Association Campaign Giving Parks a Makeover
The National Recreation and Park Association’s Parks Build Community campaign is giving communities a chance to win their favorite parks a makeover.
Parks can be a neighborhood’s center of play and physical activity, as well as a meeting spot. Now communities have an opportunity to get their favorite parks a facelift.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), with the help of the Walt Disney Company, opened the second year of its Parks Build Community campaign to revitalize parks and expand park programs across the country.
During April—Earth Month—the public will be able to vote on which parks should receive a $20,000 renovation grant. NRPA has selected three parks in 15 different communities, and voting will determine which one in each community will receive a grant.
In addition, a 16th park anywhere in the U.S. will receive a grant based on the public’s write-in vote. Eligible parks include “everything from community gardens to sports fields in need of repairs to new nature learning areas.”
“Parks Build Community is about positively impacting lives through the power of parks—something we witnessed firsthand last year and are ecstatic to continue this Earth Month,” NRPA President and CEO Barbara Tulipane said in a statement. “This collaboration with The Walt Disney Company is inspiring healthier generations, connecting kids to nature, increasing access to sports, and so much more.”
The Walt Disney Company is funding the campaign and is helping build momentum and awareness around it. “We have some common goals in that we’re trying to connect kids to nature, and we’re trying to get people to go be active and live healthier lives,” NRPA Senior Vice President of Development Rebecca Wickline told Associations Now.
Disney will also help disseminate NRPA’s public service announcement, “Meet Me At The Park,” by airing it on Radio Disney and Disney-owned television stations such as Disney Channel, ABC Network, and ESPN.
“[The PSA] is really meant to encourage people to vote and to get out and visit their local park,” Wickline said.
Last year, the park-restoration projects resulting from the campaign affected 160,000 people and attracted 600 volunteers to help complete the projects. Wickline said NRPA is hoping to have the same level of impact and response from communities this year.
“Local parks are really the cornerstone of every community,” she said. “They are places for anyone—where any person regardless of their background can go to be active, can live healthier, can connect with nature, and then they can really come together as a community.”