NRPA is developing a communications toolkit and policy action framework in collaboration with the Willamette Partnership. These tools will highlight powerful evidence, policy solutions and case studies that support park and recreation leaders and advocates, decision makers, planners and other municipal agencies in advancing green infrastructure in parks as a strategy to improve climate-related community health conditions. These resources will be available summer of 2020.

Webinar Series

The webinar series, hosted on NRPA’s online learning system, will highlight evidence, targeted messaging strategies, policy and funding mechanisms, and case studies to help you advance greener parks in your community. A recording of the webinar, presentation slides and other resources are made available to everyone after the webinar. Upcoming webinars:

Evidence Linking Green Infrastructure and Health

NRPA conducted a literature review to determine what evidence exists linking green infrastructure in parks to improved community health. This review highlights the potential health impacts of projects that address water quality, quantity and/or extreme heat; however, an identified research gap specifically related to the health and equity benefits of green infrastructure in parks showcases the need for continued messaging, investment and research around this topic.

Read the Summary of Findings 

Policy and Funding Opportunities

NRPA conducted a policy scan at the federal, state and local level to identify existing and untapped policies that advance or hinder green infrastructure implementation in parks. The scan intentionally focused on small and mid-sized cities and how policy impacts advance the multiple goals of equity, environment, economy, and health.

Read the Summary of Findings 

Assessing the Field

NRPA conducted a media scan and a series of stakeholder interviews to determine the needs of the park and recreation field to advocate and plan for these projects. The assessment identified and informed key messages and stakeholders as well as opportunities and barriers the field is currently facing. 

Read The Summary Of Findings

Workshop to Exchange Ideas

October 16, 2019 | Washington, D.C.

NRPA hosted a one-day, interactive workshop for environmental, health and equity experts to inform NRPA’s ongoing efforts to help park and recreation professionals plan for green infrastructure projects in parks. Participants tested key messaging, drafted policy action recommendations and formed connections with cross-sector attendees to bolster support for these multi-benefit projects.

Download the Workshop Summary

Climate and Health Advisory Panel

NRPA formed this group of environmental, health and equity professionals to provide guidance, inform and review the strategic direction of this project. Meet the park and recreation advocates:

  • Brian Zimmerman, CEO, Cleveland Metroparks
  • Bridget Kerner, Senior Program Analyst, National Association of City and County Health Officials
  • Caryn Ernst, Strategic Initiatives Director, City Parks Alliance
  • Daniel Lawson, Sustainability & Quality Control Manager, Philadelphia Parks and Recreation
  • Grant Ellis, Natural Resource Manager, San Antonio Parks and Recreation
  • Grant Ervin, Assistant Director in City Planning for Sustainability & Resilience and Chief Resilience Officer, City of Pittsburgh
  • Irene Ogata, Urban Landscape Manager, Tucson Water
  • Jessica Hall, Landscape Architect, GHD
  • Joanna Lombard, Architect and Professor, University of Miami School of Architecture
  • Katy Lackey, Program Manager, US Water Alliance
  • Natasha DeJarnett, Research Coordinator, Program & Partnership Development, National Environmental Health Association
  • Paula Conolly, Director, Green Infrastructure Leadership Exchange
  • Rebecca Rehr, Director, Climate for Health, ecoAmerica
  • Ronda Chapman, Senior Associate, Policy Link
  • Spencer Potter, Natural Resources Regulatory Specialist, San Francisco Recreation and Park
  • Sridhar Vedachalam, Director of Water, Environmental Policy Innovation Center
  • Stephanie Cornejo, Park Planner II, Miami-Dade County Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces
  • Tim Male, Executive Director, Environmental Policy Innovation Center


Photo credit: Philadelphia Water Department

Contact Jenny Cox with any questions.

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