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Healthy Aging Through Parks and Recreation Grant
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Grant Period January 2023 - June 2024


Supporting Healthy Aging Through Parks and Recreation 2.0
Informational Webinar

Updated 11/29/22

Applicant Eligibility: 

My organization was awarded a Supporting Healthy Aging Through Parks and Recreation (SHAPR) grant in March 2022. Can we apply?
No. Organizations awarded a SHAPR grant in March 2022 are not eligible to apply for this grant. The grant period for the two cohorts overlap. However, you are eligible to apply for the next cohort in Fall of 2023.

My organization was awarded an instructor training grant to implement  AAEBIs prior to March 2022. Can we apply?
Yes. Your organization can apply for any of the 5 AAEBIs being offered through the SHAPR grant and may be eligible to be a member of a Community of Practice (CoP).

We are a nonprofit organization that partners with our local government park and recreation department. Can we apply?
Yes. The applicant for the grant can be a local government agency or an affiliated 501c(3) engaged with parks and recreation (e.g. municipal park and recreation department, tribal recreation department, park district, etc.) If you are not a park and recreation agency, the director of your partner P&R agency will need to provide a letter of support stating their intention to work closely together to implement the program. 

What types of agencies are eligible to apply? 
All types of park and recreation agencies are welcome to apply, including municipal, county and park districts that are located within the 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia and U.S. territories.   

Do we have to be a current member of NRPA to apply?
NRPA encourages membership to ensure that your agency has access to the full suite of education and resources available; however, you do not have to be a current member of NRPA to apply.

Grant Requirements:

What is expected of our organization if we are awarded instructor trainings and membership to the Community of Practice (CoP)?

All awarded applicants will be required to:

  • Join and participate in:
    • A grantee kick-off meeting in January 2023
    • Ongoing technical assistance calls and meetings (combination of individual, small group, and large group with NRPA's Health team and like-minded partner organizations and park and recreation peers)
  • Implement at least one of the AAEBI programs (ALED, EF, F&S!, Tai Chi or WWE) and reach a minimum of 100 participants over the course of the 18-month grant period
  • Participate in evaluation efforts that will include submitting program data quarterly, participating in focus groups and interviews
  • Potentially host NRPA for a site visit (in-person or virtual) over the course of the grant period

For those awarded membership to the CoP

In addition to the above requirements your organization is also expected to:

  • Join and participate in CoP technical assistance calls and meetings with NRPA’s Health Team to implement NRPA's Elevating Health Equity Through Parks and Recreation: A Framework for Action
  • Serve as “peer network facilitators” to support other organizations in the successful implementation of their evidence-based programs
  • Share health equity learnings to all grantees through technical assistance calls and meetings 

What are the reporting requirements for this grant?
Grantees will be asked to report program progress quarterly through a data collection tool developed by NRPA's Evaluation Team.  Additionally, grantees will be asked to submit program photos and success stories so that NRPA may use those materials to showcase benefits and vital role of parks and recreation

Review Process:

How will the grants be awarded? 
NRPA will conduct a two-part review process for all applicants with input from national partners and experienced park and recreation professionals. The first round of reviews will be based on the application submitted including:

  • Clear interest and commitment to the requirements of the grant and alignment with current city and agency priorities.
  • Demonstration of clear commitment to advancing equity and an organizational commitment to prioritize justice, diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • Strong project management plan.
  • Community-level and agency leadership support.

Click here to review the SHAPR application scoring guide. 

The second round of reviews will include objective demographic, geographic, and community metrics using the CDC SVI score to aid NRPA in the identification of a diverse cohort of finalists. Those with an SVI score of .75 or higher may be awarded up to $3,000 to support the implementation of evidence-based programs you are awarded to sustain the program beyond the grant period (January 2023 – June 2024)

All reviewers will undergo implicit bias training ahead of the review process to ensure all applications are judged fairly.

Review Process for the Community of Practice (CoP)

For those applicants interested in joining the CoP questions are built into the application that will determine your organization’s eligibility. If eligible, your organization may also be awarded a small financial grant pending available funds.

All reviewers will undergo implicit bias training ahead of the review process to ensure all applications are judged fairly.

Program Information:

How do I determine the best AAEBI program for my community?
Below are descriptions for each of the programs offered through this grant. This information provides guidance for the selection of the program most appropriate for the intended audience. 

Active Living Every Day (ALED): 

  • Target Audience - sedentary individuals with or without chronic disease and in need of motivation and skills to become physically active 
  • Program Duration - 12-weeks, 1 time per week for 1 hour (12 total classes)
  • Instructor Training – self-study format through a workbook that takes 4-6 hours to complete with an online final exam
  • Participant materials required - startup materials provided through this grant
  • Watch a short informational video about the ALED program
  • View the NRPA's Healthy Aging In Parks Assessment Tool for additional information

EnhanceFitness (EF)

  • Target Audience: adults at all levels of fitness that want to become more active, energized and empowered to live independently
  • Program Duration - 16-weeks, 3 times per week for 1 hour (48 total classes)
  • Instructor Training - training is conducted by an EnhanceFitness Master Trainer either in-person (12 hours over 1.5 days) or remote (2-4 hour sessions over 2 days)
  • CPR certification required for the instructor
  • Participant materials required
  • Watch an informational video about the EF program.
  • View the EnhanceFitness Fact Sheet for additonal information

Fit & Strong! (F&S!): 

  • Target Audience - adults who want to be physically active but may have lower-extremity pain and/or mobility challenges
  • Program Duration - 8-weeks; 3 times per week for 1.5 hours  -or- 12-weeks; 2 times per week for 1.5 hours (24 total classes) 
  • Instructor Training - online format that takes 6-8 hours to complete 
  • Participant materials required - startup materials provided through this grant
  • Watch a short informational video about the Fit&Strong program
  • View the NRPA's Healthy Aging In Parks Assessment Tool for additional information

Tai Chi:

  • Target Audience - adults with or without arthritis looking to reduce pain and/or improve quality of life
  • Program Duration - minimum of 16 hours (one hour per week for 16 weeks or 2 hours per week for 8 weeks)
  • Instructor training -  training is a self-paced online portion and a 7 hour live (in-person or virtually) interactive training with a Tai Chi Master Trainer. 
  • NO Participant materials required
  • Watch an informational video about Tai Chi.

Walk With Ease (WWE)

  • Target Audience - those with arthritis or other chronic diseases interested in a walking program and are able to stand for at least 10 minutes 
  • Program Duration- 6-weeks, 3 times per week for 1 hour (18 total classes) 
  • Instructor training - online format that takes 3-4 hours to complete 
  • CPR certification required for the instructor
  • Participant materials required - startup materials provided through this grant
  • Watch a short informational video about the WWE program
  • View the NRPA's Healthy Aging In Parks Assessment Tool for additional information

If after reviewing the above information about each of the programs and you are unsure which one best fits your intended audience, please feel free to contact us at cpittard@nrpa.org and we can provide additional guidance. 

If awarded one of the instructor trainings, what can we expect to receive as part of the SHAPR grant?
You will receive up to 2 instructor trainings for the AAEBI awarded, In addition, you will also receive start up materials for all programs that require participant materials. Those materials are listed below.

  • Active Living Every Day – 15 participant books are shipped directly to you
  • EnhanceFitness – requires the use of wrist and ankle weights. You will be provided weights for ~20 participants and are shipped directly to you
  • Fit&Strong! - requires the use of ankle weights and resistant bands. You will be provided weights and bands for ~20 participants and are shipped directly to you
  • Tai Chi – there are no participant materials required
  • Walk With Ease – 20 participant books are shipped directly to you

Grant Timeline:
What is the timeline for this grant 
The grant period begins in Janurary 2023 - June 2024. Here are other important dates for the grant:

  • Application Opens - October 18, 2022
  • Informational Webinar - October 18, 2022
  • Application Closes - December 22, 2022
  • Communities Selected - On or before January 20, 2023
  • Kick-Off Call - February 1, 2023
  • Training - Ongoing between January 2023 - June 2024

Other FAQs:

How many participants do I need to reach and what happens if we do not reach the goal?
The goal for participant reach is 100 for the grant period (January 2023 - June 2024). The 100 participants is a goal and your agency will not be penalized if you do not reach this goal. 

How much funding will my organization receive if awarded the SHAPR grant?
If awarded, applicants will receive instructor trainings for one of the five AAEBIs and program start up materials. This opportunity has a monetary valuation of around $2000.00 per grantee. Applicants with an SVI score of .75 or higher may be eligible for a monetary award of $3000.00 to support AAEBI program implementation and sustainability.

Additionally, some applicants will be eligible to become a member of the SHAPR Community of Practice – a formal learning opportunity to learn how to implement NRPA’s Elevating Health Equity: A Framework for Action at their P&R agency/department. This opportunity in addition to receiving instructor trainings has a monetary value of around $5000.00 per grantee.

Why should our agency implement evidence-based physical activity programs, when we already offer many physical activity programs?
While park and recreation agencies offer many physical activity programs to their community members, evidence-based programs have been tested and evaluated in research settings, the programs have defined goals, proven results for specific target populations, well-defined structures and timeframes. These programs have been approved by several respected federal agencies such as the CDC and the Administration on Community Living (ACL), are being supported by national organizations such as the National Council on Aging (NCOA) and provide positive outcomes that can be used as justification for partnerships with healthcare providers as well as additional funding for your agency.

This grant equips agencies with the capacity to implement evidence-based programs that have shown the most effectiveness at improving health and overall quality of life for people across the country

Grantees should aim to reach 100 participants, but NRPA only provides 20 participant books. How are we supposed to reach 100 participants with only 20 participant books?

The recommended class size is up to 20 participants with one instructor. NRPA recommends that you create some type of lending library for your participants – this has been successful with previous grantees. For example, prior to a class session the participants can check out a book then check it back in once the session has finished on that day. If you choose to offer each participant their own book NRPA can offer you the negotiated rate we have with the developers which is $4.95 plus shipping for the duration of the project period.

Can I apply for more than one of the programs through this grant?
No. An agency can only apply for one of the programs. However, if you can demonstrate the need and have the capacity to implement more than one of these programs, please email cpittard@nrpa.org and provide your justification and your request maybe considered.  .

Who is the primary audience for the programs?
Adults with chronic diseases, and others wanting to engage in physical activity. The programs are popular among older adults, but they are not limited to older adults. Each of the 5 programs may target different audiences, see the description for each of the programs for this information. 

Can the program(s) be implemented on behalf of our agency?
Yes. The program can be implemented by other organizations on behalf of your agency, for example a non-park and recreation governed senior center, assisted living facility, library, faith-based organizations, healthcare provider, area agency on aging, etc. However, the park and recreation agency must be the primary applicant.

I want to implement the program, but our staff members are not able to commit to the entire length of the program?
Multiple staff can be used facilitate the programs. For example, two staff members can facilitate the 1-hr 3x per week Walk With Ease program and a similar approach can be taken for the other programs. It is imperative that these programs are implemented per their recommended curriculum to remain evidence based.

Have additional questions not addressed here,  watch the Informational Webinar or email HealthyAgingInParks@nrpa.org