Innovation Labs Logo

Connecting Communities to Nature

Austin, Texas
May 2017

NRPA, in collaboration with the Austin Parks and Recreation Department, National League of Cities and the Children & Nature Network's Cities Connecting Children to Nature team, brought together park and recreation leaders to discuss innovative strategies that create meaningful connections to the outdoors for youth within urban communities. With a focus on underserved populations, this Innovation Lab offered an opportunity for park leaders to hear directly from youth participants on the role parks have played in transforming their environmental ethic and connection to the outdoors.  


What was Learned:

  • How to evaluate the barriers/disparities in connecting underserved youth to nature opportunities, and identify strategies and highlight success stories that address equity.
  • Metrics and tools that help to measure impact and reach of nature programming and spaces focused on youth engagement.
  • Site visits and facilitated discussions covering how park agencies and partner organizations are connecting young people to the outdoors through collective impact partnerships. 
  • View the event agenda.

Innovation Lab Resources: 


Event Photos:

NRPA Innovation Lab - Austin





Learn more about NRPA Innovation Labs.


News Stories

2.20.20Top Story

Philly's parks rebuild is off to a slow start

2.20.20Around the Country

Pa. state parks to expand pet access

2.20.20Around the Country

Ga. contest invites stories of parks and rec mascots