The National Recreation and Park Association is hoping to help parks and recreation departments across the country stay vital and plan for the future.

This new online NRPA Park Check tool is aimed at helping agency directors, political leaders and park advocates evaluate their agency’s ability to deliver quality park and recreation amenities and services to all members of the community in the future.  

“Park and recreation agencies, still reeling from the effects of the Great Recession, too often are the target for funding cuts,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of professional development, research and technology said in a press release. “NRPA Park Check allows park and recreation agencies to gauge the risk they face to continue providing quality services to their communities.”

The new tool gauges department health in five key areas:

  • Consistent growth in the agency’s operations funding
  • Consistent growth in the agency’s full-time staffing
  • All residents can access a park within a 10-minute walk
  • Dedicated funding sources that support the agency’s operations budget
  • Meeting the standards set by NRPA’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA)

Using responses to eight questions, NRPA Park Check rates an agency’s ability to deliver quality park and recreation amenities and services to all members of a community in the future as being at “low,” “moderate” or “high” risk. Agencies that take the assessment receive a customized three-page report, which includes links to resources that an agency can use to reduce their risk profile.

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.