Leading the nation to improved health and wellness through parks and recreation.
Local park and recreation agencies provide crucial health and wellness opportunities for all populations in communities across the country. As America continues to face serious health issues, including rising rates of chronic disease, an increased prevalence of sedentary lifestyles and poor nutrition habits, parks and recreation offer an affordable and accessible solution.
NRPA works with local park and recreation agencies to provide tools, resources and technical assistance to improve access to healthy foods and increase opportunities for people to be physically active in their communities. 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.
Health and Wellness Initiatives
NRPA is uniting local leaders, advocating for policy change and advancing local solutions through research, tools and catalytic grants. Through these areas of work, we seek to create systems-level changes in policy, planning and funding, and support place-based projects that are driven by communities. Join us as we work to ensure fair and just access to parks for communities across the United States.
NRPA's Commit to Health campaign supports the implementation of Healthy Eating Physical Activity (HEPA) standards at local park and recreation sites.
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 through parks and recreation.
Learn more about NRPA's other initiatives aimed at improving the health and wellness of communities through parks and recreation.
Health and Wellness Resources
NRPA Response to COVID-19
NRPA continues to monitor developments as well as federal, state and local responses to coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). We are following the CDC employer response recommendations for our offices as well as NRPA-sponsored events. Learn more about NRPA's Response to COVID-19.
Community Wellness Hubs
Local park and recreation agencies are perfectly suited to serve as community wellness hubs by leveraging their role as trusted gathering places that connect every member of the community to essential programs, services and spaces that advance health equity, improve health outcomes and enhance quality of life. Community wellness hubs meet the unique needs of their communities through a variety of ways including access to healthy foods, physical activity, social connections and connection to nature. Learn more by watching this video!
NRPA Supports Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities
In 2017, NRPA joined a group of eight membership organizations to create the Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities. The Joint Call to Action, sets core values for effective local, state, and regional collaboration across fields to:
- create and foster partnerships that advance health
- build an understanding of health data and establishment of measurable health objectives for plans and projects
- advance policies, programs, and systems that promote community health, well-being and equity
- communicate the importance of health
Learn more about the Joint Call to Action to Promote Healthy Communities
Health and Wellness Poster
Local park and recreation agencies provide health and wellness opportunities for all populations in communities across the country. As America continues to face serious health issues parks and recreation offer an affordable and accessible solution. Share with your communities the impact you are having on their health!
Download a copy of our Health and Wellness poster to display at your agency or share it with the public.
Health and Wellness poster: PDF format | JPG format
Making the Case: Parks and Health Toolkit
Making the Case: Parks and Health is an easy-to-use resource to help park and recreation leaders make the objective case to elected officials that parks are a critical part of the community’s public health infrastructure. The resource includes data-rich fact sheets, presentations, infographics and other resources that will help you get support for your agency. Learn more about these resources.
NRPA Position Statements
Research and Data
Access additional health mapping and data resources.