VRPS Promotes Play Training & Funding Initiative

Turning Research Into Practice Across the State of Virginia

VRPS, PlayCore, and GameTime are aligning resources and strategically partnering to support and promote VRPS’s use of parks and recreation opportunities, education, and resources. The goals of the initiative are:

  • Execute statewide professional development events to encourage best practice design considerations for healthy play
  • Deploy research and data collection to demonstrate VRPS as an essential contributor to improving the quality of life of families in Virginia
  • Provide matching funding to assist high quality projects in each of the five regions to create outdoor recreation spaces that align with research-based best practices
  • Publish white papers and other advocacy and communication tools to further champion play and recreation initiatives

PlayCore’s Center for Outreach, Research & Education, in partnership with their GameTime brand, will provide statewide professional development services and up to $1.5 million in matching funds to assist parks in the VRPS regions install a pre-approved play and recreation project that promotes best practices. These projects will serve as National Demonstration Sites (NDS) by aligning research-based best practices to create high quality play and recreation environments.

These projects will assist in data collection and outcomes sharing that will result in a publication of a White Paper that will be shared with VRPS and their members. National Demonstration Sites promote advocacy at the community and state levels, and collectively will provide resources that align with the mission and strategic plan of VRPS.

Download the Information Flyer



Tuesday, March 27, 2018Fredericksburg, VAREGISTER NOW10 am - 1:30 pm EST
Thursday, March 29, 2018Newport News, VAREGISTER NOW10 am - 1:30 pm EST
Tursday, April 10, 2018Herndon, VAREGISTER NOW10 am - 1:30 pm EST
Wednesday, April 11, 2018Roanoke, VAREGISTER NOW10 am - 1:30 pm EST


10:00-10:15 am: Arrival, Registration &  Light Refreshments

10:15-10:45 am: Welcome & VPRS Statewide Initiative Overview

10:45 am-12:00 pm: Education Session Part 1: Words on Play: Fuel Your Community’s Passion for Play and Recreation

This session will empower attendees to advocate for the research-based benefits of play and recreation and will highlight strategies to create high quality destinations that align with evidence-based best practices that promote physical activity, inclusion, engagement with nature, and positive community outcomes.    

12:00-12:30 pm: Lunch (Provided by GameTime & Cunningham Recreation)

12:30-1:15 pm: Education Session Part 2: Turning Research into Practice: Hands-On Learning Activities

This session will provide interactive and engaging opportunities to apply knowledge and demonstrate the research-based best practices in model play and recreation destination examples.   

1:15-1:30 pm: Action Planning, Surveys & Closing

Education Sessions Overview

Parks are essential to creating  healthier, happier societies across generations.  This interactive education symposium will help participants effectively fuel their community’s passion for play and recreation and empower stakeholders to become champions for high quality outdoor play and recreation environments that meet the diverse needs of children, families, and communities in these modern times.  Attendees will be inspired by unique design and program innovations, leadership case examples, and strategies to creatively consider the needs and goals of community stakeholders.  The content and hands-on learning activities will equip participants in developing strong advocacy messages of how investing in parks and recreation has a positive impact on building viable communities. Join us to share your vision, and discover evidence-based best practices that thoughtfully promote physical activity, inclusive play, engagement with nature, and play value in a collaborative effort to  improve the quality of life of communities across the state of Virginia.   

Learning Outcomes

  1. Develop advocacy messages describing why play and recreation is essential to a healthier, happier society.
  2. Apply research-based design best practices to create high-quality outdoor play and recreation destinations.
  3. Discuss model projects, positive community outcome,  and the benefits of inclusion, physical activity, and nature engagement. 

Master Trainer:

Jennie Sumrell
Director of Education,

NOTE: These educational workshops offer research-based best practices for designing and programming high quality outdoor play and recreation environments that support active, healthy communities.  A total of 2.5 Professional Development Hours/.25 CEUs will be provided.  Additionally, The content will be beneficial in the completion of applications for any interested parties that wish to take advantage of the funding opportunities provided through the VPRS Promotes Play & Recreation State-Wide Initiative.

Advocate and Apply

1.5 Million Dollars in Funding Available

GameTime is awarding funds to agencies across the state of Virginia to help build play and recreation projects that support healthy communities. Complete the funding application and write a 1,000 – 2,000-word essay to describe your community playground needs and expected outcomes. Two communities from each region will receive up to 100% matching funds toward the purchase of a new playground. Funds are also available for eligible Adult Outdoor Fitness packages and Challenge Courses. Completed applications and essays must be submitted by May 16, 2018.

Process and Deadlines

Up to 100% Matching Funds for Play Systems

Communities who are awarded funds as part of the VRPS Statewide initiative can apply their funding award toward the purchase of PowerScape, PrimeTime and IONiX play systems.

View Play Systems Terms & Conditions

Up to $20,000 in Funds for Challenge Course

Create a multigenerational fitness destination in your parks with Challenge Course. VRPS Statewide Initiative funds can be applied to the purchase of Challenge Course Pro or Youth Series.

View Products Terms & Conditions

Up to $5,000 in Funds for Outdoor Fitness Equipment

Help adults in your community stay more active and achieve their health and wellness goals. VRPS Statewide Initiative funds can be applied to these Outdoor Fitness Packages.

View Outdoor Fitness Terms & Conditions
After You've Attended a Session, Click Here to Apply Apply Now