National Programs

Parks & Recreation, December 1998 | Go to article overview

National Programs


NRPA continued to expand its scope of national programs by outlining a core commitment to secure national partnerships that result in additional resources to help local park and recreation agencies serve the public. All NRPA national programs are designed to enhance national issues that are important to park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates nationwide. Further, NRPA national programs endeavor to extend the value and benefits of park and recreation agencies at the local, state, and national levels.

Three focus areas have been determined for priority attention. Fitness and Wellness is an area in which NRPA has been recognized as a key collaborator in improving the health status of all Americans through physical recreation. Youth Development focuses on recreation as prevention and creates strategies to foster life skills through recreation activities and events. Environmental stewardship, the third focus area, strives to create unique partnerships that result in greater public visibility for the rich benefits of parkland, including passive and active recreation uses.

For the first time, a national program brochure was developed to create a synergistic approach to informing members and non-members of the diverse partnerships and resources available through NRPA membership. Also, a partnership workgroup developed a preamble for developing external partners and protocols for assessing current and future partnership opportunities.

Preamble

The national partnership protocol endeavors to enhance the membership service package for NRPA members to more effectively communicate, facilitate, and advocate the benefits of parks and recreation to the public while also seeking to sustain the resource needs of the organization, affiliates, and members. Recognizing the contribution of parks and recreation to the quality of life for all citizens, the protocol articulates the core values of health and wellness throughout the life span, environmental stewardship, or youth development as essential to any initiative. Moreover, the protocol will accentuate the critical roles that the multi-faceted profession of parks and recreation has to secure a quality of life for an increasingly aging, culturally diverse, and technologically advanced society.

Highlights of the 1997-98 NRPA National Programs include:

Hershey Track and Field Youth Program

NRPA and Hershey restored their partnership agreement to focus on this valuable program resource. NRPA placed advertisements in Parks & Recreation magazine, sent post cards to member agencies, and drafted a letter from NRPA Executive Director R. Dean Tice, which was featured in the monthly publication. A marketing plan was drafted to enhance the program with youth development strategies and streamline program operations.

United States Tennis Association

NRPA assisted the USTA in launching a five-year initiative to grow tennis participation nationwide. Advertising, direct mail, and personal appearance efforts were coordinated by NRPA to assist in the USA TENNIS initiative. …

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