Roxanne Sutton

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National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation. Our work draws national focus to the far-reaching impact of successes generated at the local level. Leveraging their role in conservation,health and wellness, and social equity to improve their communities NRPA’s members of park and recreation professionals and citizen advocates are more than 47,000 strong and represent public spaces in urban communities, rural settings and everything in between.

NRPA brings strength to our message by partnering with like-minded organizations including those in the federal government, nonprofits, and commercial enterprises. Funded through dues, grants, registrations, and charitable contributions, NRPA produces research, education and policy initiatives for our members that ultimately enrich the communities they serve. NRPA is a strong supporter of state side Land and Water Conservation Fund. (LWCF) and introduced legislation to fund urban parks.

Our Mission

To advance parks, recreation and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people.

Our Vision

Everyone will have easy access to park and recreation opportunities in sustainable communities.

Our Beginnings

NRPA's heritage and philosophy are an outgrowth of pioneering work by its predecessors. The history of NRPA is a history of parks and scenic open spaces. It is the story of children and people of all ages seeking self-expression and fulfillment in an urbanized and industrial society. It is the story of visionary men and women who believed in the importance of recreation to the growth and development of the individual and the nation. It is the story of providing sustainable programs and environments for generations to come.

NRPA was formed on August 14, 1965, when five organizations, and in the National Recreation Association (NRA), American Institute of Park Executives (AIPE), American Recreation Society (ARS), the National Conference on State Parks (NCSP), and the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (an affiliate of AIPE) each involved in the support of park and recreation services in the public sector, merged to form a single entity.

The history and heritage of the public park and recreation field is preserved by the Joseph Lee Memorial Library and Archives located in NRPA’s headquarters in Ashburn, Virginia.

To learn more about NRPA, explore the website, contact staff or call 1.800.626.NRPA (6772).