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  • 28 Jan 2016 11:38 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    As a park and recreation professional, you already know that public parks are important contributors to the standard of living in our neighborhoods, with benefits spanning from environmental gains and improved health to being a central meeting place that brings residents across ages and social strata to connect to nature. But in a time of scarce resources and tight fiscal budgets, you have to fight for funding to continue your mission. 

    With the release of NRPA’s Economic Impact of Local Parks report, you now have resources that show policymakers, stakeholders and community members that public parks are also economic engines to their communities. Specifically, local and regional parks created nearly $140 billion in economic activity and were responsible for nearly 1 million jobs during 2013. Read Full Report...

  • 12 Jan 2016 10:39 AM | Carey Antoszewski (Administrator)

    MLB Pitch Hit and Run is a FREE program through a partnership with NRPA and Major League Baseball (MLB). NRPA helps to advance the values of baseball and softball in local communities.  In 2015, recreation departments from all 50 states participated in MLB’s Pitch Hit & Run (PHR) competitions.  PHR is a competition designed for boys and girls ages 7-14 and is FREE for both the hosting organization and the participant. Participants in this program have the opportunity to advance and play inside major league ballparks, including the National Finals during All-Star Week.

    For more information on how to host PHR in your community contact Tonya Forbrook  or Chris Gallagher.

    Please contact Colleen Pittard if you find you have additional questions after reviewing the website.

  • 06 Jan 2016 12:17 PM | Carey Antoszewski (Administrator)

    There are some great opportunities for parks and recreation agencies and park districts in the recently reauthorized Elementary and Secondary Education Act aka No Child Left Behind. The new 4-year bill is called the Every Student Succeeds Act, and for the first time ever environmental education and literacy are subjects eligible for funding in a federal education bill. While Congress has failed to pass the No Child Left Inside Act since first introduced in 2008, elements of NCLI are included in the Every Student Succeeds Act. Environmental education and hands-on science learning provisions are in two distinct sections – STEM and After School. The language in each of these sections also supports environmental education, outdoor learning and field study....and parks are ideal outdoor classrooms. The after school programs are primarily under the 21st Century Community Learning Centers, which provides multi-year grants to schools who partner with nonprofit organizations, local governments etc. 21st Century Community Learning Centers grants are administered by each state department of education. Here is an overview of the funding and the impact:

    · $1.6 billion for “well-rounded education” grants program including environmental education + physical education & health, the arts

    · $1 billion for after school grants programs including environmental literacy

    · STEM funding including “hands-on learning” and “field-based activities and service learning”

    What it means:

    · Environmental education has become an essential component of a student’s education

    · Students across the nation will be engaged in outdoor learning and service projects

    · Federal funds will go to partnership programs between public school systems and

    o environmental education providers

    o conservation organizations

    o higher education institutions

    o nonprofit community-based organizations

    o parks and recreation organizations

    Mark Young
    Parks Forever Consulting
    Louisville KY
    (614) 582-7913

  • 28 Dec 2015 11:25 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)
    If you’re a current AFO and have been in the aquatics field for five or more years, chances are you’ve got some knowledge worth sharing. Take your career to the next level by passing on what you’ve learned — become an AFO instructor. NRPA is currently accepting applications for our AFO Instructor Workshop being held March 5-6, 2016, in San Diego, California. Becoming an instructor can help raise revenue for your organization or agency and save you money on training your own staff.

    Click here to learn more and apply. 

  • 28 Dec 2015 4:54 AM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    If Texans were surveyed to see if they could identify a surprising source of over $6 billion in annual economic activity producing more than 50,000 jobs in the state. For the first time we have the results of a comprehensive national study focusing exclusively on the effects parks have on economic productivity.

    The report just released was commissioned by the National Recreation and Park Association and conducted by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University. 

    Read more here: 


  • 08 Dec 2015 1:33 PM | Carey Antoszewski (Administrator)

    The Arizona Parks and Recreation Association Office will be closed from December 22-28, 2015 and will reopen on December 29, 2015.

    We will also be closed on New Year's Day, January 1, 2016.

    Happy Holidays from the APRA staff! Carol, Carey and Samantha

  • 18 Nov 2015 1:25 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    As community health and wellness leaders, you know how essential parks and recreation are to the nation’s health. But how about your elected leaders? Providing evidence-based reasons on the health benefits of parks can be tricky. NRPA now has a comprehensive solution — Making the Case: Parks and Health. This dynamic resource has substantive, accessible research to help you talk about the health benefits of parks and recreation to the decision-makers. We’ve got fact sheets, an infographics library, ready-to-use social media content, testimonials and more. Begin using Making the Case: Parks and Health and strengthen your communications today! 

  • 09 Nov 2015 1:09 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    It was busy on Capitol Hill last week for the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) and the Surface Transportation Reauthorization and Reform Act (STRR). As expected, House Natural Resources Committee Chairman Rob Bishop released his draft LWCF bill. NRPA is very pleased with the State Assistance and "urban" portions of the bill, but is deeply concerned to see additional programs included which are not consistent with the stated purposes of outdoor recreation and conservation, the basic tenants of the original Act. On the transportation front, there is some very good news. The House approved a six-year, $325 billion transportation bill that did not include three proposed amendments that targeted Transportation Alternatives and the Recreational Trails Program. This is in large part due to the rapid advocacy efforts of NRPA members and partners! To find out details of the LWCF bill and what’s ahead for active transportation, read more on Open Space.

    Click here to get the details on LWCF and active transportation legislation

  • 09 Nov 2015 1:03 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation requests proposals for the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. This grant program seeks to fund projects that address water quality issues in priority watersheds, such as erosion due to unstable streambanks, pollution from stormwater runoff and degraded shorelines caused by development. Awards range from $20,000 to $50,000 — generally averaging $30,000 — and 40 to 50 grants may be awarded per year. This is a great opportunity to bring funding and support to your conservation and water-related projects in parks and recreation. RFP submissions are due Tuesday, February 3, 2016.  

    Click here for more information about the Five Star and Urban Waters Restoration Program. 

  • 09 Nov 2015 1:02 PM | Samantha Coffman (Administrator)

    In the last few years, the following noteworthy community engagement trends have emerged: 

    1. Stakeholders are evolving (continuously). 
    2. Experts are now applying a formula to better understand engagement efforts.  
    3. A bias toward public meetings exists among community officials. 
    4. There is a communication disconnect between, well, everyone. 
    5. Data is being used alongside engagement to paint a bigger picture of our communities. 

    To take a look at these in more depth and explore how you can use them to create informed engagement, check out a new white paper written by NRPA partner mySidewalk by MindMixer. 

    Click here to review the white paper.

    Click here for more information about the mySidewalk member discount.  

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