Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding

For the third year in a row, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company to help fund local park improvement projects in 16 U.S. cities through the national Meet Me at the Park campaign.

During Earth Month in April, people can vote for one of three projects in 15 cities to receive $20,000 in grant funding. Voters will also have the opportunity to nominate a city anywhere in the country to be entered for the chance to receive a $20,000 grant that will be used to support a local park in need within that community.

The 15 areas participating in Meet Me at the Park include: Austin, Texas; Brevard County, Fla.; Charlotte, N.C.; Chicago; Durham, N.C.; Fresno, Calif.; Hartford, Conn.; Houston; Los Angeles; Miami; New York; Orlando, Fla.; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and Seattle.

Started in 2014, Meet Me at the Park improves local parks through projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. These projects include activities such as planting community gardens, improving trails and refurbishing playgrounds or soccer fields. In 2016, more than 200,000 people felt the impact of Meet Me at the Park projects. Over the past two years, the projects have provided:

  • 370,110 people with improved access to physical activity.
  • 53,343 people with improved access to nature experiences.
  • 10,194 people with improved access to nutritious foods.
  • 78,970 people with improved access to sports.

"Supporting local parks is essential to the health and vitality of communities everywhere," said Lori Robertson, NRPA director of conservation. "That's why we are proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help fund critical park improvement projects in communities in need. We encourage everyone to join us in giving back to the places that shape so much of our lives by voting in this year's Meet Me at the Park campaign."

Public voting for Meet Me at the Park will take place from April 1 to April 30, 2017. People can vote daily online at or via text. The project with the most votes in each city at the end of the month will receive grant funding. Similarly, the city with the most nominations at the end of the month will receive funding, as well. The winning cities will implement their park improvement projects this summer.

New this year, everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing for a tablet outfitted for the outdoors. Voters are encouraged to ask friends to vote too, by taking a selfie in their favorite park and using the hashtags, "MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies and #BeInspired.

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