ADVOCACY Public policy development and advocacy are continuous efforts. Public Policy and Advocacy at the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference By Dan McCarthy P ark and recreation agencies increasingly recognize public policy and advocacy as essential functions of their work. However, many professionals remain unclear about how to best engage in these spaces to achieve measurable results and effect systemic change. That's where NRPA's Public Policy and Advocacy team has you covered! Whether you're an old hand in public policy and advocacy or you're new to this work, here are three sessions taking place at the 2021 NRPA Annual Conference you won't want to miss: Elevating Parks in the Policy Debate Over the Next Five Years Park and recreation agencies provide essential services for their communities. However, 30 Parks & Recreation | SEP T EMBER 2 0 2 1 when decision-makers hold tough policy or budget conversations, park and recreation agencies often find themselves left out and unheard. As the saying goes, " if you're not at the table, you're on the menu. " This session will outline strategies park and recreation professionals can employ to stay relevant in policy and budget conversations. The session will highlight the key policy debates and trends happening in Washington, D.C., and in communities across the country, illustrating how park | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G and recreation professionals can bring their unique perspective to these conversations. Show Me the Money! Federal Resources Available for Your Department Congress and the Biden administration took historic steps to meet the multiple crises presented by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The American Rescue Plan Act invests $1.9 trillion to help families and communities recover from the pandemic and build back better. NRPA's Public Policy and Advocacy team worked with Congress and the administration to ensure that park and recreation agencies were eligible for these funds.