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Sixteen Cities Nationwide Win $20,000 Grants as Part of National ‘Meet Me at the Park’ Campaign

Grants awarded by the National Recreation and Park Association and The Walt Disney Company

Ashburn, Virginia, May 18, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company, including Disney Citizenship, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN, today announced the winners of the national Meet Me at the Park campaign. The initiative helps to revitalize and restore local parks and park programs.

Throughout Earth Month in April, the public cast their votes and nominations to direct grant funding for park improvement projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. The Earth Month celebration highlighted the importance of parks and these park projects as they were promoted on ABC Television Network, ABC-owned and affiliate stations, Freeform, Disney Channel, Disney XD, Disney Junior, the ABC app and other digital platforms.

Of the 16 winners, 15 park projects were selected by popular vote and received a $20,000 grant to help make improvements or expand programs. Winning projects include providing nature play areas for children, creating gardens for access to fresh fruits and vegetables, and upgrading tennis courts for better usage. The 16th city, the nominated winner, was McAllen, Texas.     


“Nearly 70,000 people participated in this year’s Meet Me at the Park campaign, a record number, demonstrating a tremendous amount of support and enthusiasm for local parks nationwide,” said Lori Robertson, NRPA director of conservation. “Many children and families in need will benefit from this campaign, which was made possible by the generosity of The Walt Disney Company. We want to thank them for helping us give back to the communities our members so proudly support.”

The 15 winning parks and projects, as determined by public vote, are:

  • Austin, Texas: Kealing School Park
  • Brevard County, Fla.: Ulumay Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Charlotte, N.C.: Learning Gardens
  • Chicago: Welles Park
  • Durham, N.C.: Walltown Park
  • Fresno, Calif.: Highway City Community Science Center
  • Hartford, Conn.: W.A.T.E.R. Program
  • Houston: Oak Forest Park
  • Los Angeles: South Los Angeles Wetlands Park
  • Miami: Gwen Cherry Park
  • New York: Green Patch
  • Orlando, Fla.: Bill Frederick at Turkey Lake
  • Philadelphia: Philly Pump Track
  • San Francisco: Greenagers Program
  • Seattle: Carkeek Park

Winning projects will begin this summer, and volunteers from Disney, Disney|ABC Television Group and ESPN will lend their time to help bring projects to life. Visit to learn more about Meet Me at the Park and the winning projects. Follow the progress of each project by connecting with NRPA on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or search hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark, #Parkies and #BeInspired.

Coming on the heels of the successful Earth Month campaign, NRPA and The Walt Disney Company are proud to expand the Meet Me at the Park program and provide additional communities with increased access to play spaces in local parks for children and families across the U.S. As part of this program, park and recreation agencies in all 50 states will be invited to share their best ideas on increasing access to play spaces for children and families. Agencies with the most innovative and impactful project ideas will receive grants totaling $1 million to build their projects. Additional information about this new program is available here.

To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit  

To learn more about NRPA, visit


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 For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit


A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Heather Williams
National Recreation and Park Association