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

Feature Story

April 2019


Applications Open for ESPN RePlay Program

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

NRPA Offers Play Space Grants - March 2019

Smarter Lifeguard Management - March 2019

U.S. Soccer Foundation Aims to Boost Female Participation - March 2019

In Oregon, Outdoor Recreation Saves $1.4 Billion in Healthcare Costs - March 2019

Survey: Communities Should Support Pollinators - February 2019

NSPF, APSP Unite to Form Pool & Hot Tub Alliance - February 2019

Guide Aims to Help Gyms Implement Diabetes Prevention - February 2019

Senior Living Continues Shift Toward Wellness - February 2019

Partnership Aims to Expand Play Opportunities - January 2019

Grant Funds Help Educate Pool Operators - January 2019

NFL Foundation Grants Boost Local Football Fields - January 2019

Leaders Recognized for Advancing Outdoor Recreation - January 2019

Goldfish Swim School Sponsors USA Swimming Foundation - December 2018

Physical Activity for Kids Gets Low Grade - December 2018

New Law Helps Sports Medicine Professionals & Athletes - December 2018

Outdoor Recreation Adds Billions to U.S. Economy - November 2018

Nearly $1 Million in Pool Grants Awarded - November 2018

Report: One in Four Americans Use a Health Club - November 2018

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment - November 2018

Foundation Celebrates Sports Innovations - October 2018

Grant Awarded to Chattanooga Nature Play Area - October 2018

Obesity Continues to Challenge America's Health - October 2018

Grant Program Funds Keep America Beautiful Initiatives - October 2018

Nation's Pediatricians Emphasize Power of Play - October 2018

Step Into Swim Continues to Create New Swimmers - September 2018

Pickleball Benefits Older Adults - September 2018

NSPF Endorses MAHC Adoption - September 2018

Cities Spend More on Public Parks in 2018 - September 2018

Be Ready for Back-to-School Sports - August 2018

NRPA, Pool Safely Partner on Water & Recreation Safety - August 2018

States Make Progress Toward Active Transportation - August 2018

IHRSA Briefing Looks at Club Employees vs. Contractors - August 2018

ACSM & Wellcoaches Expand Offerings for Fitness Pros - July 2018

Grants Help Local Trail Projects - July 2018

Grant to Boost Meals & Nutrition for Kids - July 2018

Trust for Public Land Releases ParkServe Database - July 2018

CPSC Asks for Vigilance to Prevent Child Drowning - July 2018

TPL Earns NEA Grant to Explore Creative Placemaking - June 2018

High Visa Denial Rates Could Affect Pools - June 2018

Make a Splash Campaign Teaches Millions to Swim - June 2018

Communities Can Earn Grants for Dog Park Development - June 2018

National Golf Day Celebrates Green Practices - May 2018

YMCA Recognized for Diversity - May 2018

Americans Support Pollinator Health, And Parks Can Help - May 2018

How to Encourage Play—Everywhere! - April 2018

Partnership, Grants to Boost Mountain Bike Trail Development - April 2018

Parks & Recreation Supports More Than 1.1 Million Jobs - April 2018

Club Pilates Grows With New Training Facility - April 2018

IHRSA Sees Positive Growth for Fitness Pros - April 2018

By Chandler Garland

ESPN’s RePlay Program seeks to revitalize vacant public spaces and make them community-oriented places for sports, recreation and play. Many of these vacant spaces—lots, properties, etc.—adversely affect their surrounding communities in many interconnected ways. Notably, as public eyesores, they both lower the property values of the surrounding properties and erode social cohesion and neighborhood pride. Moreover, research shows that that vacant properties increase police drug and violence calls, which is not healthy for any neighborhood or community. But while vacant public spaces pose a problem for several communities across America, there is a great potential develop these areas and bring vitality back to their communities.

This is where RePlay come in. With support from ESPN in providing grants for planning and implementation, along with LISC’s technical assistance to local community-based groups and other qualified organizations, RePlay seeks to help residents reclaim their community spaces by creating courts, playgrounds and other safe places for youth to play and communities to thrive.

The Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC), is a nonprofit community development organization supporting community development corporations in both urban and rural areas in the United States.

The focus of this program is low- to moderate-income neighborhoods that may not otherwise be able to repurpose their community spaces for great access to quality recreation. For communities in the program, LISC will identify projects and provide technical assistance to local residents and community groups, and assist them from the predevelopment and construction phases to project completion. However, because it is vital to community pride and cohesion for local residents to have a sense of ownership, collaboration with community nonprofits is vital to this program’s success.

Through RePlay, neighborhood organizations can play a leading role in revitalizing their surrounding communities. With experience in both real estate development and community building, many of these organizations possess the capacity to address both the capital aspects of land development and the program elements. Equally important, neighborhood-based organizations have connections to their community that legitimize their operations and draw resident support for their work.

To be eligible for the ESPN RePlay program, organizations applying for grant funds must meet all of the criteria listed below:

  • Be a community-based organization, serving a neighborhood consisting primarily of low- and moderate-income families and individuals.
  • Be in existence for at least three years.
  • Have 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status and have at least one full-time staff person. (All-volunteer organizations will not be considered unless partnering with a qualifying local nonprofit.)
  • Have a proven track record in real estate development and parks or youth programming.
  • To help your community make the most of its vacant spaces and provide safe places for youth sports, summer festivals, community celebrations and after-school events, apply for funding through ESPN’s Replay Program with all necessary documents by May 30, 2019.