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

Feature Story

August 2021

NRPA Announces Grant Funding to Support Equitable Access to Parks

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) awarded grant funding totaling more than $2.5 million to support the advancement of community-driven, systems-level strategies for equitable park access that improve the environmental resilience and health of communities. The grant funding will also provide ongoing peer learning and coaching, professional development, and access to networks of like-minded park and recreation professionals across the country.

"NRPA strives for a future where all people have access to the benefits of quality parks and recreation," said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. "Achieving this future requires recognizing the systemic inequities that have created very different lived experiences in communities across the country—differences based on factors like racial disparities and socioeconomic gaps. Putting equity at the center of our work means we are committed to supporting and advancing local solutions through grant opportunities, and we are proud to work with these six communities leading the way."

Grant awards range from $300,000 to $433,800. The recipients and projects include:

  • City of Detroit Parks and Recreation: With the goal of increasing access to nature and making it more equitably available to all, the City of Detroit will identify and build pocket parks in high-need areas and engage the community on programming and stewardship of the project through workforce development.
  • City of Farmington (N.M.) Parks, Recreation & Cultural Affairs: The City of Farmington is committed to critical observation of its system to illuminate success or failure, especially upon vulnerable groups like Native and disabled communities. Grant funds will be used to design an All Ability Park, a project that uplifts and values all groups in one space.
  • City of Lynnwood (Wash.) Parks, Recreation & Cultural Arts Department: The City of Lynnwood plans to create a park capital prioritization framework tool to evaluate and score all future possible park capital projects by creating equity, resiliency, inclusive and health indices. In collaboration with a community co-design committee, staff will create a comprehensive Parks & Trails Capital Plan that uses the prioritization framework to develop a suite of projects to form a future bond measure.
  • New Orleans Recreation Development Commission: This project will fund the creation of a citywide parks and recreation master plan—a strategy to build an equitable and resilient park and recreation system accessible to all New Orleanians. The planning process will engage a wide array of community-based organizations and residents to gather feedback and create action strategies to advance the city's goals.
  • Navajo Nation Division of Natural Resources: The Diné Canyon Trails in the Navajo Tribal Parks bordering Grand Canyon National Park and Glen Canyon National Recreation Area will provide an opportunity for the Navajo community to experience their shared cultural and physical bond with the Navajo landscape. Meaningful signage and significant physical spaces will offer healing to communities experiencing imbalance due to long-term poverty, poor health, historical injustice, biodiversity decline and loss of indigenous culture and language.
  • The ONEPGH Fund, Pittsburgh: This project will empower Pittsburghers to transform the city's 1,200 acres of unmanaged greenways from neglected liabilities to community assets. An innovative partnership between the ONEPGH Fund, City of Pittsburgh, neighborhoods and the public and private sectors, the Pittsburgh Greenways Platform Partnership will properly resource communities with the funding, tools, partnerships and expertise required to create accessible, thriving and healthy outdoor spaces that mitigate the impacts of climate change.

To learn more about NRPA's mission is to advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people, visit

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