Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

November 2017


New Initiative Aims to Ensure All Have Access to Parks & Rec

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

L.A. Parks Earn Mostly Positive Report Card - October 2017

Health Club Memberships Up, Led by Youth & Older Adults - October 2017

Dallas Park Recognized With ASLA Award - October 2017

Adult Obesity Rates Leveling Off - October 2017

Improving Kids' Wellness—In the Classroom - October 2017

Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Development Continues - September 2017

Louisville Splash 'n' Dash 5K Raises $35,000+ for Norton Children's Hospital - September 2017

Philadelphia Eagles Go Green - September 2017

High School Sports Participation Up, Nearing 8 Million - September 2017

Inside South Side High School's Redevelopment - August 2017

New Health Research Conducted at Special Olympics - August 2017

Protect Players From Heat - August 2017

Tackling the Active Play Deficit - August 2017

Botanical Garden Partners With Businesses on Health - July 2017

Survey Examines Parents' View of Play - July 2017

Kids Swim Free in Tucson This Summer - July 2017

Building Communities to Encourage Physical Activity - June 2017

California Campus Converts Courts to Golf Practice Space - June 2017

Where Are the Nation's Top City Park Systems? - June 2017

KaBOOM! Brings Play to Military Kids - May 2017

USA Basketball Open Court Sessions Get Youths Into the Game - May 2017

Educators Push Legislators to Support Health & Physical Education Programs - May 2017

NFHS Revises Rules for Competitive Spirit Squads - May 2017

Pool & Spa Professionals Fight Immigration Restrictions - April 2017

Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks - April 2017

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools - March 2017

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia - March 2017

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage - March 2017

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years - March 2017

Outdoor REC Act Signed Into Law - February 2017

Happy 125th B-Day B-Ball! - February 2017

Study Shows Majority—Even Athletes—Are 'Overfat' - February 2017

Gym-Goers Like YMCA Best; Planet Fitness Winning Market Share - February 2017

Georgia State Park Celebrates Its Dark Sky Status - January 2017

Texas Tech Focuses on Functional Fitness - January 2017

Preventing Pool Closings - January 2017

Majority of U.S. Households Visit Attractions - January 2017

City of Henderson Awarded for Water Safety Programs - December 2016

Grant Brings Outdoor Fitness Area to Park - December 2016

Alliance Recommends Actions to Improve Kids' Activity Stats - December 2016

Retractable Enclosures Help YMCAs Cut Costs, Boost Membership - November 2016

Huge Project Seeks to Rebuild Monarch Habitats - November 2016

Report: Camping More Popular Than Ever - November 2016

ACSM Predicts 2017 Fitness Trends - November 2016

By Chandler Garland

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) officially launched the Parks for Inclusion Initiative at the 2017 NRPA annual conference in late September. NRPA will partner with Lakeshore and the Nation Center for Health, Physical Activity, and Disability (NCHPAD) as part of a pledge to the Commit to Inclusion Campaign. Designed by the Partnership for Inclusive Health, the Commit to Inclusion Campaign aims to end exclusion of people with disabilities from physical activity and associated areas. NRPA and its partners will work to ensure that all people have access to the benefits of local parks and recreation facilities.

Lakeshore and the NCHPAD are both nonprofit organizations that provide resources for people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Lakeshore, based in Birmingham Ala., seeks to enable people with disabilities to lead healthy, active and independent lifestyles through activities, sports, advocacy, policy and research. The NCHPAD is a public health practice and resource that helps the disabled achieve health benefits through increased participation in physical and social actives. They mainly work through consultations and individualized information.

"We are pleased to partner with the National Recreation and Park Association on this inclusion initiative," said Lakeshore President Jeff Underwood. "Lakeshore and NCHPAD are committed to using our expertise and resources to help remove barriers which prevent people with disabilities from taking full advantage of opportunities in parks and recreation programs. Our hope is that by helping to facilitate better access, people will be more inclined to be physically active, which leads to a more healthy and independent lifestyle."

NRPA, Lakeshore and NCHPAD will work together to expand inclusion in current initiatives and programs, to provide resources and technical assistance to local parks and recreation agencies, and to calculate impacts in order to create best practices across the field of parks and recreation.

A survey was distributed by NRPA to its members to assess the ways in which inclusive practices are being introduced to facilities and to project what resources will be needed. A full report of this survey's findings will be released this fall.

The NRPA's Parks for Inclusion Initiative will follow nine guidelines:

  1. Ensure objectives and agency policies strategically include people with disabilities.
  2. Involve people with disabilities in development and implementation.
  3. Promote accessibility in physical environments, program structures, communication methods and social components.
  4. Accommodate the needs of participants with disabilities.
  5. Target outreach programs and use inclusive language an imagery in dissemination methods.
  6. Account for cost considerations and feasibility.
  7. Prioritize affordability.
  8. Implement process evaluations and participant feedback.
  9. Evaluate outcomes

The initiative will also include the promotion of inclusivity for other marginalized communities, such as the LGBTQ community and ethnic, racial and multicultural communities. "NRPA is proud to partner with the Lakeshore Foundation and NCHPAD on this new initiative," said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA president and CEO. "Our goal is to ensure everyone—regardless of income, race or ability—is able to enjoy the benefits that parks and recreation provide."