The National Recreation and Park Association is actually an accumulation of five organizations that decided that working together would be far more effective than working separately. On Aug. 14, 1965, the National Recreation Association, the American Institute of Park Executives, the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums, the American Recreation Society, and the National Conference on State Parks all joined forces to become the National Recreation and Park Association. The group looks to improve the experiences people have at parks, make the park playground a safer place, and give people reasons to enjoy their local, state, and federal parks. Along with playground improvements, the NRPA has created 10 separate operational branches that all deal with various aspects of park maintenance and advancement.
- Burn Safety Awareness on Playgrounds (PDF): Part of the job of the NRPA is to work with other government agencies to release safety information on utilizing playground equipment. Burns on slides and other equipment can be avoided if parents have the right information.
- Playground Safety for Children Birth to 18 Years: When parents bring their children to a park to enjoy the outdoors, it is important to understand the hazards that exist and know how to protect children from those hazards.
- Handbook for Public Playground Safety: The state of Michigan has developed a comprehensive resource for parents to use when trying to keep their children safe in public parks and on the playground.
- Role of Parks and Recreation in Health and Wellness: The NRPA supports several initiatives designed at getting people into public parks and exercising to improve the overall health of American citizens.
- The Benefits of Physical Activity: Losing weight is only one benefit of getting actively involved in physical activity on a regular basis.
- Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans: This is a comprehensive resource released by the Department of Health and Human Services that discusses the benefits of physical activity and then offers Americans advice for safely increasing the amount of activity they get on a daily basis.
- The 25 Most Significant Health Benefits of Physical Activity and Exercise: It is important for parents to remember that getting exercise in a local, state, or federal park is a great way for them to get exercise along with making sure that their children get plenty of exercise as well.
- Why is Physical Activity and Fitness Important? When you get plenty of exercise, you sleep better at night, your body can recover faster from injuries and illness, you have more natural energy, and you can get a lot more done during the course of a day.
- History of the National Park Service: The National Park Service was established in 1872, and it has been a significant proponent of the NRPA and everything that the organization tries to do to get people out into the national parks and explore nature.
- Tips to Foster Good Eating Habits and Happy Meal Times (PDF): A good diet, when used in conjunction with regular exercise in a local park, can be an excellent way to keep a child healthy. When good eating habits are established at a young age, the child has a better chance of becoming a healthy adult.
- Tips for Kids With Type 2 Diabetes (PDF): Childhood diabetes afflicts many children in the United States. But type 2 diabetes does not need to stop a child from being able to play out in the sunshine and get some healthy fresh air.
- Eight Ways to Stay Healthy and Prevent Cancer: The sooner that parents get kids involved in good eating habits that promote long-term good health, the better the chances are that the kids will be able to avoid the deadly diseases that can occur at any time in a person's life.
- Supporting Children's Mental Health: Tips for Parents and Educators: A day in the park means that your child will have the chance to interact with other children. Parents need to know how to encourage strong mental development to insure that their child's social skills are also excellent.
- Going Outside, Even in the Cold, Improves Memory, Attention: No matter what kind of weather is going on outside, it is always a good idea to spend some time outdoors and in the park.
- Health and Well-Being Benefits of Plants: Your local park is filled with a wide variety of plants that can have a very positive effect on your mind and body.
- Benefits of Connecting Children With Nature (PDF): Something wonderful is bound to happen when you take the time to get your kids outside and get them to enjoy nature.
Find more about the author: Kim Hart