On June 6, 2,000 marchers peacefully exercised their First Amendment Rights by expressing their outrage at injustice and racism in our society in Northern Virginia. http://ow.ly/rMTD30r3gep
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to advancing park, recreation, and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people.
NRPA is the leading advocacy organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks and recreation opportunities. Founded in 1965 through the merger of 5 national organizations dedicated to the same cause, NRPA has grown over the years - in total membership, in outreach efforts, in building partnerships, and in serving as the voice and defender of parks and recreation. NRPA is dedicated to educating professionals and the public on the essential nature of parks and recreation. Through learning opportunities, research, and communications initiatives, we strive to generate significant public support for our movement in order to advance the development of best practices and resources that will make parks and recreation indispensable elements of American communities. We also advocate for increased national funding for parks and recreation through federal grants and initiatives that support healthy lifestyles, economic vitality and environmental stewardship. We are the hub for connecting advocates, professionals, suppliers and government leaders so that, together, we can achieve common goals and further advance our movement. NRPA is funded through membership dues, conference and event sales, and charitable contributions. These funds are used to conduct research, education and policy initiatives on behalf of the movement. NRPA is a non-profit organization organized under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. We are headquartered in Ashburn, Virginia.
This is a page for supporters of the National Recreation and Park Association. We encourage open discussion while keeping the messages and comments family-friendly. We continuously monitor our social media. Please note, we will mostly respond to posts within regular business hours. By participating on this page, you are agreeing to our community commenting policy which is listed below. We reserve the right to delete posts containing any of the following elements: - profanity - personal attacks - willful misinformation - spam - any advertising that’s unrelated to the NRPA mission - off-topic / irrelevant posts - promoting violence - anything that infringes on copyrights or trademarks - promoting illegal or questionable activities If you repeatedly violate this policy, you will be removed from our page. If you have any questions, please email [email protected].
Mission: NRPA’s mission is to advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.
On June 6, 2,000 marchers peacefully exercised their First Amendment Rights by expressing their outrage at injustice and racism in our society in Northern Virginia. http://ow.ly/rMTD30r3gep
We're excited to have NRPA President and CEO Kristine Stratton keynote this great event and share the essential role park and recreation professionals play in creating healthy, vibrant and equitable communities.
Come and explore "The Nature of Our City," at Park Pride's *virtual* Parks and Greenspace Conference on Monday, August 17.
Registration is OPEN: https://hopin.to/events/the-nature-of-our-city
Thank YOU for your years of calls, letters, emails, hill visits and social media posts — the Land and Water Conservation Fund is now permanently and fully funded thanks to the Great American Outdoors Act being signed into law!
Together, we made history.
NRPA awards $1.2 million in grant funds from the Walmart Foundation to 15 park and recreation agencies that will focus on building capacity to serve as community nutrition hubs. #CommitToHealth https://bit.ly/39SUUzj
Registration is open for the 2020 NRPA Annual Conference: A Virtual Experience! Learn more and register: http://ow.ly/2K5r30r2t5O
Two Building Better Communities Grant Program grantees transformed their parks into unique educational play experiences that connect their communities to the natural world. http://ow.ly/nDN130r1TV4
Thank you for helping us celebrate you and the essential work you do this July! We say this every year, but we think this was the best Park and Recreation Month yet - even given the extra challenges many communities are facing right now. And while today marks the end of our favorite month, our appreciation for you doesn't stop here. YOU are selfless. YOU are passionate. YOU are essential. YOU are Parks and Recreation. Thank you for all you do! #WeAreParksAndRec
When Wally Majors was offered the position of City of Boynton Beach Recreation and Parks Department Director, he had a tough decision to make: could he give up wearing shorts and sports shirts and being out among the community, where he always envisioned using his recreation degree, or wear a tie and work primarily in the office? Well, the people in South Florida believe he made the right decision. Wally has been the embodiment of a recreation professional in South Florida, and, more specifically, as a force in the Boynton Beach area for more than three decades.
“He makes working for and with him a great experience, with an eye on extending that sense of joy and wonder to our constituents,” says Wally’s colleague Diane Valentini. “When considering this honor for Wally, we reached out to the many people he has connected with over the years and every single person, whether resident or staff (both past and present), responded with a resounding and enthusiastic ‘yes’ to endorse him.”
Wally joined the department in 1986 and became the director in 2002. His first mission as director was to have the department become accredited and attain certification for as many staff members as possible. He wanted staff to fully understand the importance of accreditation and professional certification. With a supportive team, that goal was accomplished in 2012. This achievement is a great source of pride for Wally: his philosophy is "taxpayers should know that they are getting the best, high quality, professional service they can receive, and by national standards they truly are."
Another of Wally's passions is inclusion: he strives for this in all of the department’s programs. His championing of this philosophy led the city to be the first autism-friendly city and institute diversity and inclusion in all its operations. When he heard about the Florida governor's initiative to build boundless playgrounds, he went a step further and created the first Barrier Free Park in Palm Beach County, where over 187,000 disabled residents reside. The park was created with the now formalized City of Boynton Beach Inclusion Support Team, made up of partnerships of many non-profit organizations that provide services for special needs individuals. The park has fitness trails, pavilions, picnic tables, open play areas, splash pads and specialty structures for a variety of age groups and all abilities. This park design has now become standard for this type of facility. As part of the celebration of Barrier Free Park, he and staff founded a signature Boynton event called "Magic Wheels and Special Deals," where for the last five years a child receives a custom "magical" wheelchair of their wildest dreams, with themes such as Black Panther, hot rod cars and princess dream.
Wally is admired by staff, colleagues, residents and city leaders. He is highly valued and will be missed now that he is retiring in July. However, the word retirement is not in Wally's vocabulary. He has already said that he and the city’s therapy dog, Boone, will back the day after to volunteer their time. Only then, to his relief, he will get to do it in shorts.
Join us in celebrating Wally Majors this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
Tricia Schwall started with the Dickinson Hall Senior Center Lake Forest/Lake Bluff nearly 10 years ago as the part-time program assistant. After leaving for a period of time, Tricia's passion led her back and she returned four years ago and became the full-time program manager. Since then, Dickinson Hall has become fun, vibrant and the place to be for older adults, and Tricia has recently been named the new senior resources manager!
She has touched Dickinson Hall in a special way through her love and passion for the aging community. Lake Forest, Illinois, a north suburb of Chicago, is just as beautiful as the people who live, work and play in it. Dickinson Hall is a large, stunning historic building tucked in the woods located on the west side of Lake Forest, and under the direction of Lake Forest Parks & Recreation, is a place where older adults come to participate in luncheons, lectures, trips, exercise classes and more.
“We are a small staff of just three individuals, but make big things happen!” says Tara Purtell, one of Tricia’s colleagues. “On any given day you can find Tricia out on a trip, hosting a lecture, dancing in the kitchen while doing dishes, bringing the holidays alive, participating in parades, cooking up great food for members and staff and just showing the community what recreation truly means. These are just a few of the many hats Tricia wears as a recreation professional. She not only displays the qualities of a respectable leader, but also of a genuinely good person. She is always available to listen and help whenever needed. It's important to us here at Dickinson Hall that the aging population gets recognized for being such great assets to the community and have a place to go that is friendly and welcoming.”
Join us in celebrating Tricia Schwall this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
Stuart Brown is the director of Mammoth Parks N Rec. in California. Stu also serves as the public information officer for the Town of Mammoth Lakes and is currently leading the team for all of Mono County during the COVID-19 crisis.
Stu is a crucial member of the Emergency Operations Center team, and is responsible for disseminating timely information and updates to the public in this rural area. Stu has been working nonstop since early March, and is doing an amazing job under enormous pressure and public scrutiny.
Mammoth Lakes has a permanent population of around 8,000 people who love to recreate, as well as robust visitation to Mammoth Mountain Ski Area and other public lands in the Eastern Sierra throughout the year. As a resort economy with many locals working in the service industry, Mammoth is not a wealthy community and about half the students in the local school district qualify for free and reduced lunches.
Stu is always thinking of ways to improve the quality of life for residents and visitors through parks and recreation. In December, former longtime recreation commissioner for Mammoth Lakes and business owner, Tony Colasardo, passed away. Stu thought it would be ideal to establish a scholarship fund in Tony's name to ensure every child in the community who wishes to participate in a camp or program is able to do so, because recreation for all was so important to Tony — he used to donate his commissioner stipend back to the department for this exact purpose. Through Stu's work with Tony's family, the Tony Colasardo Scholarship Fund was established and the family made the first, very generous contribution to ensure that every child in the community is able to have full access to park and recreation programs.
"Stu truly lives the Mammoth Lakes Parks and Recreation tagline of 'All Recreation - All the Time!'," says Betsy Truax, president of the California Association of Park and Recreation Commissioners and Board Members. "He empowers his team to serve the public and is a wonderful advocate for parks and recreation in our community."
Join us in celebrating Stuart Brown this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
What makes a community special? The culture, traditions and the history are some of the first things that come to mind, but the most important part of a community is its people — and Ta'Shelya Bynum, the health and wellness manager at Albany Recreation & Parks, is a very important part of the community in The City of Albany, Georgia.
She is a trusted and well-respected community member, a humble leader, a mentor and an avid athlete. Ta’Shelya takes pride in knowing her work is part of what makes her community thrive.
During Ta’Shelya’s time with Albany Recreation & Parks, she has pushed for more innovative programs and events, made additions to the fitness and wellness center and focused on safety trainings for lifeguards and staff at Carver Pool and Spray Park. Ta’Shelya is a committed and dedicated leader who pushes her team to succeed each day.
“We are proud to say that she is a member of the Good Life City and a part of the Albany Recreation & Parks Family,” says Alexandra Brown, one of Ta’Shelya’s colleagues. “She knows our city and has grown from the nurture and care that this community has provided her. She gives back to our community and wears her City of Albany colors with pride.”
Join us in celebrating Ta’Shelya Bynum this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
As supervisor of South Platte Park, part of South Suburban Parks and Recreation in Colorado, Skot Latona exemplifies what it takes to successfully care for a treasured park and acres of open space, in addition to managing natural and human resources. Skot has steadily increased participation in field trips and public nature programs at the park, helped supervise major river projects, enhanced the essential community volunteer program, assisted in the development of a water safety program, and helped implement attractive and helpful wayfinding signage throughout the park.
Skot's friendly demeanor is a great asset for both patrons and staff. He is committed to eagerly sharing his expertise and knowledge about nature with anyone who wants to learn. He is able to strike a balance between providing education, while keeping things light and engaging, and he's able to take complex issues and patiently explain them in easy to understand terms. His style of teaching keeps people coming back to learn more about this unique place.
Skot also takes great care in developing his staff. Victoria Sutton, a park interpreter, says, "Skot is an amazing manager, allowing all of us the freedom to be creative with no micromanagement. He ensures that all new staff members understand and live the culture of customer service, practice stewardship of this space and provide a high level of service within our own workgroup. I think it would take a lot for any of us to leave this job and the people we call family here, which is a culture that he developed and we foster."
Join us in celebrating Skot Latona this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
A recent poll finds vacationing close to home this summer is a popular choice given the global COVID-19 pandemic, and parks and recreation provides many activity options. #parkpulse https://bit.ly/337sjog
Shaun Beasley's title is Recreation Division Manager, but he is so much more than that. He is the heart and soul of the Clearwater Parks and Recreation Programming Division. Shaun makes it a priority to connect with people and make them feel special and empowers his staff by setting high standards and leading by example. He would be the first one to pick up a broom and clean a dirty restroom or stay late to cover for a sick co-worker. He has a consistently positive attitude that is infectious and mirrored by his staff. Here are a few examples of why he makes Clearwater a great place to live, work and play.
If you walk into Shaun's office, amongst all of the Red Sox paraphernalia, you will see a picture of Shaun with a 90-year-old woman in a ‘Counselor in Training’ shirt - this is Elsie. Elsie was a sweet lady who lived by herself and couldn't wait to get to the recreation center to exercise and to see Shaun. Elsie used a walker and relied on a nurse to get her to the center. When she was alive, Shaun visited Elsie at least once a month in her apartment to have lunch with her. Each time he brought a different staff member with him to share in the joy Elsie has during these visits. Elsie requested that she have her 89th birthday at the recreation center in the staff office. Because of Shaun, the recreation center had become part of her family.
Another story that shows Shaun’s character is about a camper named Christian. Christian is a 12-year-old boy who is on the autism spectrum and signed up for summer camp. Shaun knew how kids may initially react to some of Christian’s actions, so he took a vested interest in him. He made Christian "the cool kid" in camp. He spent time with him, paired him with other children the kids looked up to, and made him feel accepted. By the end of the summer, everyone in camp knew Christian.
“On the last day of camp I witnessed children running up to Christian begging him to sign their camp shirts. Later on that evening, at the end of summer celebration and talent show, I also witnessed Christian's mother, with tears in her eyes, thanking Shaun and the camp staff for the best summer in Christian's life,” says Sandy Clayton, one of Shaun’s colleagues. “[Shaun] is a positive role model to his staff and goes above and beyond his required duties on a daily basis to make Clearwater Parks & Recreation an important part of people's lives. The City of Clearwater is extremely lucky to have Shaun Beasley as an employee.”
Join us in celebrating Shaun Beasley this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
Sharon Hunter-Payne is the center director of the Shirley B. Winston Recreation Center, part of Columbus ParksandRecreation in Georgia. Sharon is an outstanding worker, loves her profession and values her position in the field of parks and recreation. She gained her experience in parks and recreation from working with Opelika Parks and Recreation in Opelika, Alabama, for almost 10 years, assisting in its pre-k, seniors, athletic and annual programs.
Sharon started her career in Georgia in 2010 at Boxwood Recreation Center. Boxwood was a smaller recreation center that eventually had to close down, but when Sharon was hired, she implemented new programs and events. Due to how well Boxwood turned around and gained recognition, Sharon moved up to the bigger Shirley B. Winston Recreation Center where she now serves.
Sharon is also the overseer for Columbus Parks and Recreation’s Spirit Counsel, holds an associate degree in business administration and is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree at Troy University. She enjoys spending time, vacationing, and participating in game night with her husband, Alvin, and their two daughters, Ebony and Anita.
Join us in celebrating Sharon Hunter-Payne this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
Sabrina Hinkens handles the hiring, training, supervision and motivation of 145 summer staff members at Gurnee Park District, and her contributions to her community and the park district in Illinois are significant. Each summer, 800-900 campers enjoy field trips, the aquatic center and Gurnee parks. Sabrina continues to be a leader in the field, providing innovative programs that campers will never forget.
Throughout her career, Sabrina is always humbled by the full circle of development from children who join the camp as kindergarteners, continue through the teen camp, and then apply to be camp counselors. Many of the camp participants have enjoyed their experience so much that they can't wait to have the same impact on the community. Gurnee Park District truly believes that this is due to Sabrina's leadership, passion and dedication to continue to provide the best camp experience for her community, parents, campers and staff.
Join us in celebrating Sabrina Hinkens this July! #WeAreParksAndRec
22377 Belmont Ridge Rd
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