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This page is a curated list of resources and tools available to learn more about parks planning, building, and maintaining from national, state, and local sources.
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is a national organization advocating for parks throughout the United States. MPRA offers a variety of publications and research exploring best park practices, case studies, and data.
The National Park Service (NPS), through their Texas Rivers, Trails, and Conservation Assistance Program, assists local communities on a variety of projects including park development. Applications for projects are typically due in June each year. Check the NPS's website for updated information.
Social Explorer is a free online mapping tool. Through this site local communities can map different socio-economic data for their city or county. This information may be useful in identifying locations for potential parks.
ParkServe is a free online mapping tool. This is a new tool from the Trust for Public Lands that looks at where parks are needed in different cities around the country. Individuals can type in their city and see where parks are most needed.
The Environmental and Demographic Mapping Tool is a free online mapping tool from the Environmental Protection Agency. Individuals can explore different environmental factors including locations of existing parks.
Trust for Public Land is a national advocacy non-profit for parks, open space, and conservation. They have a variety of research papers, case study, and best practice examples
The American Planning Association (APA) is a professional organization for planners throughout the United States. Their City Parks Forum provides research and best practices in developing and planning parks.
The Arbor Day Foundation is an organization that advocates for planting trees throughout the United States. Local cities, counties, or social organizations can plan an Arbor Day event to encourage volunteers to help at local parks or apply to be a Tree City U.S.A participant.
Project for Public Spaces is an organization that focuses on design in public places including parks. Their website includes case studies and best practices on park design.
Congress for New Urbanism is a national advocacy group exploring walkable places and design. Their site includes tools communities could use in gaining public support and input on designing public spaces.
The National Audubon Society provides a free tool individuals or local communities can use to find native plants that will attract local birds and potential birders to their parks.
The Land Trust Alliance supports local land trusts throughout the United States. Individuals can search for local land trusts in their area and learn about the benefits of conservation.
KaBOOM! is the national non-profit dedicated to bringing balanced and active play into the daily lives of all kids, particularly those growing up in poverty in America.
Texas Parks and Wildlife GIS is a tool for mapping and exploring different habitats, waterways, and ecosystems throughout the State of Texas.
Texas Recreation & Park Society (TRAPS) is a state-level organization similar to the National Recreation and Park Association. Residents and communities can apply to become members of this organization. Additionally, TRAPS organizes conferences and houses research for park professionals in Texas.
The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center maintains a database of native plants of Texas. Individuals can search for native plants based on soil type or location.
The Texas Land Trust Council maintains list of accredited land trusts and a list of resources and conservation professionals throughout Texas.
Texas Master Naturalists is a program sponsored by Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and Texas Parks and Wildlife. Through the program, resident take a series of courses and become a Certified Master Naturalist. Certified Master Naturalists provide help on a variety of environmental projects, including water testing or helping restore parks.
The PlanSource provides the opportunity for local communities and nonprofits to procure planning firms for a variety of planning projects including park plans.
HGACBuy is a cooperative purchasing service for governments.
H-GAC has a variety of online tools for the region. These include a forestry and water quality database.
All content, including links to other websites, is for informational purposes only. Users of this content are responsible for checking its accuracy, currency, and suitability.
Houston-Galveston Area Council