Protecting open space, connecting people to nature, and engaging communities in conservation practices.

Local park and recreation agencies play a vital role in the protection of our environment through green infrastructure, conservation of public lands, providing wildlife habitat and more. In a world where people are increasingly disconnected to nature, local parks also are essential in creating environmental stewards who will advocate for and protect our most precious public resources – our land, water, trees, open spaces and wildlife. 

NRPA works with local park and recreation agencies to provide tools, resources and technical assistance to better connect communities to nature and enhance sustainability through conservation practices within parks. Our areas of focus include promoting sustainable practices including green infrastructure and other strategies that address the effects of climate change, preserving wildlife, growing a next generation of environmental stewards, and supporting programs and policies that encourage a commitment to conservation.



Conservation Initiatives

Climate Resilient Parks

Climate Resilient Parks

With limited resources, it can be a heavy lift for park and recreation agencies to incorporate principles of climate resiliency into their operations, programs and management. NRPA is providing resources to help park and recreation agencies to address the impacts of climate change.

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Water Management and Conservation

Water Management and Conservation

NRPA is elevating the role of parks in water conservation projects across the country. To build the capacity of park agencies to create water stewards, our initiatives promote meaningful, early and prolonged community engagement. Join us to make clean water a reality in every community across the nation.

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Monarch Butterfly

Parks for Pollinators

NRPA is working with park agencies to engage communities in saving pollinator species nationwide. NRPA is better connecting our members and our network of parks to pollinator resources. 

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Wildlife Explorers

Wildlife Explorers

Wildlife Explorers is NRPA’s turn-key initiative that connects youth to nature by utilizing local park and recreation spaces to encourage nature discovery. 

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Learn more about NRPA's other initiatives aimed at connecting communities to nature and preserving open space.


Conservation Resources

NRPA Report: Park and Recreation Sustainability Practices

Park and Recreation Sustainability PracticesParks are key community stakeholders when it comes to addressing the effects of climate change. From protecting water resources via green infrastructure practices, to reducing urban heat island effect through city wide forest restoration - parks play a critical role in ensuring that our communities successfully adapt and thrive in light of a rapidly changing planet.

Conservation Poster

Conservation PosterGreen stormwater infrastructure (like the features highlighted here) in local parks is an efficient way to reduce flooding; improve water quality and wildlife habitat; provide opportunities for education and employment; increase biodiversity, access to nature and green space, and community resiliency; and much more.

Download a PDF copy of our Conservation poster to display at your agency or share with the public.

Position Statements


News Stories

11.15.18Top Story

Innovative approaches to dog waste management

11.15.18Around the Country

Mich. students help to remove invasive plants


Commentary: Mich. conservation districts help protect health of residents, wildlife