Welcome to Parks: A Health and Wellness Solution!

By Kellie May | Posted on October 3, 2018

Health and Wellness Team 410

We hope your 2018 NRPA Annual Conference was a success, and you were able to make connections and take advantage of education opportunities to support your work in your local park and rec agency.

The conference is a busy time, so while we may have only had the chance to chat briefly onsite, we wanted to take a moment to share more about NRPA’s Health and Wellness priorities.

Our areas of focus include ensuring that all people have safe access to quality park and recreation facilities and programming; promoting healthy eating and physical activity standards; expanding access to evidence-based health prevention programs; connecting parks and the health community; and supporting programs and policies that eliminate health disparities across our most vulnerable populations.

We work with local park and recreation agencies to provide tools, resources, funding, training and technical assistance to help improve access to healthy foods and increase opportunities for all people to be physically active in their communities.

Our initiatives and priorities include:

Commit to Health

Commit to Health is NRPA’s campaign that supports the implementation and evaluation of Healthy Eating Physical Activity (HEPA) standards in park and recreation sites across the country. Park and recreation sites can join the national movement to improve access to healthy foods, increase opportunities for physical activity, and connect kids to our natural environments.

Staff: Allison Colman, Maureen Acquino


Healthy Aging in Parks

Healthy Aging in Parks is NRPA’s campaign to improve and maintain the health and wellbeing of older adults by increasing opportunities for physical activity and social connection through parks and recreation.

Staff: Lesha Spencer-Brown, Colleen Pittard


10-Minute Walk

NRPA, The Trust for Public Land, and the Urban Land Institute lead this nationwide movement to ensure there’s a great park within a 10-minute walk of home for every person, in every neighborhood, in every city across America.

Staff: Rachel Banner, Jared Mummert


Parks for Inclusion

Parks for Inclusion supports built environment enhancements, model policy development, and best practices for program implementation to increase access to health opportunities for those with physical and cognitive disabilities, the LGBTQ community, and racial and ethnic minorities and new Americans.

Staff: Allison Colman, Maureen Acquino


Meet Me at the Park

Meet Me at the Park is a collaboration between NRPA and The Walt Disney Company to bring the magic of parks and recreation to children and families with new opportunities for play and physical activity in local parks across the United States.

Staff: Jen Stromberg



NRPA works for you to share grant and fundraising opportunities that are available for park and recreation agencies, as well as resources to aid in independent fundraising research. Grant funding provides support for implementing health and wellness programs related to NRPA initiatives, capacity building assistance, park improvement projects, and additional training and technical assistance.

Staff: Cassie Pais



Our public policy team works every day to represent the cause of public parks and recreation at the federal level by fighting for funding and legislation to support health and wellness for children and families through the federal child nutrition programs, out-of-school time programming, prevention and public health grants, the Farm Bill, and the PHIT Act.


Each month, Parks: A Health and Wellness Solution shares relevant articles, recent studies, trends across the field, innovative programs, success stories and grant updates. We hope you find value in this monthly newsletter, and please feel free to contact us at any time if you have questions about our work, and how we can work together to ensure that everyone has access to the benefits of parks and recreation.

Have a healthy and happy Fall!

Kellie May is NRPA's Director of Health and Wellness.



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