NRPA Releases Resource for Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans

SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association

Ashburn, Va. (Feb. 26, 2019) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has unveiled Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans as a new online tool to help park and recreation agencies create an action-oriented plans that are grounded in equity. Our vision is to ensure everyone has just and fair access to quality parks, green space, recreation facilities and programs. Park and recreation master plans guide the future growth and development of parks and facilities. When these plans are grounded in community engagement, equity and inclusion, they drive greater improvements in community health and well-being and help communities better recover from environmental, social and economic challenges.

“Park and recreation professionals and the work they do to plan for equitable parks and facilities are key to healthier and more connected communities,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA President and CEO. “This new resource helps park and recreation professionals understand the history and current barriers to park access in their communities, while creating a plan to reduce inequities and provide the most benefit to their communities.”

Park and recreation professionals use the tool to develop a comprehensive document — or add to an existing document — outlining future development by following the four steps in Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans:

  • Internal Assessment
  • Community Engagement
  • Resources and Data Collection
  • Implementation

The open access, online tool takes users through creating a mission and vision; conducting ongoing community engagement; collecting and analyzing metrics and outcome indicators; and developing a realistic implementation plan based on various resources, partnerships and funding scenarios. Included in the online tool are links to sample case studies and master plans as well as resources and background information informed by research and best practices in the field.

NRPA’s new resource also helps park and recreation professionals bring to life the many benefits of investing in parks and recreation such as:

  • Improving the overall health and wellness of communities
  • Boosting economic development, visitor spending and new job creation
  • Ensuring connectivity of trails and open space that supports active transportation
  • Addressing the effects of climate change

To learn more about Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans, visit:  

Funding for this work is provided by The JPB Foundation.

To learn more about NRPA, visit

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 people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 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 For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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