What is the Georgia Recreation and Park Association?

August 6, 2012

Many cities throughout the state provide parks and recreation services for their cities. This valuable service is provided differently throughout the state with some cities focusing more on passive recreation and others on active recreation. This difference in need and desire and the ability for each city to provide the desired service is the value of local decision making. The Georgia Recreation and Park Association (GRPA) is a state association that is made up of local governments and other various entities and individuals with the purpose of assisting its members in providing these services. This edition of Ask GMA will focus on the GRPA and the many benefits that it provides throughout the state. Most of the information for this edition of Ask GMA will be taken from the GRPA website.

What is the Georgia Recreation and Park Association?
The Georgia Recreation and Park Association is a private, non-profit institution to support and promote the recreation and park industries within the state of Georgia. It is the only state organization that serves as an advocate for quality recreation and park areas, facilities, programs and services at the local level. The association is governed by a 34 member Board of Trustees and has a membership in excess of 1,600.

What is the purpose and mission of the GRPA?
The Georgia Recreation and Park Association’s mission includes promoting healthy life styles through the utilization of park facilities and recreation services for the well being of each citizen individually and the community as a whole, insuring that park and recreation services are available and providing organized, supervised activity as a means of prevention for a number of circumstances (disease, stress, etc.) including the prevention of juvenile delinquency.
The association believes that the delivery of recreation and park services in the state has tremendous impact economically, environmentally and socially. In facilitating this impact the focus is on the following areas:
  • Funding for recreation and parks for acquisition, development and renovation of recreation facilities and parks. 
  • Creating positive environments and programs for children and youth through expanded and improved activities focusing on self esteem, motivation, life skills, education and prevention programs to help young people deal with changing social pressures. 
  • Protecting, preserving and utilizing rights of ways, wet lands, river corridors and other natural resources. 
  • Communicating the significant economic impact of quality recreation and parks services. 
  • Supporting funding for the arts. 
  • Supporting action and legislation for the delivery of recreation and park services to all citizens noting the significant needs of youth, senior citizens and the physically/mentally challenged. 
  • The association reiterates the value of parks and recreation services as a vital aspect of communities, personal life style and citizen rights.
Who are the members of the GRPA?
Membership is determined by an individual’s interest and a sliding dues scale. The association membership is made up of public agencies, private businesses, educational institutions, clinical settings and citizen advocates whose primary responsibility is to provide recreation opportunities. These professionals look to the association for support in obtaining funding, providing technical assistance and keeping recreation issues viable for public debate.

How is the GRPA divided for administrative purposes?
For administrative purposes the state is divided into seven geographic districts and each district has an elected District Commissioner which automatically sits on the Board. Administration of the association includes an executive director and support staff located in Conyers. To determine the district in which your city is contained, please visit http://www.grpa.org/districts.php.

My city is not currently a member of GRPA, where do I go to add my city?
An application to join GRPA is available at the association’s website. As was mentioned previously both individuals and agencies are permitted to be members. To apply on behalf of your city or your city’s parks and recreation department, please visit www.grpa.org/pdf/agencyappl.pdf. If a staff member of your city would like to apply as an individual, please visit www.grpa.org/pdf/individualapplication.pdf.

If I questions about GRPA, who should I contact?
Jimmy Gisi is the Executive Director of the GRPA. His e-mail address is jgisi@grpa.org. The office manager for the GRPA is Shelly Strickland. Her e-mail address is shelly@grpa.org. The main contact number for the association is 770-760-1403.