The field’s commitment to building inclusive programs and activities is strong
Ashburn, Va. (Feb. 12, 2018) — A new report published by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) demonstrates the commitment of park and recreation agencies nationwide in providing quality programs, facilities, places and spaces that are inclusive to all people — regardless of race, ethnicity, age, income level, physical ability, sexual orientation, gender or religion. This report is part of NRPA’s commitment to ensure all people have access to the benefits of parks and recreation.
The survey, answered by nearly 500 park and recreation agencies nationwide, found that:
- 74 percent of agencies offer programs and activities for individuals with physical disabilities
- 71 percent of agencies offer programs and activities for members of multicultural/racial/ethnic communities
- 62 percent of agencies offer programs and activities for individuals with cognitive disabilities
- 30 percent of agencies offer programs and activities for members of LGBTQ communities
- 27 percent of agencies offer programs and activities for members of refugee/immigrant communities
The survey also found that 2 in 5 park and recreation agencies have a formal inclusion policy. These policies, which are typically found on the agency’s website, may include an outline of the accommodations that improve accessibility to parks, recreation centers and other facilities, along with a description of the process that a resident would follow to request a specific accommodation.
“At NRPA we believe everyone deserves a great park. That’s why we encourage our member agencies to provide programs and facilities that are inclusive to all people,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “Parks provide tremendous benefits, and every person should be able to reap these benefits no matter their income, race, ability or personal beliefs.”
In 2017, NRPA launched its Parks for Inclusion initiative, which is the organization’s formal pledge to the Partnership for Inclusive Health’s Commit to Inclusion campaign. As part of this initiative, NRPA is working to prioritize inclusion in current initiatives and programs, provide resources and technical assistance to local park and recreation agencies, and develop metrics, collect impacts and disseminate findings to scale best practices across the field of parks and recreation.
To learn more about Parks for Inclusion, visit www.nrpa.org/parksforinclusion.
To access the Parks and Recreation Inclusion Report, click here.
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 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.