Browse and download best practice guides, briefing papers, case studies, issue briefs, toolkits, frameworks, and other resources related to NRPA's programs and initiatives.

Workforce Development: Resource Guide and Workbook

As one of the largest first-time employers, parks and recreation provides exposure to the field and first-time jobs to many youth and young adults. NRPA’s workforce development resources provide agencies with information to ensure they are creating intentional programs that benefit all community members, while building a sustainable workforce and communities for the future.

Workforce Development: A Resource Guide for Parks and Recreation features case studies highlighting programs dedicated to workforce development opportunities. The accompanying workbook, Workforce Development: Self-Guided Workbook for Parks and Recreation, helps agencies assess their current situation and opportunities for growth.

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Parks and Recreation: Addressing Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders

As providers of and connection points to public health services and community conditions that protect and promote health and well-being, parks and recreation plays a vital role in addressing substance use and mental health disorders. Park and recreation professionals work on the frontlines responding to substance use, mental health crises and related issues in the public spaces they manage.

NRPA has released a three-part suite of resources supporting park and recreation professionals as they address substance use and mental health disorders in their communities: Parks and Recreation: A Comprehensive Response to the Substance Use Crisis; Parks and Recreation: Addressing Stigma Associated with Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders; and Parks and Recreation: Prevention Guide Addressing Substance Use and Mental Health Disorders.


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Park and Recreation Professionals’ Guide to Fundraising

Fundraising can be daunting — NRPA’s comprehensive Park and Recreation Professionals’ Guide to Fundraising can help. This resource outlines strategies to diversify funding sources. It will walk you through establishing a fundraising team, developing your case for support, identifying and cultivating new donors, and pursuing innovative development strategies.

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Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans

Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans GuideA system-wide park master plan is a tool that can help us understand the history and current barriers to park access and set a vision and plan to remove these inequities and ensure parks and open space are providing the most benefit to communities. The resource provides four key tips in creating a system-wide park master plan, namely: internal assessment; community engagement; resource and data collection; and development of an implementation plan. It also includes helpful case studies for each of those four phases to give readers practical examples.

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Electronic Health Record Referral Process Guide

Electronic Health Record Referral Process GuideHealthcare organizations and community-based organizations like park and recreation agencies share a common goal: improving the health of their communities. The implementation of community integrated health strategies like referral processes in one way in which cross-sector partnerships can be developed. Download the Electronic Health Record Referral Process Guide to learn how to implement a referral process that can enhance awareness of and improve access to your programs and services and improve the health of the communities you serve.

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Community Engagement Resource Guide

Community Engagement Resource GuideLocal park and recreation agencies work diligently to ensure all people have access to and feel welcome in the places, programs and facilities that make their lives and communities great. Equitable and inclusive community engagement is central to this vision and is fundamental to establishing quality parks that meet the needs of all people.

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Best Practices Guide for Increasing Access to Healthy Foods through Innovative Approaches

Best Practices Guide for Increasing Access to Healthy Foods through Innovative ApproachesThe purpose of this guide is to highlight key strategies that park and recreation agencies can use in the implementation of three innovative program models to increase access to healthy foods — starting or expanding farmers markets or community supported agriculture, starting or expanding intergenerational programming and addressing transportation barriers.

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Parks for Inclusion Policy Guide

Parks for Inclusion Policy GuideNRPA has developed a set of resources designed to guide agencies in creating and implementing inclusive policies in local parks and recreation.

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Resource Guide for Planning, Designing and Implementing Green Infrastructure in Parks

A Resource Guide for Planning, Designing and Implementing Green Infrastructure in ParksThis guide draws on lessons learned from the Great Urban Park Campaign pilot projects and provides basic principles, inspiration and ideas that can help planners, designers and decision-makers equitably integrate green stormwater infrastructure into parks and park systems across the country.

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Financing Green Infrastructure Projects

Financing Green Infrastructure ProjectsThis briefing paper noted that after review of many municipal and regional green infrastructure stormwater management and implementation programs across the country, a primary measure of success is to plan and implement such projects based on a partnership model of multiple funding sources that combine local, federal/state, and private dollars.

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Safe Routes to Parks Resource Guide

Best Practice Guide for Out-of-School Time Meal Program Models and SustainabilityThe NRPA Safe Routes to Parks Resource Guide is intended to provide professionals (park and recreation and their allied professionals) with resources to support the implementation of the Safe Routes to Parks Action Framework.

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Making the Case: Parks and Health

Making the Case: Parks and HealthMaking the Case: Parks and Health is an easy-to-use resource to help park and recreation leaders make the case to elected officials that parks are a critical part of the community’s public health infrastructure.

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