Parks are key community stakeholders when it comes to addressing the effects of climate change. From protecting water resources via green infrastructure practices, to reducing urban heat island effect through city wide forest restoration - parks play a critical role in building climate resilient communities.
With limited resources, it can be a heavy lift for park and recreation agencies to incorporate principles of climate resiliency into their operations, programs and management. NRPA remains committed to supporting park and recreation agencies in meeting this challenge. Beginning spring 2017, NRPA kicked off a multiyear effort to examine and elevate the critical role that park and recreation agencies play in building healthy and vibrant, climate resilient communities. The following resources are intended to help agencies address the impacts of climate change on parks:
Climate and Health Solutions
NRPA is increasing the number of high performing public green spaces that address climate resilience, improve community health conditions, and advance equity within communities across the country. Through the Creating Healthy Communities through GSI in Parks initiative, NRPA will equip park and recreation professionals with tools and knowledge to inform decision making and plan for climate adaptation projects in parks that aim to improve community health and address social determinants of health.
NRPA will release a communications toolkit in November 2019 highlighting powerful evidence for municipal agencies and community partners to make the case for integrating health outcomes into GSI projects. NRPA will also release a Green Infrastructure and Health Policy Action Framework in June 2020 providing practical policy solutions and case studies that support park staff and advocates, decision makers, planners and others in promoting green infrastructure in parks that advance health outcomes.
NRPA Report: Park and Recreation Sustainability Practices
To gain an understanding of the sustainability practices currently implemented by park and recreation agencies and of how agencies are contributing to sustainability in their communities, NRPA surveyed nearly 400 park and recreation agencies around the country. This report’s findings should inspire agencies to implement more sustainable practices at their parks and give all agencies a sense of pride to be a part of a large network of park and recreation agencies striving to create healthy, resilient and thriving communities through parks.
Read The Report
Resources for Climate Resilient Parks
Great Urban Parks Campaign
NRPA created the Great Urban Parks Campaign to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through promoting and advancing green infrastructure stormwater management projects within parks.
Tools and Resources