NRPA Celebrates Annual Park and Recreation Month

This July, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, invites everyone to celebrate Park and Recreation Month.

Since 1985, people in the United States have celebrated Park and Recreation Month in July to promote building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation, and to recognize the more than 160,000 full-time park and recreation professionals — along with hundreds of thousands of part-time and seasonal workers and volunteers — who maintain our country’s local, state and community parks.

This year’s month-long celebration is themed “Where You Belong” and celebrates the many ways park and recreation professionals across the country foster a sense of belonging in their community by providing welcoming and inclusive programs, essential services for all ages and abilities, and safe, accessible spaces to build meaningful connections. 

“July is one of my favorite months of the year — the month where we celebrate and lift up all of the great work park and recreation professionals are doing to build thriving communities,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “NRPA has so much planned for the month ahead in sharing stories of success in creating safe spaces where everyone belongs — where you belong and each of us belongs. The work that they do is more important than ever with all of the challenges that exist in the world today. We are so excited to share with you how important this profession is and can’t wait to celebrate Park and Recreation month.”

In advance of July each year, NRPA issues a call for photo submissions to be featured on its July cover of Parks & Recreation magazine. This year’s cover photo winner, City of Corvallis, Oregon, tells the story of staff and volunteers and their connection to the community’s Majestic Theater, a safe space where people are free to explore their identity with the support of others — especially for those who may not have many other safe spaces to express themselves fully.

What’s more, the actors and stage crew — who represent many ages and identities — learn from each other while creating a unique performing arts community based in belonging. Their production of “The Tempest” is just one example of how these individuals are centering inclusion and connection in Corvallis. Read the full cover story here.

To learn more about the ways to participate in Park and Recreation month, visit