March 2021

NRPA Introduces New Resource Aimed at Eliminating Health Inequities

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has released a new resource: Elevating Health Equity Through Parks and Recreation: A Framework for Action. Developed in collaboration with Epic Health Solutions, the interactive framework guides local park and recreation professionals through the process of applying an equity lens to system-wide operations, programs and services.

April 2021

ULI Report: Pandemic Led to Innovation in the Public Realm

The Urban Land Institute’s Building Healthy Places Initiative released a report detailing how cities around the world have adapted their public spaces, addressing new challenges and meeting new needs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nation's Pediatricians Provide New Guidance on Summer Camp Safety

Summer is on its way, and in 2021, summer camp and day camp programs can provide a welcome opportunity for kids to engage in outdoor sports, play and connect with friends, and take part in creative activities that have been on hold for more than a year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To guide parents, camp directors and pediatricians in creating safe camp environments, the American Academy of Pediatrics has issued newly updated interim guidance to help protect the health of camp attendees, staff and the community at large.

March 2021

Grants Invest in Community Trail Projects

The Rails-to-Trails Conservancy (RTC) announced the recipients of its 2021 Trail Grants Program, awarding $145,000 to fill critical trail gaps, with an emphasis on regional and community development goals. The awards included $60,000 in Doppelt Family Trail Development Fund grants, used this year to advance projects that bring forward the vision for the cross-country Great American Rail-Trail, a developing 3,700-mile trails that connects across 12 states, from Washington, D.C., to Washington State.

Research Supports Safe Camp Operations During Pandemic

A new study from the American Camp Association of 486 camps that served 90,000 campers found that only 30 campers had confirmed COVID-19 cases in 2020, a direct result of the summer camp industry’s focus on developing leading-edge child safety standards from the earliest days of the pandemic.

USA Swimming Distributes Community Impact Grants

USA Swimming and the USA Swimming Foundation recently introduced a new grant program that aims to increase competitive opportunities within USA Swimming clubs. An inaugural class of 12 recipients will each receive $5,000 Community Impact grants, which are renewable annually for up to three years.

Research Uncovers What Consumers Need to Return to Gyms

UpSwell Marketing recently shared insights from its fitness consumer research, delving into consumer behavior in the fitness industry. Based on the responses of 1,000 U.S. consumers, the survey uncovers factors considered when deciding which gyms to join and when to go back during these unprecedented finds.

Study Details Hard-Hitting Impact of COVID-19 on U.S. Attractions Industry

A study released by IAAPA, the global association for the attractions industry, details the massive scope of COVID-19's impact on the U.S. attractions industry workforce-with an employment loss five times larger than the average loss across all other industries. In addition, the association is calling on U.S. elected officials to allow for safe reopening of the industry and passing of additional COVID-related relief legislation to support the industry.

February 2021

Outdoor Participation Up Significantly, Says Topline Data From Outdoor Foundation

The Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association, released topline data frm its forthcoming Outdoor Participation Report, supporting what has been reported anecdotally for the past year: Americans found respite and solace from pandemic restrictions by increasing their time outdoors, participating in activities such as trail running, hiking, camping, fishing and biking.

USA Swimming Awards Funds to Local Swimming Committees

Now in its second year, USA Swimming’s Athlete Leadership Summit Grant Program has awarded funds to more than 20 local swimming committees (LSCs), totaling $18,000 of allocated funding. LSCs must support the program with a matching amount equal to at least 50% of the money awarded by USA Swimming.

NGWSD Celebrates Girls & Women in Sports

Feb. 3, 2021 was the 35th annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day (NGWSD), a day of observance recognizing the importance of equal opportunities in sport for girls and women. In honor of the day, the Women’s Sports Foundation hosted virtual events to engage girls across the country, as well as legislators on Capitol Hill. This annual day of celebration and advocacy aims to inspire girls and women to play and be active, to help realize their limitless potential. Now more than ever, with the ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, social justice movement and political tumult, staying mentally and physically healthy and resilient is vital.

Organizations Lodge Opposition to Last-Minute LWCF Changes

Various organizations have registered their vigorous opposition to last-minute changes by the outgoing Trump Administration to the Land and Water Conservation Fund’s (LWCF) State Assistance Program, including virtually ending the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership (ORLP) program. The LWCF Coalition, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and the City Parks Alliance all registered their opposition and insisted that these changes be reversed.

January 2021

Parks & Rec Pros Serve Essential Mentorship Role

Nine out of 10 U.S. adults agree that it’s important for kids and young adults to have access to mentors, according to a recent poll released by the National Recreation and Park Association. A majority—71%—said it is extremely or very important.

USA Swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming Partner to Support Learn-to-Swim

The USA Swimming Foundation and U.S. Masters Swimming announced a new philanthropic partnership to grow support for adult learn-to-swim efforts. In January 2021, U.S. Masters Swimming will move its fundraising efforts for adult learn-to-swim programs from its USMS Swimming Saves Lives Foundation to the USA Swimming Foundation.

Online Training Tops 2021 Fitness Trends, Says ACSM

Millions of adults have felt the impact of fitness facility closures due to the pandemic over the past year, and have been forced to find innovative ways to be active. That's why it comes as no shock that more than 4,000 health and fitness professionals surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) named online training as the new top trend in fitness for 2021. Online training moved up 25 spots from its No. 26 ranking in 2020.

New Appropriations Act Boosts City Park Funding

The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, which was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Trump on Dec. 27, 2020, is well known for its aim to provide relief for the unemployed, businesses and others affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, but it also includes a boost in funding for city parks. The bill includes $125 million for the Outdoor Recreation Legacy Partnership Program (ORLP), which represents an increase of $100 million over last year’s funding level. This historic investment in local parks is the largest in the history of the ORLP program.