One challenge — and strength — within most communities is difference: in race, ethnicity, gender identity, religion, socioeconomic status, age, language, or physical or mental abilities and skills. Differences “meet” on the playground: park and recreation professionals operate at the intersection of those differences.

In early 2023, the NRPA Research team surveyed park and recreation leaders to gain a better understanding of their agencies’ efforts surrounding diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) practices. The survey, a follow up from a similar 2021 study, took inventory of park and recreation agency DEI activities, the professional development opportunities provided to staff, and the challenges organizations face in their efforts to promote DEI practices. The survey’s responses from park and recreation leaders across the United States are the basis of this report.

Key Findings

  • Nearly two in three park and recreation agencies have established formal DEI activities or plan to establish them in the immediate future.
  • Ninety-two percent of park and recreation agencies offer DEI education and resources to their staff.
  • Six in seven park and recreation leaders agree that park and recreation inequity is a problem nationally.
  • Agencies’ DEI staff leaders include directors, senior leadership, dedicated staff, human resources employees and program staff.
  • More than nine in ten park and recreation leaders agree that it is important to address park and recreation inequities.


Read the Report



Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Infographic

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