Legislative Policy Principles

(adapted from Miami Dade County and the National Recreation and Park Association)

Public parks provide a unique legacy that defines a community’s character. From the smallest, pocket neighborhood park to the grandest metropolitan treasures, parks give spirit and vitality to residents of the State of Florida.

Parks and recreation play a vital role in promoting the quality of life and livability of communities where residents enjoy and improve their mental and physical health; conserve and protect natural and cultural resources and open spaces; responsibly use energy resources; and enjoy a clean, healthy environment.

Parks and recreation resources strengthen local economies, attract new businesses, contribute to the local tax base, and increase property values. Recognizing the many significant roles of parks and recreation agencies within communities, FRPA has developed a set of guiding policy principles which will direct our advocacy efforts.

Conservation of our Natural Treasures - Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability

Parks and outdoor recreation lands are the essential green infrastructure of our communities. Parks and public recreation lands are carbon reducing landscapes that help clean our air and water; recharge aquifers; and reduce storm-water runoff. Through energy climate change, and other legislative measures, we advocate for dedicated resources that will sustain, protect, restore, and expand these environmental assets.

Healthy Communities - Health and Wellness for All People of All Abilities, Transportation and Livable Communities

FRPA believes that opportunities for active recreation are critical to an individual and a community’s health and wellness. We will advocate for legislation that supports the growing role of public parks and recreation in improving individual and community health through the prevention of chronic disease, the rehabilitation of wounded service members, and the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in all activities. As the Nation’s Surface Transportation Program comes up for reauthorization, FRPA supports funding and places a high priority on national policies that encourage walking, biking and the development of alternative transportation networks that will create more livable and healthy communities.

Investment in Florida’s Future - Public Parks

Parks and recreation agencies deliver essential public services and provide recreation opportunities for every community in America. FRPA advocates for state and federal investments that provide funding for the acquisition, development, and rehabilitation of parks and public lands as well as recreation infrastructure and resources. FRPA recognizes the unique challenges faced by urban park and recreation agencies and the value these agencies provide to our state’s cities and urban communities.

Connection to Nature

Improving access, outreach and developing an appreciation for nature is a national agenda; especially with regards to children. Access to nature must be Florida’s priority. FRPA believes that by providing safe and healthy experiences in which youth can explore nature, public parks, greenways, trails and recreation we can increase the connectivity between youth and their environment. Success in this area will assure future generations of environmental stewards.

Economic Development

Parks provide jobs and economic impact! Continued funding of parks and open space managed by parks and recreation agencies, and the programs operated and administered by these agencies, result in the continuation of hundreds of thousands of jobs in the State of Florida. In addition, sports tournaments and events attract millions of out of state visitors to cities through local park facilities and sports venues. FRPA advocates for the appropriate funding of programs which assure these spaces and programs are continued in order to secure employment opportunities for full-time staff and seasonal job opportunities for youth in communities. These jobs allow these individuals to continue to be a contributing part of the communities where they reside.