A $1 million donation provided by The Walt Disney Company early this year supports NRPA resources aimed at training and mentoring park and recreation professionals.
- The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), today, announced the recipients of its 2020 Youth Sports and Outdoor Play grants. Part of a $1 million donation provided by The Walt Disney Company early this year, this grant funding supports projects that increase access to youth sports and play spaces in local parks for children and families. The donation also supports NRPA resources aimed at training and mentoring park and recreation professionals to help close gaps in access to youth sports programs and facilities. Given the COVID-19 pandemic, NRPA is focused on addressing the barriers to access so that when it is safe to return to youth sports, more kids are able to participate.
- As part of the donation, 12 communities will be receiving grants and technical assistance as they look to increase access to youth sports that increase opportunities for physical activity and are inclusive and welcoming to all:
- The 12 communities receiving grants are:
- Los Angeles County, CA – Lennox Park
- City of Santa Clarita, CA – Pop-up Play for All
- City of Bristol, CT – Rockwell Park
- City of Orlando, FL – Emery Hamilton Sports Complex
- Broadview, IL – Schroeder Park
- Town of Vivian, LA – Schroeder Park
- City of Quincy, MA – Snug Harbor Park
- City of Mexico, MO – Garfield Park
- Durham, NC – Fun Caravan
- City of Pierre, SD – Community Pool
- West Valley City, UT – Parkway Park
- Evanston, WY – Bear Meadows
- Since 2015, NRPA and Disney have collaborated through Meet Me at the Park on more than 130 park improvement projects. Last year, the organizations met their combined goal to reach more than 1 million children and families through the Meet Me at the Park program from 2017 to 2019. Evaluation of these projects has shown a positive impact on the communities — including an increase in visitors engaging in moderate-to-vigorous activity at the project sites and an increase in the number of adults and children who exercise and play at the park.
- By working with local park and recreation professionals across the U.S., children and families will have increased access to healthier lifestyles as well as safe, inclusive and innovative play opportunities for years to come.
What They’re Saying:
- Kristine Stratton, NRPA President and CEO: “Gaps in access to affordable, high-quality and versatile sports opportunities for youth continue to grow, contributing to a decline in sports participation and physical activity. This continuation of our long-standing relationship with Disney will promote the expansion of fair access to youth sports throughout the country and contribute to creating healthier communities. We are proud of the work our organizations have done together in support of NRPA’s mission to strengthen communities through the power of parks and recreation.”