National Recreation and Park Association

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"NRPA" redirects here. For the Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority, see Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority.
Official Logo of NRPA[1]

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) provides information and services to communities in the United States attempting to make them conscious of the environment around them. It supports the construction of parks and recreational facilities around the United States. It has been active for over 40 years.


On August 14, 1965, the NRPA was created when five organizations merged to form a single entity. The five merging organizations were all involved in the support of park and recreation service providers in the public sector and included the National Recreation Association (NRA), American Institute of Park Executives (AIPE), American Recreation Society (ARS) the National Conference on State Parks (NCSP), and the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (an affiliate of AIPE). Their purposes for merging are stated in the October 1964 Proposal for Merger:

"It is the expressed belief of the officers of the American Institute of Park Executives, American Recreation Society, National Conference on State Parks and National Recreation Association that each organization reaffirm its strong conviction that the ever-increasing needs and demands for recreation and park facilities and services can best be served through the selective and unified strengths of lay and professional persons. It is further recognized and reiterated that a united and concerted effort on the part of all aforementioned organizations will result in more effective services. To this end it is believed that these organizations should collectively utilize their collective talents and resources by joining into one service and professional association dedicated to the task of unification effort in the recreation and park field."

Since the merger, the National Recreation and Park Association has been serving the needs of citizens and professionals through a variety of products and services.


The mission of the National Recreation and Park Association is "To advance parks, recreation, and conservation efforts that enhance the quality of life for all people."[1]


The National Recreation and Park Association believes parks and recreation are used to improve a person’s potential by providing them with facilities, services, and programs that meet the emotional, social, and physical needs of a community. The NRPA values the environment by offering environmental educational programs, and striving for ecologically responsible management. The NRPA not only values the community, but it takes a special interest in every individual it affects. It attempts to elevate the quality of life for all citizens of a community by endorsing individual and community wellness. It partners up with many other respected organizations to provide a community with access to healthcare, cultural understanding, and economic aid.[1]


A Picture of a Park

The goals of the National Recreation and Park Association include improving the mental and physical health of individuals by providing recreation, park, and leisure services that will help individuals in specific communities. It attempts to promote public awareness throughout communities in an effort to educate the population about the benefits of a healthy environment around them.[2] The NRPA wants to provide access to recreation and parks to communities, but not at the cost of destroying the environment and ecology.[1] It helps communities plan the construction of buildings and fields, making sure the environment is not harmed in the process.


The National Recreation and Park Association is broken down into ten different branches. They include the Armed Forces Recreation Society, American Park and Recreation Society, Citizen Branch, National Aquatic Branch, National Society for Park Resources, National Therapeutic Recreation Society, Society of Park and Recreation Educators, Student Branch, Commercial Recreation and Tourism Section, and Leisure and Aging Section.[3]

Armed Forces Recreation Society[edit]

  • This Society works on behalf of the armed forces, making the lives of the soldier and families better.

American Park and Recreation Society[edit]

  • Its members look to make parks and recreation for government, private agencies, and commercial organizations.

Citizen Branch[edit]

  • This Branch includes elected officials or appointed members to advocate park areas.

National Aquatic Branch[edit]

  • This Branch represents people who are employed in the aquatic field such as lifeguards.

National Society for Park Resources[edit]

  • It works to conserve natural resources, and to provide safe and healthy recreational opportunities.

National Therapeutic Recreation Society[edit]

  • This organization works with people with disabilities in clinical and community facilities to ensure they experience leisure and have access to recreational activities.

Society of Park and Recreation Educators[edit]

  • This society works to provide interaction between scholars and park officials in order to provide information on numerous matters.

Student Branch[edit]

  • This branch caters to individuals currently enrolled in post secondary education. They encourage students to become actively involved in their communities.

Commercial Recreation and Tourism Section[edit]

  • This section works with members in commercial recreation and tourism settings.

Leisure and Aging Section[edit]

  • This section helps older citizens remain active through numerous different types of recreational activities.

NRPA regions[edit]

The NRPA is broken down into eight regions around the United States. The table below displays the region along with states each region serves.

NRPA Regions[4]


  1. ^ a b c d "Mission, Vision, Goals - National Recreation and Park Association". Retrieved 2008-06-03. 
  2. ^ "National Recreation and Park Association." National Recreation and Park Association. 2007. . 15 March 2008. <>
  3. ^ "National Recreation and Park Association." National Recreation and Park Association. 2007. . 15 March 2008. <>
  4. ^ "National Recreation and Park Association." National Recreation and Park Association. 2007. 15 March 2008. <>