Ensuring Quality of Life. (2001 Annual Report)

Article excerpt

WELCOME

This report highlights the actions and achievements of the National Recreation and Park Association during fiscal year 2000-2001. It reveals the importance of our services, products, and consultations to the quality and quantity of recreation experiences for the American people. Our work has been aided immeasurably through collaboration among our leadership, members, and staff. We especially value the contributions of members, because these individuals are also engaged in highly demanding work in their own park and recreation setting.

The association--through advocacy, communications, education, research, and standard setting--continues to foster active lifestyles, social well-being, and environmental stewardship through recreation. We remain a national and international hub of information on national, state, and local policy resources, services, and products.

Our public policy initiatives, for example, have focused principally on efforts to create a sufficient, predictable source of funds to invest in public park and recreation resources. National advocacy efforts--from grassroots organization and outreach to direct consultation with legislators and other policymakers--have emphasized our perspective that park and recreation resources and services are vital to our national health and well being. Our messages to Congress and the executive branch have focused on the values of environmental stewardship and the imperative for a diversity of recreation services to improve public health.

Our direct advocacy and partnerships with other groups and public agencies have brought us tantalizingly close to passage of the proposed Conservation and Reinvestment Act. Concurrently, we continue to advocate on behalf of congressional appropriations for several programs, access for all to high-quality, secure recreation during non-school periods; investment in disease prevention and health promotion; and recreation experiences to support military combat readiness.

We continue to believe that our contributions to idea sharing, networking, and communication are essential to the public, the media, and those who set policy, manage resources, and deliver recreation services.

Recreation, quality time, livable communities, stewardship: these terms resonate, because for increasing numbers of us, personal time for recreation continues to decline while the pace of life quickens and performance expectations rise. Our physical environment is similarly stressed by the unrelenting consumption of fossil fuel; dispersion of toxic materials into waters, soils, and air; and ill-placed development.

The National Recreation and Park Association--through advocacy, education, research, and standard setting - will continue to foster active lifestyles, social well-being, and environmental stewardship. We are proud of the energy and commitment that has enabled us to serve the American people and our members. We look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

PUBLIC POLICY

The National Recreation and Park Association informs national lawmakers, park and recreation professionals, and citizens of issues and actions that enhance recreation experiences. In cooperation with allied groups, state recreation and park societies, and members, quality services and sustainable practices are achieved. The Division of Public Policy rallies support for progressive national policies and programs that encourage public investment in recreation resources and services. The division acts as a national information source, advising members, friends of recreation and parks, partners, and the media on public policies and the content and status of congressional initiatives. Under the direction of the Board of Trustees, it provides policy guidance, compiles research, and analyzes emerging issues relevant to parks and recreation. It functions in partnership with allied groups that promote health and wellness, stewardship of resources, and the welfare of children. …