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

Feature Story

February 2018


Parks for Inclusion Initiative Aims to Expand Reach to All Americans

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

SHAPE America, NFL & Partners Collaborate on Training for Health & P.E. Educators - February 2018

CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants - February 2018

Bipartisan PHIT Act Could Boost America's Wellness - February 2018

China Plant Shutdowns May Affect Pool Operations & Budgets - January 2018

Arlington County 'Pulls Together' to Remove Invasive Plants - January 2018

Youth Sports Participation Increases for Underserved Kids - January 2018

Study: Physical Activity Boosts Learning Time - January 2018

Preventing Germs in Gyms: What Works? - December 2017

Study: Laws Reduce Recurrent Concussions - December 2017

Grants Awarded for Urban Water & Wildlife Habitat Restoration - December 2017

APSP University Launches New Certification Course - November 2017

New Series Aims to Empower Students With Healthy Habits - November 2017

US Club Soccer Puts Focus on Player Safety - November 2017

New Initiative Aims to Ensure All Have Access to Parks & Rec - November 2017

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

By Dave Ramont

Local parks and recreation destinations and programs offer many benefits to communities, and the nonprofit National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to these benefits. And now, they've launched the Parks for Inclusion initiative, which supports physical enhancements within park environments, policy development and program implementation strategies. These various programs and enhancements will not only serve those with physical and cognitive disabilities, but also the LGBTQ community, racial and ethnic minorities and new Americans.

The Parks for Inclusion initiative seeks to increase access to health opportunities for 1 million people by Sept. 30, 2020. As part of this plan, NRPA has partnered with the Lakeshore Foundation to provide $1,000 grants to four parks and recreation agencies to create a project aimed at promoting inclusion at their sites. The agencies were encouraged to submit proposals for programs or projects that would showcase innovative ways to expand opportunities for those with physical and cognitive disabilities. And now, the four winning submissions have been announced, with recipients implementing their projects by Jan. 31, 2018.

Winners include Philadelphia Parks & Recreation in Pennsylvania for their "Grow up Green Club," an inclusive program for preschool children. Kids on the autism spectrum will join other kids as they explore backyard nature, experiencing dirt and water, sun and wind. The goal is to develop the program into lesson plans and provide training, so that the program can be easily replicated. It's based on their successful Grow up Green Tot program.

The "Learn to Ride Adaptive" bike program will be implemented by the McBeth Recreation Center in Austin, Texas. An adaptive cycle will be purchased with the grant money, to be used by McBeth Adult Day Program participants, Special Olympic athletes and community members with cognitive and physical disabilities. The project will take place at the McBeth Center, as well as Zilker Park and other Austin trails.

Mobile-sensory spaces called "Sense Tents" will be implemented by the parks and recreation board in Minneapolis, to be utilized by park users with physical and cognitive disabilities. The project seeks to provide a calming area for people who may need relief while at parks events, with the space providing items to regulate the senses. The goal is to allow all Minneapolis park users the opportunity to experience the space, which will be brought to various parks and events.

The "Playing Together Project," developed by the city of Prichard, Ala., allows access to the intergenerational community gardens at Shirley M. Shark Historic Park. The newly-designed park features innovations involving the use of mobile park ramps and adaptive signage, which allows access to the community gardens to those with physical and cognitive disabilities. Providing access to other recreational programs within the city will be part of the project as well.

Final stories and pictures of the winning projects will be shared on NRPA's Success Story database.


Belson Outdoors - Your Outdoor Superstore
No Fault - Safe Play Starts with Safe Surfaces
Pilot Rock - Enjoy the Outdoors with Pilot Rock Picnic Tables
Vantage - Tablet Feeders for Any Size Pool
Eaton - Ephesus All Field
Commercial Recreation Specialists - It's all here.
Kay Park Recreation - American Made Park Equipment Since 1954
Recreation Supply - The Pool Supply Specialists