Park and Rec Plan to Aid Tsunami Relief

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) announces a Park and Recreation Relief plan to help raise aid for those affected by the recent tsunami tragedy. NRPA is coordinating this effort at the initiation of Scott York, chairman of the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors on behalf of the citizens of Loudoun County.

Park and Recreation Relief will take a role in the rebuilding effort for the affected countries of the disaster as situations stabilize and renewal plans take shape.

Parks and recreation activities dont just provide leisure; they revitalize and heal communities, said York. We believe parks and recreation are as fundamental as schools and hospitals to the future wellbeing of those affected by this disaster.

According to NRPA Executive Director John Thorner, NRPA is positioned to coordinate this effort due to its membership network of thousands of park professionals and recreation experts in municipal, county, and regional agencies across the country. In addition, he said NRPA works with a wide array of playground and equipment companies that may be able to provide services and materials for the rebuilding effort.

A steering committee will ensure that all donations are allocated in ways that will contribute positively to long-term renewal. Park and Recreation Relief will raise aid throughout the country from individuals, corporations, businesses, Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), and Non-Profit Organizations. Day to day leadership of the effort will be provided by Cynthia Welsh, the recently retired director of Loudoun Countys Recreation, Parks and Community Services Department.

According to Welsh, NRPA has already begun communications with officials of the USA-Asia Environmental Partnership (US-AEP) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID).

We want this program to contribute to the long term health and well-being of the survivors, said Welsh. We cant save what was lost, but we can help in the healing.

Information on this initiative can be found on the NRPA website http://www.nrpa.org . Donations to Park and Recreation Relief can be made payable to: NRPA/Park and Recreation Relief, P.O. Box 7600, Merrifield, VA 22116-7600. To find out other ways in which you can contribute to this effort, call 703-858-2141. Donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law.