The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) works to ensure that every member of every community has access to the many great benefits that parks and recreation offer. The very philosophy of public parks and recreation is that all people—regardless of race, ethnicity, age, income level, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender or religion – can take advantage of quality programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. To support this cause, NRPA’s Parks for Inclusion initiative aims to improve access to health and wellness activities in parks.

As part of this initiative, NRPA developed the Parks and Recreation Inclusion Report to provide greater insight into how agencies across the United States ensure that all members of their communities can enjoy parks and recreation. The study also highlights the significant challenges facing the industry in delivering on this promise.

Read the Report

Key Findings

  • Park and recreation agencies offer programming and activities for many community member, including:
    • Individuals with physical disabilities and/or cognitive disabilities
    • Members of multicultural/racial/ethnic communities
    • Members of the LGBTQ communities
    • Members of the refugee or immigrant communities
  • Two in five park and recreation agencies have a formal policy that ensure their offerings and facilities are inclusive to all members of the community

  • The greatest challenges keeping park and recreation agencies from being more inclusive to all members of the community include:
    • Insufficient funding
    • Inadequate staffing
    • Facility space shortages
    • Lack of staff training


Parks for Inclusion Infographic

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