National Demonstration Sites

Recognizing Communities for Turning Research Into Practice

Leading the Way for Play

We believe high-quality recreation environments play a critical role in promoting community health. Research indicates that when stakeholders are engaged in the planning process, evidence-based design principles are implemented with the built environment, and supplemental programming is offered to further enhance user experiences, then positive outcomes occur. 

National Demonstration Sites (NDS) exemplify evidence-based best practices in design and implementation, support health-related initiatives, and provide meaningful ways for community stakeholders to gather data about the sites’ impact on the community. There are five NDS programs that help communities turn research into practice in local park destinations. Choose to utilize one or a combination of NDS designations to thoughtfully support playful pathways, nature play, adult fitness, youth physical activity, and inclusion in outdoor play and recreation settings.

Learn more about each of these National Demonstration Site designations below, or request more information on how your community can participate in a nationwide effort to collect and report outcomes-based data that make a lasting impact for generations to come.

National Demonstration Site Informational Brochure

Stephanie Stephens - Executive Director, California Parks and Recreation Society "Play brings communities together. We’re excited to share how Parks Make Life Better®, share state-wide training, and help local communities put research into action!”
Theresa Boehm Miller Curriculum Development Chair, Springfield Public Schools, Springfield, MO The Play On! Program is an exciting opportunity to extend our physical education classroom to the outdoors. Through creative learning, the Play On! curriculum arouses the student’s sense of curiosity, imagination and adventure to achieve a healthy, active lifestyle.
Cindy Tuttle - Parks and Recreation Director, City of West Sacramento “The CPRS Healthy Play Initiative was critical in helping the city leverage resources to install improvements at Elkhorn Park to better meet the needs of the community.”
Keith Christensen, Ph.D., Faculty Fellow, Utah State University Center for Persons with Disabilities Providing intergenerational, inclusive play ensures that all people experience the satisfaction of contributing to meaningful play.
Grant Michals - President, Glendale Parks, Recreation & Community Services Commission "There were people lining up waiting for the playground to open. It has revitalized this park."
Michael Suk Chairman of Orthopaedic Surgery, Geisinger Health System Danville, PA Outdoor Adult Fitness Parks can play a vital role in motivating people of all ages and levels of fitness toward achieving a healthier, more active and more productive life.
Helen Hernandez - Council of Section Representative, CPRS "The Healthy Play Initiative from CPRS and PlayCore made it possible to build a space where children from all walks of life can come together to play."
Julie Johnson, Park Operations Division Head, City of Ocala, Florida The new fitness park at Jervey Gantt, featuring GTfit products..., is an example of how Ocala (Florida) is continually moving fitness forward to create a better way of life for our families.
Robb Davis - Mayor, City of Davis, CA "We are fortunate to have received a grant from GameTime to help leverage our resources to achieve our desired healthy lifestyle goals for our residents."
Mike Alley, Owner, getBUILT Chattanooga CrossFit Our CrossFit gym is so pumped about being able to use this equipment day in and day out. From pullups to more advanced gymnastic moves we are able to challenge our fittest athletes and accommodate our beginners. The GTfit Elite line hits it out of the park.
Jeff Nickell - District Manager, McFarland Recreation and Park District "Parks and recreation are at the center of a community's quality of life. We want to have quality facilities for our residents...we are fortunate to have partners like CPRS and PlayCore who helped us."
Julie Johnson, Park Operations Division Head, City of Ocala, Florida The City of Ocala, Florida has long been a pioneer in providing opportunities for our citizens to lead active, healthy lives. The new GTfit Fitness Park at Jervey Gantt Health Trail is an example of how Ocala is continually moving fitness forward to create a better way of life for our families.
Dr. Joe Frost Free, spontaneous play and outdoor playscapes, both natural and built, are essential for the fitness, health, and development of children and for their adaptation to their culture, society, and world.
Robin Moore DiplArch, MCP, Hon. ASLA A generation ago playing outdoors in nature was usually taken for granted, but times have changed. Now, nature must be deliberately designed back into children’s lives.
National Demonstration Site Designations

Inclusive Play

Me2® - 7 Principles of Inclusive Playground Design®

Including people with disabilities in play and recreation activities and providing them the same opportunities to participate is true definition of inclusion. We have partnered with industry leading experts to help communities design inclusive play and recreation spaces.

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Nature Based Play


Health research recognizes everyday outdoor play in nature as a powerful preventative strategy for overall health and well-being. In partnership with The Natural Learning Initiative, we have conducted several studies that support the benefit of playground naturalization and nature play.

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Trail Based Play

PlayTrails® and Pathways for Play™

Our work around nature play helped us to understand the role of sinuous pathways in the overall play space. We partnered with The Natural Learning Initiative and top trail industry experts to create best practice design principles to get children and families active on trails.

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Youth Fitness and Physical Activity


Childhood obesity is a serious problem in the United States putting kids at risk for poor health. PlayCore worked with Shape America, the organization that has established standards for developing physically literate students, to develop curriculum promoting youth fitness.

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Outdoor Adult Fitness

Obesity is a health priority, and creating meaningful outdoor adult fitness spaces that offer a well rounded workout gets people outside and active. We partnered with scholars to create a comprehensive approach to adult fitness.

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