Manchester among 25 national ‘Meet Me at the Park’ grant recipients

Funding provided by the National Recreation and Park Association and The Walt Disney Company.

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Meet Me at the Park play spaces promote health and wellness, conservation and social equity, according to the National Recreation and Park Association. Courtesy Photo

MANCHESTER, NH –  The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and The Walt Disney Company on Monday announced the city of Manchester is among 25 grant recipients of the new Meet Me at the Park healthy living program.

Twenty-five park and recreation agencies and cities nationwide were selected to receive grants ranging from $11,000 to $50,000 to support projects that increase access to play spaces in local parks for children and families. This investment supports NRPA and Disney’s combined goal of providing 1 million kids and families with greater access to play.    

Manchester’s $40,000 grant will be used in addition to some other funding sources – including an anonymous $35,000 donation made through the NH Charitable Foundation, to be matched by the city – to create a new inclusive play area at the Gossler Park School to support walkability and play for students. The grant was submitted jointly by the city Parks and Recreation Department and the city Health Department.

“This is great news for the City of Manchester and the Manchester School District.  I want to congratulate the leadership from our Parks & Recreation Department for seeking out this grant in a public-private partnership to benefit the youth and families in the Gossler Park community.  This is going to have a big impact on the entire West Side community and I can’t wait to see it come together,” Mayor Ted Gatsas said.

The projects selected include a variety of innovative play space enhancements, sport field/court enhancements, trail and walking path enhancements, and mobile play spaces, which include flexible play equipment and activities that can be moved and put to use in different locations. All of the projects focus on inclusive play spaces that increase physical activity and play for children and families.

The 25 grant recipients are:    

  • City of Selma Recreation Department, Selma, Alabama
  • City of Yuma, Yuma, Arizona
  • City of Redding, Redding, California
  • City of West Sacramento, West Sacramento, California
  • City of Tampa Parks and Recreation Department, Tampa, Florida
  • Gwinnett County Department of Community Services, Lawrenceville, Georgia
  • City of Iowa City Parks & Recreation, Iowa City, Iowa
  • City of Kuna, Kuna, Idaho
  • Louisville Metro Parks and Recreation, Louisville, Kentucky
  • Baltimore City Recreation and Parks, Baltimore, Maryland
  • City of Port Huron Recreation Department, Port Huron, Michigan
  • Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Division, Detroit, Michigan
  • City of Ocean Springs, Ocean Springs, Mississippi
  • Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department, Charlotte, North Carolina
  • City of Manchester, Department of Public Works, Division of Parks, Recreation and Cemeteries, Manchester, New Hampshire
  • Bloomfield Department of Recreation, Bloomfield, New Jersey
  • City of Farmington: Department of Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs, Farmington, New Mexico
  • City of Henderson, Henderson, Nevada
  • City of Youngstown, Department of Parks and Recreation, Youngstown, Ohio
  • Borough of Pottstown, Pottstown, Pennsylvania
  • Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission, Charleston, South Carolina
  • Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation, Nashville, Tennessee
  • City of Chattanooga/Division of Open Spaces, Chattanooga, Tennessee
  • Kitsap County Parks, Port Orchard, Washington
  • Cacapon State Park, Berkeley Springs, West Virginia

“NRPA would like to thank all of the agencies and cities that submitted grant applications for this new program,” said Kellie May, NRPA director of health and wellness. “Thanks to Disney’s generosity we were able to award $800,000 in funding to support projects that will help children and families be more active and discover new opportunities for play where everyone can participate.”

Over the coming months, NRPA and Disney will work closely with the recipients, including having volunteers from Disney participate in various projects. To see these projects come to life, follow the hashtags #MeetMeAtThePark and #DisneyPlaySpaces.

The Meet Me at the Park program includes an Earth Month campaign as well, where funding is awarded for local park improvement projects that connect kids to nature, inspire healthy living and provide access to sports. The campaign celebrates Earth Month and the importance of local parks.

To learn more about Meet Me at the Park, visit www.nrpa.org/disney.

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 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.

About Carol Robidoux 5555 Articles
Journalist and editor of ManchesterInkLink.com, a hyperlocal news and information site for Manchester, NH.