A Message from NRPA

Article excerpt

For the National Recreation and Park Association, 1998 was a year of historical significance and profound reflection. It was a year of challenges met and new dreams unearthed. Above all else, it was a call for soulful celebration. For 1998 marked the 100th anniversary of the institutional roots of NRPA and America's formal park movement.

In April 1898, 26 "park men" assembled in Boston to discuss common issues, share perspectives, and visit the parks of Boston and Cambridge. From this two-day meeting, the New England Association of Park Superintendents, a predecessor of NRPA, was formed. One hundred years later, NRPA, through its provision of park and recreation services, community outreach, and educational initiatives, strives to sustain the very fire and enthusiasm that burned within this group of founding fathers.

To extend the value and benefits of park and recreation agencies at the local, state, and national level, NRPA has developed a National Program office. Partnerships with organizations and resources such as the United States Tennis Association, National Football League and Hershey Track and Field Youth Program have emphasized the critical role that we play in the quality of life of an increasingly aging, culturally diverse, and technologically advanced society.

Once again, NRPA positioned itself as a key player in a number of successful legislative and policy affairs that will ultimately foster the conservation and use of parks and enhance recreation experiences. The Association's vigorous advocacy efforts were significant in President Clinton's signing of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21 st Century (TEA-21), which increased funding for transportation enhancements. In addition, NRPA's public policy agenda included the continued support of recreation-as-prevention programs, the expansion and improvement of our nation's child-care services and after-school programs, and the fight on behalf of greater capital investments in public recreation and park resources.

NRPA's "Parks and Recreation: The Benefits are Endless...TM" initiative continues to teach our members how to effectively publicize the individual, social, economic, and environmental positives derived from park and recreation experiences. …


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