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NRPA Finds Positive Impact on Renovated Play Spaces
Meet Me at the Park Campaign Evaluations

NRPA Finds Positive Impact on Renovated Play Spaces

The "Meet Me at the Park this Summer" campaign will soon launch, in order to encourage outdoor activities and summer fun at local parks.

A program that began in 2015, Meet Me at the Park has provided communities with funds to "connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and improve access to sports." The National Recreation and Parks Association partnered with The Walt Disney Company to transform parks and improve access to play spaces for those in underserved communities. As a result, 50 park renovations in 36 states have been funded since 2017.

The NRPA evaluated the impact of these funded renovations through two data activities and found the effect to be positive. One activity involved conducting systematic observations of play and recreation in communities, or SOPARC. It is a tool that measures number and demographics of those who go to parks, such as the users' type and their level of physical activity. According to NRPA's update, the evaluation found that these renovated parks had an increase of those involved in moderate-to-vigorous activity, and that park staff believed the SOPARC tool helped them learn more about peak use times for scheduling events.

The second data activity was the use of intercept surveys. NRPA determined that there was an increase in the number of respondents who noticed they and their children played and exercised more, due to these improved play spaces. This allowed the park department to connect with the community members and determine further park improvements.

According to the update, the 2019 Meet Me at the Park program is expected to exceed the goal of providing 1 million children and families with more access. NRPA and Disney plan to provide inclusive play spaces in 25 markets across the U.S. to promote healthy living.

To read NRPA's full article about the program, click HERE.

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August 22, 2019, 3:20 am PDT

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