Local park and recreation agencies all face challenges when offering a variety of programs and services in their communities, but this is especially true for rural agencies, where there is often limited access to quality healthcare, wellness services, and transportation, among others.

In a report conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics, rural communities, in comparison to urban communities, have a higher prevalence of chronic diseases, such as heart disease (8.6 percent vs 6.5 percent), high cholesterol (42.4 percent vs. 38.8 percent), hypertension (38.1 percent vs. 32.6 percent), and diabetes (12 percent vs. 10.4 percent). In addition, rural residents report higher rates of multiple chronic conditions, and at least 22.6 percent of residents in rural communities have two or more chronic conditions, compared to 18.9 percent of urban residents.

To assist rural agencies in the implementation and sustainability of their programs — specifically, the CDC-recommended evidence-based physical activity programs: Walk With Ease (WWE), Active Living Every Day (ALED), and Fit & Strong (F&S!) — NRPA, with support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has developed a Rural Learning Collaborative (RLC).

Rural Learning Collaborative Grant Opportunity

NRPA is currently accepting applications from rural park and recreation agencies to participate in a Rural Learning Collaborative (RLC). As part of the collaborative, NRPA, guest speakers and five (5) rural agencies will meet virtually over a period of four months (February-May 2020) to create a network of support. The RLC will focus on assessing, exploring and establishing partnerships in communities to leverage assets and overcome the various challenges faced when offering evidence-based programs and services. Each selected agency will receive a $1,000 stipend.

To qualify for this grant, applicants must meet ALL of the following criteria: (a) be a rural, local park and recreation agency; (b) previously received an NRPA Instructor Training Grant; (c) have intentions to offer the program awarded (Walk With Ease, Active Living Every Day, Fit & Strong!) between Spring 2020 and Fall 2020.

Key Dates and Information:

First cohort: March 2019-August 2019
Hot Springs Village, AR; Pine Bluff, AR; Indio, CA; Dallas, GA; Jefferson City, MO; Watertown, SD

Submit An Application

The application deadline is Friday, November 15, 2019 at 11:59 p.m. EST.


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