Ashburn, Va. -- For the third year in a row, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is collaborating with The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN, to help fund local park improvement projects in 16 U.S. cities through the national Meet Me at the Park campaign. During Earth Month in April, people can vote for one of three projects in 15 select cities to receive $20,000 in grant funding. Voters will also have the opportunity to nominate a city anywhere across the country to be entered for the chance to receive a $20,000 grant that will be used to support a local park in need within that community.
The 15 select areas participating in Meet Me at the Park include:
- Austin, Texas
- Brevard County, Fla.
- Charlotte, N.C.
- Durham, N.C.
- Fresno, Calif.
- Hartford, Conn.
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Orlando, Fla.
- San Francisco
Started in 2014, Meet Me at the Park improves local parks through projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. These projects include activities such as planting community gardens, improving trails, and refurbishing playgrounds or soccer fields. In 2016, more than 200,000 people were impacted by Meet Me at the Park projects.
Throughout the last two years, the projects have provided:
- 370,110 people with improved access to physical activity
- 53,343 people with improved access to nature experiences
- 10,194 people with improved access to nutritious foods
- 78,970 people with improved access to sports
"Supporting local parks is essential to the health and vitality of communities everywhere," said Lori Robertson, NRPA Director of Conservation. "That's why we are proud to collaborate with The Walt Disney Company to help fund critical park improvement projects in communities in need. We encourage everyone to join us in giving back to the places that shape so much of our lives by voting in this year's Meet Me at the Park campaign."
Public voting for Meet Me at the Park will take place April 1-30, 2017. People can vote daily either online at www.nrpa.org/beinspired or via text. The project with the most votes in each city at the end of the month will receive grant funding. Similarly, the city with the most nominations at the end of the month will receive funding, as well. The winning cities will implement their park improvement projects this summer. New this year, everyone who votes will be entered into a drawing for a computer tablet outfitted for the outdoors. Voters are encouraged to also ask their friends to vote by taking a selfie in their favorite park and using the hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies and #BeInspired.
During April, a public service announcement (PSA) supporting the Meet Me at the Park campaign will be shared with audiences across Disney, including ABC Television Network, ABC-owned and affiliate stations, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, the ABC app and other digital platforms. The PSA will also be available to view on the voting site at www.nrpa.org/beinspired. Additionally, Radio Disney will support the campaign with an on-air radio spot.
To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit www.nrpa.org/beinspired.
To learn more about NRPA, visit www.nrpa.org.
About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit www.nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA's flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit www.parksandrecreation.org.