The mission of the Alabama Recreation and Parks Foundation is to provide financial support and educational resources for the development and enhancement of public park and recreation services in Alabama.
The Foundation has identified several specific areas of service it believes will provide the most meaningful impact. These include:
Development of Annual Scholarship Program
This function of the foundation will focus on providing fiscal support to students majoring in park and recreation related studies at the college and university level. Additionally scholarship assistance will be available to individuals currently employed in the field to attend professional training schools and scholarships.
Rationale: As with many other professions, financial support for college studies and continued professional education are normal endeavors. In order for the public to benefit from quality park and recreation services, they need adequately trained and educated professionals to operate the programs and maintain and manage the park and recreation facilities.
Provide Services for Citizen Volunteers Serving On A Municipal or County Park & Recreation Board
The creation of a library of resources related to board governance, appropriate park and recreation standards and the establishment of an annual training program are the initial program areas deemed important by the Foundation.
Rationale: The Park and Recreation Citizen Board member play a key role in the growth and maintenance of quality public park and recreation services. Unfortunately they oftentimes perform their role in a vacuum. The Foundation would provide support to acquire and house materials which could assist the board to operate more effectively in greater partnership with the local government authority. The development of an annual training program would foster a greater awareness of current activities within the state as well as provide an excellent forum for the development of a Citizen Board Member network.
Underwrite Research Pertinent To the Field
Parks, recreation and leisure services contribute significant economic impact to a community. Additional surveys relating to budgets, salaries and benefits and the type and number of facilities are valuable tools.
Rationale: This data can be beneficial to local elected officials in determining the value of recreation and park investment. Budget comparison based on population gives a community an idea of where it ranks in relation to other similar communities. Facility data provides insight into the needs and trends of participation. Unlike other states in the region, Alabama does not have a state agency or university actively pursuing this data.