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

Feature Story

July 2019


NRPA, Disney Award Play Space Grants

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Swim Clinic Teaches Water Safety Basics - July 2019

Nation's Pediatrics: Put More Emphasis on Enjoyment of Sports - July 2019

Diabetes Declines, National DPP Program Helped - July 2019

Washington, D.C., Unseats Minneapolis as Best City Park System - June 2019

Survey: Half of Americans Use the Pool as a 'Communal Bathtub' - June 2019

NFL Foundation Helps to Advance Youth Wellness - June 2019

Youth Sports Participation Holds Steady in 2018 - June 2019

Dog Parks Still on the Rise - May 2019

USA Swimming Grants Will Boost Learn-to-Swim Programs - May 2019

IHRSA: One in Five Americans Belong to at Least One Health Club - May 2019

New Program Aims to Grow Pickleball & Tennis - May 2019

IHRSA Reports on Health Club Compensation - April 2019

Grant Funding Brings Parks Closer to People in 10 Cities - April 2019

Note & Float Program Reaches Lifesaving Milestone - April 2019

Fund Established to Assist Aspiring Women Coaches - April 2019

Applications Open for ESPN RePlay Program - April 2019

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

By Dave Ramont

The Meet Me at the Park program—a collaboration between the National Recreation and Park Association and the Walt Disney Company—aims to increase access to play spaces in local parks for children and families across the country. Recently the NRPA announced the recipients of the program's 2019 Play Spaces grants, part of a $1 million donation by Disney. The funding also provides the NRPA with resources used to promote the benefits of play to communities nationwide.

Included among the 25 projects receiving $30,000 grants in 2019 are the Linford Park inclusive playground in Belmont, N.C.; the Mobile Playground in Chesterfield County, Va.; Clark Park soccer field in Houston; and the revitalization of Howard Park in South Bend, Ind.

Kellie May, vice president of programs at NRPA, said the NRPA is proud to award these cities and agencies with grant funding that will support increased access to play and physical activity in cities across the country. "We thank the Walt Disney Company for its commitment to this cause. Its ongoing support is essential to the work we do, especially with children and families who don't have access to quality play spaces, and to our vision that everyone deserves a great park," she said.

According to an evaluation of the program, parks with renovated play areas under the Meet Me in the Park initiative experienced positive effects, including an increase in visitors engaging in moderate or vigorous physical activity.

In Port Huron, Mich., kids and families are learning to ride bikes while experiencing fun activities at various stops along the Sprout City Tike Trak. The stops in this kid-size town include discovery tables, sensory boards and braille signs, imaginative play houses, a sandbox and raised bed gardens that the children helped plant.

A community garden including an active play space was created in Pine Bluff, Ark. The addition of the garden helps enhance an underdeveloped section of the community by encouraging gardening and sustainable activities.

Children and adults had few opportunities for accessible outdoor play and recreation in Burlington, Vt. But now the popular Oakledge Park has added the world's first universally accessible treehouse, accessible bocce courts and a newly renovated accessibility-driven restroom facility.

The Meet Me in the Park program is part of NRPA and Disney's commitment to provide one million kids and families with greater access to safe, inclusive and innovative play spaces. Since 2015, the two have worked together on more than 130 park improvement projects.

For more information visit nrpa.org.