WELCOME TO THE MRPA ADVOCACY TOOLKIT
Advocacy is one of the most important services we provide to our members. We work every day to represent public parks and recreation by fighting for funding and legislation that improves access to open space and recreational opportunities for all people.
Issue Voter is a free non-partisan service that will alert you about political issues that you care about, gives you the pros and cons of each bill, and automatically makes your opinions known to your federal representatives.
It’s easy to get started. They’re like: “Issue Voter here – a vote is coming up. Here are the pros and cons. How do you want your Senator or Congressperson to vote?” I click green or red – support or oppose – one click – and they send a perfect message from me to my representative.
Think it doesn’t matter? 88% of staffers who work for Members of Congress and Senators say that electronic messages — like those sent via Issue Voter — influence their bosses’ decisions.
Learn about Issue Voter right here. —And sign up yourself! —It’s easy, fun, and effective.
- Land & Water Conservation Fund
Health & Wellness
Child Nutrition Re-authorization (CNR)
Every five years, the Child Nutrition Act is due for reauthorization to improve and strengthen the federal child nutrition programs, including the Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) and the Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP). The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) manages SFSP and CACFP. These programs provide reimbursement dollars for after-school and summer meal programs at park and recreation agencies. Park and recreation agencies are the largest public provider of healthy meals and snacks to children outside of schools. While the current authorization for the Child Nutrition Act, the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, expired in September 2015, the programs continue to operate. Congress is expected to consider this legislation sometime over the next two years.
- Parks & Recreation magazine: Strengthening Federally Funded Summer Meal Programs
- NRPA Action Alert: Save Summer Meals
- Congressional Leave Behind: Healthy Food & Summer Enrichment: Two Peas in a Pod
Diversity, Equality, Inclusion
Out-of-School Time Programming
The 21st Century Community Learning Center (21st CCLC) program is the only federal grant program that supports summer and afterschool learning programs. Administered by the US Department of Education, 21st CCLC supports the establishment of local community-based educational programs for children in out-of-school time settings, particularly for low-income areas.
Park and recreation agencies provide safe places where kids can go when they are not in school. Local park and recreation agencies’ out-of-school time (OST) programs are leading providers of childcare in our nation. 84 percent of local park and recreation agencies offer summer camps, 63 percent of local park and recreation agencies offer programming targeted specifically to teens, and 55 percent of local park and recreation agencies offer after-school programming. Additionally, more than half of park and recreation agencies offer OST Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities that focus on the environment and project-based learning and 57 percent of park and recreation professionals report that there are children participating in OST programs who live in households facing significant financial challenges.
Federal Investments in Parks & Rec
Check out more information at NRPA