spaces we enjoy. However, their impact extends beyond education to innovation.

Park and recreation professionals are constantly seeking new ways to make our parks and public spaces more climate-ready and sustainable so we can enjoy them well into the future. We extend our thanks to park and recreation professionals – you are the true climate heroes! 

Below are four ways you can uplift and grow your efforts to be a climate hero through parks in your community. 

1. Share your Earth Month Stories

Submit your stories and photos here.

We know you are doing amazing work with your partners and community, and we want to hear about it! Share your stories and photos of how your agency and community are climate heroes this Earth Month. NRPA will uplift stories throughout the month celebrating you!   

2. Join our Peer Learning Opportunity for Environmental Sustainability

Sustainability in Practice- Applications due April 18th Learn more and apply here.

Rural and suburban park and recreation professionals are invited to apply for this dynamic 16-week, cohort-style program alongside a community-based organization (CBO) partner for technical support and peer learning towards community-driven sustainability planning and practices. CBO partners will receive a $10,000 stipend for their participation in the program and park professionals will earn .3 CEUs. The application period for NRPA’s Sustainability in Practice program will close on April 18, 2024.

3. Learn at our April Park Access Network Call

Webinar: Adopting Greener Equipment and Transportation– April 24th 2:00pm EDT Register here.

Register for the next Park Access Network Call Wednesday, April 24th, 2024, at 2 p.m. EDT presented by Bronwen Mastro, Landscape Architect of Bend Park and Recreation District and Sasha Sulia, Superintendent of Park Operations of Bend Park and Recreation District, hosted by Seve Ghose, Executive Director of the Yerba Buena Gardens Conservancy. On this webinar attendees can expect the following: 

  • Decision Making: Understand the key factors that went into the decision to electrify the district’s fleet and equipment, and how the broader community influenced that approach. 
  • Implementation: Share details of how equipment was selected, rolled out, and how it has performed. 
  • Lessons Learned: Share what we learned along the way that worked and challenges agencies may face electrifying their fleet and equipment. 

4. Sign up to Host a BioBlitz

Parks for Pollinators BioBlitz - Learn more and sign up here

Sign up now and start planning to host a Bioblitz in September! Join NRPA along with agencies and their communities from across the country to observe and learn about biodiversity in parks and communities. We provide toolkits to help you host and market your BioBlitz, a community science program utilizing the free app, iNaturalist. The app helps users identify what they find while also recording observations that help you understand the biodiversity in your parks.

This Earth Month let us stand together in appreciation of your invaluable contributions as climate heroes. May we all continue to work together towards a greener future for all.



Michele White, CAE, IOM, is a Senior Program Manager at NRPA