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 no longer accepting applications for the Rural Learning Collaborative. 

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

Second cohort: February 2020-August 2020

Bainbridge Island, WA; Fort Payne, AL; Leadville, CO; Newport, OR; Northern Lehigh Valley, PA


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