For the fourth year NRPA and The Walt Disney Company have teamed up to celebrate Earth Month by helping to fund local park improvement projects in 16 U.S. cities. This program is part of NRPA and Disney’s commitment to provide 1 million kids and families with greater access to play.
Throughout Earth Month in April, the public cast their votes and nominations to direct grant funding for park improvement projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. The public had the opportunity to vote for one of three projects in 15 select cities to receive $20,000 in grant funding. Voters could also nominate a city anywhere across the country to be entered for the chance to receive a $20,000 grant that will be used to support a local park within that community.
Check out the projects that received the most votes below and see the total collective impact that has been made!
- 423,617 people have improved access to physical activity
- 214,792 people have improved access to nature
- 111,896 people have improved access to sports
- 1,693 people have volunteered as part of the Meet Me at the Park Earth Month campaign
Designated City Project Winners
F.R.O.G (Fresno Recreation Outdoor Group)
This program will provide exciting outdoor adventures including junior naturalist summer camps, naturalist workshops, interpretive hikes led by California Certified Naturalists, and camping trips for the whole family to enjoy.
California: Los Angeles
CLASS (Clean and Safe Spaces) Parks - Teen Summer Events
This program provides safe, supervised after school, weekend, and summer enrichment, as well as educational, vocational, recreational, and adventure-based programs for youth 11-17 from high-need neighborhoods.
California: San Francisco
Greenagers at Bayview Hill Park
The Greenagers Program is designed to connect teens in the 9th and 10th grades, who live in or attend school in San Francisco's underserved northeastern or southeastern quadrant, with wildlife areas in their own communities.
"Hike It Out" at Keney Park
This program will teach hiking basics, take leader-led themed hikes, introduce the hiking community, and spark a lifelong hiking passion, one adventure at a time.
Florida: Brevard County
Pioneer Nature Pathway at Sams House at Pine Island
The Brevard County Parks and Recreation Department will build an interpretive pathway for educational programs and family-friendly encounters that incorporates early pioneer life in Florida and human relation to natural areas.
Eco Summer Adventures
Miami Dade Parks Recreation and Open Spaces Eco Staff will host hands-on environmental education workshops and nature field trips to underserved children. The program will become an eight-week component of the 2018 Summer Camp session at Sgt. Joseph Delancy Park.
Engelwood Neighborhood Center Adjustable Basketball Goals
Installing 6 basketball goals that adjust to any height between 4' and 10' will allow young children and people with disabilities to participate in the sport of basketball, as well as older teens and adults.
Big Marsh Trail Expansion
Big Marsh is a 278-acre park in on Chicago's south side. This project will provide additional multi-use trails for hikers and bikers to enjoy, explore and experience more pathways through the park's natural areas.
New York: New York
Study the Stars at Flushing Meadows Corona Park
The Study the Stars program connects youth with the natural environment and encourages healthy living through exploring the field of astronomy. Curricula will include educational star-gazing, astronomy activities, field trips and an overnight camping trip.
North Carolina: Charlotte
Traveling Learn-to-Ride Trailer
Mecklenburg County’s traveling Learn-to-Ride trailer will include bikes, tools and equipment to teach participants how to ride a bike utilizing the "balance method," as well as bike safety and bike repair.
North Carolina: Durham
Rock Quarry Park
Outdoor fitness equipment will be installed in Rock Quarry Park near the tennis courts, as well as a “Plants for Play” playground and a Healthy Mile Trail walking circuit.
Adaptive Hiking for Seniors and Individuals with Special Needs
Philadelphia Parks and Recreation will purchase all-terrain wheelchairs and walkers to increase accessibility at environmental centers for those with mobility limitations. Special programs will be held, as well.
Austin Goes Ga-ga!
Ga-ga, a gentler version of dodgeball, is a game that is sweeping the country. It's also a game that keeps kids active and engaged. Austin will build more Ga-ga Pits in multiple parks across the city so that kids can get out and play.
Wagner Neighborhood Park
The community uses this undeveloped urban space for outdoor recreation and new amenities will help make the space a neighborhood park. Improvements will include tree plantings, seeding, benches, bird houses, interpretative signs and trash bins.
Camp Long Camp Out
The Community Camp Outs program will be expanded to an additional community of mostly immigrant and refugee families. For many participants, this is their first experience camping overnight, walking trails, experiencing camp fire activities and learning about nature.
Write-In City Winner
The City of Weslaco, Texas and its community partners will continue to improve Gibson Park, implementing elements of their recently developed park plan to improve accessibility at the park and promote healthy lifestyles.