What is Parks and Recreation?
Parks and recreation are resources and services provided for the purposes of leisure, entertainment and recreational pursuits by the citizens of the US or a specific subunit. Resources may be public spaces and facilities like parks, nature preserves, open space areas, greenways, trails, and built structures for sport, recreation or arts programs. Examples of services include recreation activity programs, athletic leagues, special events, arts programs, and environmental education programs.
The field of parks and recreation also encompasses resources and services offered by sector, though they are only delivered to members or paying visitors. Examples include YMCA, health and fitness centers, resorts, and guide services. There are also quasi-public providers like power companies, land trusts and other authorities that manage resources that may be used for recreation purposes.
Public parks and recreation are provided at all levels of government: federal, state, and local.
- Federal Agencies - National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Reclamation and resources and services provided at military bases.
- State Agencies - Department of Natural Resources, State Parks, Fish and Game, State Historic Preservation Office
- Local Agencies - county/borough and municipal governments (city, town, township, village) governments, special park districts or authorities
Why is it RECREATION and PARKS?
We get asked this question a lot: "Why is it Connecticut Recreation and Parks Assoc, and not Parks and Recreation?" when our National association (NRPA) was founded in 1965 through the merger of 5 national organizations dedicated to the same cause, the recreation division or organization was larger than any of the other groups, so they received top billing. Pretty SimpleNRPA now has grown over the years - in total membership, in outreach efforts, in building partnerships, and in serving as the voice and defender of parks and recreation. To find out more about the National Recreation and Parks Association go to: