Health and Wellness

Measuring Health and Wellness Impact

Program evaluation provides managers, staff and the community an opportunity to better understand current programs and to identify opportunities for improvement.

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It Takes a Village

Learn how park and recreation agencies can emphasize mental well-being.

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Supporting Healthy Aging Through Parks and Recreation

As the aging population becomes more diverse, it's important that park and recreation agencies learn more about centering equity in the delivery of services, programs, facilities and operations.

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Revitalizing Senior Centers: Then and Now

While more than 11,000 U.S. senior centers serve 1 million older adults per day, little is known about who attends and why.

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Farmers Markets Play a Key Role in Resiliency Efforts

Farmers markets are a key part of the impact parks and recreation has on community health and well-being.

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Implementing Safe Zone Training to Create More Inclusive LGBTQ+ Spaces

These trainings allow people to deepen their understanding of LGBTQ+ issues and give them tools to foster more inclusive spaces.

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Reshape Your Workplace: Starting a Wellness Movement Through Affirmation, Voice and Choice

Starting a wellness movement at work not only supports the mental and physical health of staff, but also creates an opportunity to work together as a community.

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Learning to Live to the Fullest

Writer and speaker Mirna Valerio encourages people to live their lives to the fullest via outdoor experiences in whatever spaces and ways they enjoy most.

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Connecting the Dots to Health

To determine what “healthy” means for our communities, we must ask our community members.

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Building Resilience in Your Community

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, building resilience requires safe, stable and nurturing relationships and environments.

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Parks, Recreation and Mentoring: What’s the Catch?

As community-based providers of social-emotional development services for youth, local park and recreation professionals also function as mentors and role models.

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Parks and Recreation: A Vital Community-Based Solution to Support Healthy Aging

NRPA supports park and recreation professionals in implementing evidence-based physical activity programs to enhance the quality of life for 54.5 million U.S. adults with arthritis.

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Parks and Recreation: The Public Health Breakout Star of COVID-19

The park and recreation profession has proven time and again that it is committed to promoting and protecting health and wellness where people live, learn, work and play.

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The Importance of Inclusion and Access in Youth Sports

Youth who engage in sports not only grow up more physically active but also gain mental and social health benefits that follow them into adulthood.

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Together, Apart

The benefits of intergenerational programs during COVID-19 and beyond.

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Can Parks Leverage Libraries?

Understand how park and recreation agencies can enhance services by working smarter with libraries.

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Inclusive Health in Parks and Recreation

The movement toward inclusive health can start small and grow from simple conversations with people with intellectual disabilities (ID) in your community.

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An Urgency to Act

NRPA’s objective is to create a future where all people have access to the benefits of quality parks and recreation.

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Health and Wellness: Top of Mind During NRPA Virtual

With more and more restrictions due to the pandemic and no clear end in sight, it’s no surprise that mental health has become a large focus.

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Remembering Self-Care When Planning Events

Here are a few self-reflection questions and conversation starters for you and your team to explore during the holiday season.

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Virtual Programming: Innovation in the Midst of a Global Crisis

Local park and recreation staff have risen to the challenge to support communities through virtual programming to let them know that parks and recreation is still a go-to resource for staying healthy, happy and connected.

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Integrating Equity, Social Justice and Inclusion Practices

Park and recreation programs have played a historic role in our country’s struggle toward social equality and civil rights.

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Confronting Substance Use Disorder

Taking a closer look at the comprehensive response to substance use disorder, which is a public health crisis for park and recreation professionals.

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Mobile Recreation for Fun, Health and Wellness

Mobile recreation may be an appropriate strategy to meet the urgent need for additional recreational opportunities in underserved areas.

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Older Adult Health and Well-Being: Still a National Priority in a 'New Normal'

It is more crucial than ever before that we help older adults maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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Seattle P&R Tests Glyphosate Alternatives

To address the potential health threat posed by glyphosate, many agencies, like Seattle P&R, are reducing or eliminating their use of glyphosate products to ensure everyone has access to safe and healthy spaces.

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Designing Quality Play Spaces

Find out how active play can lead to positive health outcomes for children.

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Want Better Health? Get Back to Nature

Spending time in the great outdoors may have a positive impact on your overall health, including your heart and brain.

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Farmers Markets, Parks and Rec, and Healthy Meals

Pairing fresh, local produce with healthy meals is the perfect connection to strengthen the bonds between the community and the local agriculture system.

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Keeping It Real: A Different Approach to Discussing the Social Determinants of Health

Get to the heart of what “social determinants of health” really means, and what role parks and recreation can play.

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Parks and Recreation as Community Health and Wellness Hubs

Local park and recreation agencies are uniquely positioned to serve as health and wellness hubs in communities across the country.

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Parks for Inclusion Celebrates Two-Year Anniversary

This NRPA program has already reached 1.7 million people in the two years since its launch, surpassing the original goal of 1 million!

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Senior Centers: Reimagining Aging and Exploring New Opportunities

Today’s senior centers are being reinvented to meet the changing and diverse needs of a rapidly growing aging population.

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Connecting Communities Through Outdoor Play Enhances Eight Local Parks

Read about the grant, made possible by the Target Corporation, which provides funds to transform local parks to improve access to physical activity, social connection and create more resilient communities for low-income youth and families.

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Fostering Health and Wellness Through Shared Use Facilities

A lack of vacant land is forcing L.A. County agencies to seek innovative solutions and creative partnerships to meet the needs of their communities, especially underserved communities.

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Parks and Recreation: The Secret to a Long, Healthy Life?

Parks and recreation can be more intentional in its efforts to improve quality of life.

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Parks as a Solution to Climate Change

Climate change is impacting communities at the local level. Parks are the solution.

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Active People, Healthy Nation in Parks: Creating a More Active America, Together

A CDC initiative strives to help 27 million Americans become more physically active by 2027.

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Protect the Health and Wellness of Your Park and Recreation Staff

NRPA staff members interview park and recreation agencies on the benefits of prioritizing employee health and wellness.

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Fostering Healthier Communities by Creating Soccer Play Spaces

Transforming small, underutilized areas into mini-soccer pitches, the U.S. Soccer Foundation is serving communities that lack large open spaces and funding to build full-sized fields.

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What Happens When Parks and Artists Partner to Advance Equity

Local groups in two communities were given financial and technical support to work with artists to change their approach to building and managing parks for their communities.

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Parks and Health Equity: An Avenue to Support Health and Wellness for All

There is an opportunity to be more thoughtful about the role parks can play in promoting health equity for all.

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Addressing Health Disparities in Rural America

Local park and recreation agencies are a critical component of promoting equitable health outcomes in any community, but they may fill an even larger role in rural areas.

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Farmers Markets

The opportunity to provide access to healthy, fresh and local fruits and vegetables in your community park.

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Engaging Children in the Park Planning Process

Given that children are key park users we must be creative in how we engage them in the planning process.

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10-Minute Walk Campaign: Celebrating Mayors and Cities Leading the Way

Read updates from the first 12 cities to participate in technical assistance for the 10-Minute Walk campaign and see why nearly 200 mayors have signed on to improving park access and quality in their cities.

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Pathways to Play

As the creators of park experiences, how can we better engage with children and families and encourage greater use when designing paths and trails? For the second year, NRPA and Disney issued that challenge to park and recreation agencies across the country.

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Promoting Physical Activity with Temporary Street Closures

The concept of “Play Streets” has emerged as a way to promote outdoor play and physical activity for children in neighborhoods without access to safe, well-maintained parks and playgrounds.

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Developing a Park Prescription Program for Your Community

Park Prescription or “Park Rx” programs are gaining in popularity and helping to motivate people to be active in our parks. These programs encourage physicians to “prescribe” physical activity in park settings to their patients.

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Creating Wellness Policies for Your Park and Recreation Department

For a mission statement to be embraced, any effective wellness program must have as its foundation a system of policies that bolster the creation of a healthy, safe and supportive learning environment.

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