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

Feature Story

March 2019

NRPA Offers Play Space Grants

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is now accepting applications for its 2019 "Meet Me at the Park" play space grants. The grant funding will support projects that increase access to play spaces in local parks for children and families, and is part of a $1 million donation by The Walt Disney Company. Applications will be accepted through April 12.

Past "Meet Me at the Park" play space projects include inclusive play spaces and trails, a beginner bike course, a ninja-themed nature play area, an outdoor performance space, sport court refurbishments and more. In Mecklenburg County, N.C., a play space project features a colorful house with climbing and jumping activities, hideaways, sensory components and opportunities for intergenerational play.

For this year's program, 15 grants will be awarded in predetermined areas, including 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.

Ten additional grants will be awarded to agencies anywhere in the United States, including the U.S. territories, for a total of 25 grants. Each grant will be $30,000, for a total of $750,000.

Eligibility requirements, according to the NRPA website, include:

  • You must be a local or state government park and recreation agency, such as a municipal park department or park district.
  • The project must take place at a publicly owned site in an underserved community.
  • The project should provide opportunities for community engagement and volunteerism.
  • You must promote the project locally through your own communication channels and on social media.
  • You must administer surveys and collect data from at least 25 people at the project site.
  • Eight grantees will be required to conduct a more in-depth evaluation to understand how the project led to increased activity, community, connection to nature and other benefits. (Evaluation tools and training will be provided in these cases.)

The "Meet Me at the Park" program has been in place since 2014, and is part of NRPA and Disney's commitment to provide 1 million kids and families with greater access to play. For more information on the program, visit

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