Environmental Conservation THE VALUE OF PARKS “Our environment is a part of us. How we care for our environment and live with it, utilize and enjoy it, determines the kind of people we are and will be.” Laurance Rockefeller First President of the NRPA Board of Trustees For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org. WHO WE ARE Our Mission: To advance parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people. • Founded in 1965 • 105,000 local, public parks • As the largest land stewards in most communities, parks touch the lives of more than 300 million people in virtually every community, whether rural communities, suburban neighborhoods, or urban centers For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at email@example.com. THE VALUE OF PARKS Parks play a vital role in stewardship of land and natural resources. Protect Natural Resources Encourage Environmental Stewardship Increase Energy Efficiency Support Local Environmental Leaders For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org. Environmental Conservation Strategy NRPA enables and encourages park and recreation agencies to take action to protect and enhance the environment for current and future generations. This includes: Empowering communities to protect natural environments and habitats. Developing sustainable conservation solutions that emphasize the integration of economic and environmental goals. Advocating for environmental issues, both nationally and locally. Promoting environmental stewardship ; appreciation of nature and the need to conserve. For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at email@example.com. The Economic Benefits of Parks Parks brings many economic benefits to local communities including: Manage storm water, decrease air pollution, and increase water quality. Increase land values and property taxes. Generate tourist dollars and attract businesses and residents. Multiply Municipal cost savings through park led energy efficiency measures. For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org. Environmental Projects in Park and Recreation • • • • • • • • • Preserving wildlife corridors Removing invasive plants; replacing with sustainable landscaping Conserving water and fostering energy efficiency Improving air and water quality Protecting forests and open space Providing environmental stewardship education Reducing use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers Creating greenstreets, trails, and greenways Augmenting stormwater Management Case Study: Waterfront Revitilization While many cities have turned to their waterfronts as potential drivers of economic development, some communities are creating or renovating waterfront parks with ecological features that also enhance the local environment for the benefit of both wildlife and people. One example is the creation of the Harlem River Park in New York City. This was a forgotten strip of land which was an old cement plant with abandoned cars and a crumbling and rusted water’s edge. Now the area has a green, beautiful park with a bike path which has been the site of weddings, graduations, school field trips, and festivals this summer. On a daily basis people are fishing, kayaking, rowing, walking their dogs, and biking in the area. For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at email@example.com. Case Study: Community Gardens Gardening programs are key to broadening children’s exposure to and knowledge of the foods that lead to healthier lifestyles. Especially in urban and underserved areas, the clear benefits of introducing young people to food sources, outdoor activity in concert with conservation, and the importance of healthy fruits and vegetables in creating nutritional stewardship are evident. NRPA promotes community garden development through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention initiative ACHIEVE and the Grow Your Park program. In Topeka Kansas the Oakland Community Center has established a community garden for children age 7 to 13. The garden is being managed by children in summer camps and a local Girl Scout troop. Program Director Lance Wilson shares the story of a 9 year old girl who worked at the garden during summer camp then replicated the garden in her home backyard. Her mother and grandmother are pleased because it has added fresh foods to their diet while decreasing their weekly grocery bill. For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org. Connecting Leaders NRPA connects national environmental experts with park and recreation leaders to support local efforts; leveraging these two groups to develop partnerships, initiatives, and programs that have a positive environmental impact. The Environmental Conservation Advisory Panel includes some of the nation’s top environmental experts from parks, academia, business, and nonprofits who assist in shaping NRPA’s national environmental programming. The NRPA Conservation Task Force is comprised of park and recreation leaders who are on the cutting-edge in developing initiatives that will benefit the environment and communities. For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at email@example.com. WE PARTNER -- Alliance to Save Energy -- Energy Star -- J.R. Albert Foundation -- National Governor’s Association -- Outdoor Alliance for Kids -- Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation -- Urban Parks Coalition -- Arbor Day Foundation -- Get To Know -- Keep American Beautiful -- National Recreation Foundation -- PBS KIDS Day in the Park -- The Toro Company -- U.S. Soccer Foundation -- The Golf Coalition* which includes: American Society of Golf Course Architects, Audubon International, Golf Course Builders Association of America, Golf Course Superintendents Association of America, National Alliance for Accessible Golf, National Golf Course Owners Association, National Golf Foundation, The PGA of America, and World Golf Foundation. *municipal golf courses conserve open space, preserve wildlife corridors, and ensure responsible management of land, water, and natural resources For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org. WE CONNECT PARKS • We link park and recreation leaders through e-mail groups, forums, networks and blogs. • We convene subject-matter experts. • We produce publications to share best practices, news, issues, trends, research, and success stories from the field. • We provide public outreach, advocacy, and education. • America’s Backyard is an initiative to engage the public to save public parks. • Parks Build Community is an ongoing national initiative demonstrating the transformative value of parks and recreation on the health and vitality of communities. For more information please contact Shelley O’Brien at email@example.com.