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NRPA Equity Action Plan

As many as 100 million people — 30 percent of the U.S. population — do not have ready access to the lifesaving and life-enhancing benefits parks and recreation provides.

by National Recreation and Park Association


2021 NRPA action plan


At NRPA, we are dedicated to building a future where all people — no matter their race, age, income level, identity or ability — have access to and are welcomed into programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Because that is what parks and recreation does — it makes our lives and communities great.

Yet, we estimate that as many as 100 million people — 30 percent of the U.S. population — lack access to the lifesaving and life enhancing benefits parks and recreation provides.

Achieving a future where all people have fair and just access to quality parks and recreation requires that we recognize the systemic inequities that have created very different experiences for people. Policies, land-use decisions and design approaches at the federal, state and local level — rooted in racism and discrimination — brought us to where we are today.

Our past is complex and multi-layered, but we need to understand it if we are to make lasting change. To support learning and understanding, NRPA launched a story map to illustrate policies and examples of park inequities throughout U.S. history. We acknowledge our past to reveal both the opportunities and challenges ahead of us.

Published April 2021

About the Author


National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation.

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