This year for Park and Recreation Month, in partnership with bestselling author Kwame Alexander, we are creating a community poem — one poem compiled from your many voices. We want to hear your community’s stories about what their local parks and recreation means to them.

Park and Recreation Month — with the theme of “Our Park and Recreation Story” — will showcase stories of those who love parks and recreation and the professionals who make parks and recreation happen. Now, members of the park and recreation community can contribute to an original poem crafted by Alexander and shared online.

Members of the community are invited to submit original poems — or meaningful thoughts and phrases that you create — about parks and recreation. Alexander will select lines from the submissions and combine them into one single community poem. As a park and recreation professional, you can submit your own poem, but this also is a great opportunity for creative programming as part of your Park and Recreation Month events.

Your poem should begin with, or include somewhere in the poem, the line:

"Everything around you is..."



The final piece, “Our Park and Recreation Poem,” will represent the combined voices of our community from across the nation and will be showcased online at the end of the month and during the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference. The deadline to submit your poems is July 9, 2021.

Watch this video message from Kwame Alexander and then click the button below to submit your poems!

Submit Your Poem



About Kwame Alexander:

Kwame Alexander is a poet, educator, publisher, and New York Times bestselling author of 35 books, including, “Swing”; “Becoming Muhammad Ali,” co-authored with James Patterson; “Booked,” which was longlisted for the National Book Award; “Rebound,” which was shortlisted for prestigious UK Carnegie Medal, The Caldecott Medal and Newbery Honor-winning picture book; “The Undefeated,” illustrated by Kadir Nelson; and, his Newbery medal-winning middle grade novel, “The Crossover.” A contributor to NPR's Morning Edition where he regularly creates community crowdsourced poems, Kwame is the recipient of numerous awards, including The Lee Bennett Hopkins Poetry Award, The Coretta Scott King Author Honor, Three NAACP Image Award Nominations, and the 2017 Inaugural Pat Conroy Legacy Award. In 2018, he founded the publishing imprint VERSIFY, and opened the Barbara E. Alexander Memorial Library and Health Clinic in Ghana, as a part of LEAP for Ghana, an international literacy program he co-founded. He is the writer and executive producer of “The Crossover” TV series on Disney Plus.

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