New Survey Demonstrates the Value of Parks and Recreation in Building Climate Resilient Communities | Athletic Business

New Survey Demonstrates the Value of Parks and Recreation in Building Climate Resilient Communities

Source: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Park and recreation agencies make local environmental sustainability a priority 

Ashburn, Va. (April 20, 2017) — Many communities will host special events on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2017, promoting the importance of protecting our environment. What’s often overlooked, though, are the contributions made year-round by local government, specifically park and recreation agencies, to conserve and protect the environment. A recent survey conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) demonstrates the value of parks and recreation in building climate resilient communities through the implementation of green practices, such as recycling, that positively impact the environment.

Distributed to nearly 400 park and recreation agencies nationwide, the survey found that:  

  • 81 percent of agencies provide opportunities for healthy activity in nature
  • 71 percent of agencies protect and manage wildlife and wildlife habitats
  • 70 percent of agencies practice natural land management
  • 60 percent of agencies reduce landfill wastes
  • 56 percent of agencies follow environmentally friendly building practices
  • 52 percent of agencies foster public engagement and education
  • 51 percent of agencies implement green infrastructure practices

“The need for local government agencies to take a leading role in addressing the effects of climate change is increasing,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “Thankfully, the field of parks and recreation is willing to accept the challenge — helping communities adapt and thrive by protecting public green space and the environment.”

Public support for local environmental sustainability is strong. A recent poll conducted by NRPA found that most Americans (83 percent) want their local government, including park and recreation agencies, schools, public works and community development departments, to prioritize sustainable practices, such as, water quality monitoring, green space assessment, environmentally friendly buildings and lawn upkeep.      

NRPA, a strong proponent of conservation, is collaborating with park and recreation agencies nationwide to implement sustainable practices in underserved, low-income communities. The organization’s Great Urban Parks Campaign aims to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure projects in local parks. This video demonstrates how green infrastructure improves communities and promotes environmental sustainability.  

NRPA is also committed to connecting people, especially children, to the benefits of nature and the outdoors. May 17–19, 2017, park and recreation leaders from across the country will gather in Austin, Texas, for NRPA’s Innovation Lab titled Connecting Communities to Nature. This event will focus on innovative strategies that create meaningful connections to the outdoors for youth within urban communities. Additional information about the event is available here.   

To read the sustainability survey report, click here.

To learn more about NRPA’s climate resiliency efforts, visit www.nrpa.org/climate-resiliency.   

To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org/

About The National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.

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