December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 7

PERSPECT I VES A MESSAGE FROM NRPA' S LEADERS
Building an Equitable Future Together
During my seven years of service on the NRPA Board of Directors, I've witnessed
the growth of the park and recreation field through the diligence, care
and hard work of its professionals. As I step into my new role as chair and build
on the work of my predecessors, I am eager to help our field develop innovative,
collaborative solutions to pressing issues, and adapt to meet the ever-evolving
needs of our communities.
Within the upcoming NRPA Strategic Plan, we will lay the groundwork to
advance parks and recreation as a solution to the challenges of today, from the
impacts of climate change to social inequities. During the 2023 NRPA Annual
Conference this past October, leaders, board members and NRPA Business
Council members met to discuss our vision and the steps we're taking to move
this exciting plan forward. We are centering NRPA's Three Pillars - health and
wellness, equity, and conservation - in our planning, as well as on the unique
potential that our work has to build just, inclusive and resilient communities.
Park and recreation professionals steward the places where people go to connect
with one another and embrace the benefits of time spent in nature. We
understand the strong connection between parks and recreation and community
well-being, and studies continue to affirm this relationship. A 2023 study conducted
in Los Angeles County links increased amounts of green space and tree canopy to longer life expectancies
for community members, while also bringing attention to the inequitable distribution of these
resources and the need to add park space to under-resourced areas (tinyurl.com/2p99f38s). Nationwide,
park and recreation professionals are prioritizing equity to ensure all people can benefit from the power
of parks and recreation.
Park and recreation agencies must build coalitions and collaborate with all community stakeholders
to achieve this work. NRPA Senior Program Manager Maureen Neumann reminds us that food banks
make valuable partners as they provide emergency food access to our community members year-round,
which is discussed in the column, " Partnering With Food Banks to Support Nutrition Security, " on page
24. Consider what partnerships your organization can cultivate to increase its positive impact and support
health and wellness. Through collaboration and teamwork, park and recreation agencies can better
connect community members with vital services, improve community health and wellness, and increase
resilience and climate-readiness as we pursue an equitable future for all.
In fact, park and recreation professionals have a unique responsibility to support our most disadvantaged
community members. Our 2023 Engagement With Parks Report (nrpa.org/Engagement) indicated
that 88 percent of U.S. adults agree that it is vital for their local park and recreation agencies to engage
with every member of their communities to ensure offerings meet their needs. We can do so by reaching
out to community members who may not feel welcome and adjusting our programs and services to holistically
meet the needs of our communities. By prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusivity in each aspect
of our work - from our programming to planning, operations, marketing, training and more - we can
achieve success.
JESÚS AGUIRRE
Chair, NRPA Board of Directors
8 Parks & Recreation | DECEMBER 2 0 2 3
| PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
http://tinyurl.com/2p99f38s http://www.nrpa.org/Engagement

December 2023 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2023 - Parks & Recreation

December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 4
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 5
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 6
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - 7
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December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2023 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2024
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com