Eric Cohen, Mike Maccia, Scott Hunter-Smith, and Steve Conner founded the not-for-profit ‘nPlay Foundation in 2008.1 With combined experience in management, law, marketing, and advertising, they joined forces to establish “the professional athlete's foundation for the prevention of childhood obesity.”2
1. Kelly, Meg. “Back to the Future.” ‘nPlay Press. February 1, 2011. < http://www.healthyweightcommit.org/images/uploads/HWCF_nPLAY.pdf > 14 July 2011.
2. “Founders.” nPlay Foundation. < http://www.nplayfoundation.org/about-2/founders/ > 15 July 2011.
The National Association for Recreational Equality (NARE) was formed in 19971 by Dr. Reeve R. Brenner to educate the public and advocate with communities concerning the need for non-aggressive, fully inclusive sports and recreation.2
1. “National Association for Recreational Equality, Inc.” Charityblossom. < http://www.charityblossom.org/nonprofit/national-association-for-recreational-equality-inc-rockville-md-20852-521974776/ > 9 Oct 2011.
2. Ray, Alan. “Brenner's Bankshot and Naismith's Basketball: Clergymen at Play.” Email to Playground Professionals. 30 Sep.
The National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), headquartered in Reston, Virginia, is the largest of the five professional organizations within the American Alliance for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (AAHPERD). As a nonprofit membership association they “enhance knowledge, improve professional practice, and increase support for high quality physical education, sport, and physical activity programs.”1 The association offers an array of informational conferences, valuable resources, and grants and awards to its members.
1. “Mission and Strategic Plan.” National Association for Sport and Physical Education. < http://www.aahperd.org/naspe/about/mission.cfm > 14 July 2011.
The National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) began in 1926 when professional researchers and educators joined together to organize quality nursery schools. Known as the National Association for Nursery Education (NANE), they began their mission to elevate early education with a conference in 1926 and their first publication in 1929: Minimum Essentials for Nursery Education.
The National Association of Elementary School Principals (NAESP) was founded in 1921 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. What started with 51 principals grew in the next five years to include 3,000 members. Today NAESP, headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, represents nearly 30,000 elementary school and middle school principals.1
1. “History.” National Association of Elementary School Principals. < http://www.naesp.org/history-1 > 21 Sep. 2010.
The National Association of State Park Directors (NASPD) was formed in 1962 to advocate for state park systems in America.
Stephen T. Mather formed the National Park Service (NPS) in 1916.1 After five years of establishing national parks, he was faced with two choices: either adding parks to the national system that were worthy of being established but weren't of national significance or with promoting state park systems to establish the locally significant parks.
1. “About Us.” National Park Service. < http://www.nps.gov/aboutus/index.htm > 18 Aug. 2011.
In 1985, the National Research Council (NRC) and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) recommended that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) establish a program addressing the problem of injury directly. With funding from the United States Department of Transportation, the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control (NCIPC) was begun in Atlanta, Georgia.
In 1990, the Injury Control Act of Congress placed the NCIPC directly under the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where it remains today. The NCIPC is also known as the CDC’s Injury Center. They are organized with a Director over three main divisions: Division of Injury Response, Division of Unintentional Injury Prevention, and Division of Violence Prevention.
The National Center on Accessibility (NCA) was established at Indiana University in Bloomington in 1992. With support from the National Park Service, NCA promotes access for and inclusion of people with disabilities in parks, recreation, and tourism.1 Through research, training, technical assistance, and consultations, NCA supports the principles of universal design and inclusion practices in their suggestions for professionals in the recreation industry.
1. “About NCA.” National Center on Accessibility. < http://www.ncaonline.org/?q=node/8 > 7 July 2011.
The National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity (NCPPA) is a network of organizations that are working together to establish policies that “improve the public's health and prevent and manage chronic diseases through increased levels of physical activity.”1 While they don't believe they can mandate or regulate changes in individual's behaviors, they do believe that local, state, and national policy changes can make communities more conducive to physical activity.2
1. “Policy Framework & Platform.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity. < http://www.ncppa.org/policy/platform/ > 30 Sep. 2011.
2. “National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.” National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.
The National Council of Youth Sports is a sports organization that promotes and supports organized amateur youth sport programs through advocacy, education, resources, trainings, research, and conferences. As a united voice they support youth sport leaders and the inclusion of all youth in sports to develop “positive attributes including healthier lifestyles, self-esteem, fair play and good citizenship.”1 They believe these experiences will “make a child's life more fun and more complete”2
1. “Mission, Vision & Objectives.” NCYS: National Council of Youth Sports. < http://www.ncys.org/about/objectives.php > 20 Sep. 2012.
2. Johnson, Sally S. “Executive Director's Report.” Sep. 13-15, 2011. NCYS: National Council of Youth Sports.
The National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) is a national probability sample of emergency room visits involving injuries. From this sampling, a national estimate is made concerning the total number of injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms.1
1. “National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) On-line.” US Consumer Product Safety Commission. < http://www.cpsc.gov/library.neiss.html > 29 June 2011.
Claire Scheibe, co-founder of the magazine Toy Farmer, and Dave Bell, president of ERTL Company, a producer of farm toy replicas, joined forces to create a farm toy museum in Dyersville, Iowa. Together they approached Dyersville Industries, Inc. (DII) Board of Directors about creating the National Farm Toy Museum (NFTM) to accommodate the growing farm toy industry and National Farm Toy Show.1
1. “History.” About Us – National Farm Toy Museum. < http://www.nationalfarmtoymuseum.com/aboutus/index.cfm > 1 March 2011.
The National Institute for Play was founded by Dr. Stuart Brown. Dr. Brown trained in general medicine, internal medicine, psychiatry and clinical research. He first realized the importance of play when studying a group of homicidal males. He concluded that the absence of play could have dangerous long-term consequences.1
Dr. Brown also became aware that the actual science of play was expanding. However, at that time, the play-related research was disorganized and deficient in measuring factors that were clinically easy to observe. It was obvious to Dr. Brown that a larger and more professional organization was needed.
1. “Our Founder, Dr. Stuart Brown.” National Institute for Play. < http://nifplay.org/about_us.html > 16 Aug. 2010.
Lekotek Centers facilitate interactive play experiences for children with special needs and their families. They make “the world of play accessible to children with all types of disabilities” through inclusive play sessions with adapted toys, traditional toys, books, and computers.1 Lekotek Centers focus on what children with special needs can do and also the needs of their families who support them to facilitate the children in their learning and development to reach their full potential. To extend the play experience, they also loan appropriate toys, books, and software to children and their families to be used at home.
The National Museum of Play is one of America’s largest history museums and the nation’s second largest children's museum.1 With a vast collection of dolls, toys, and games, it is dedicated to exploring “play and the ways in which it encourages learning, creativity, and discovery and illuminates cultural history.” The museum also seeks to communicate the “critical role of play in human physical, social, and intellectual development.”2
The National Playground Contractors Association is a non-profit organization started in February of 1997 in order to provide a support program and set standards for playground construction professionals. NPCA was launched by six playground contractors: Dave Antonacci, Mike Baker, Paul Cullins, Mike Egan, Laz Gonzales and Curtis Stoddard. They organized the 501(A), elected officers, and wrote the mission statement or the purpose of the NPCA, which reads, “A nationwide partnership formed to contribute to the advancement of the playground building industry by promoting playground installation as a legitimate contracting profession.”1
1. Stoddard, Curtis. “The National Playground Contractors Association.” Today’s Playground. March 2004. p. 8.
With the new guidelines for public playground equipment being published during the 1980s, the need for a playground safety training program became apparent to Fran Wallach, Ken Kutska, and Monty Christiansen. As members of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), these three industry leaders met with the NRPA Executive Director in 1989 concerning a training program under NRPA to establish the playground safety standards of the ASTM International (ASTM) and the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) as “best practice” for safety compliance in designing and operating public playgrounds.
In 1997, the National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) founded the National Playground Safety Week to occur each April, giving the nation a time to yearly assess playground safety and express gratitude to those who are making playgrounds safer. State governors are encouraged to proclaim National Playground Safety Week each year. The number of states participating has grown from 2 to as many as 45. There were 30 states participating in 2010.1
1. “Playground Safety Week – Proclamations.” National Program for Playground Safety. < http://www.playgroundsafety.org/safetyweek/proclamations/index.htm > 2 Feb 2011.
The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) was founded in 1995 by Dr. Donna Thompson of the University of Northern Iowa with a grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). As a non-profit organization, NPPS is committed to research and safety education for both the public and the playground industry. NPPS is guided by the following goals:
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) was created on August 14, 1965, when five national park and recreation organizations merged to form one united agency.1 What started as a joining of like-minded organizations continues to be a center for connecting advocates, suppliers, professionals, and government leaders concerning the vital role of parks and recreation.
1. The five forming organizations were the National Recreation Association (NRA), the American Institute of Park Executives (AIPE), the American Recreation Society (ARS), the National Conference on State Parks (NCSP), and the American Association of Zoological Parks and Aquariums (an affiliate of AIPE).
The National Recreation and Park Foundation (NRPF) is a nonprofit organization that advances parks, recreation, and environmental conservation efforts. Their mission is to “support research and public awareness of the economic, social, and physical value of parks and recreation in creating healthy families and communities for all populations to include educating and reaching the underserved.”1
1. “National Recreation and Park Foundation: Who Are We and What Is It That We Do?” National Recreation and Park Foundation. < http://www.nrpfoundation.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=48&Itemid=2 > 28 Feb. 2011.
The National Recreation Association was originally called the Playground Association of America (PAA), which was formed in 1906 to further the playground movement in America. Over the years the mission of the organization shifted from playgrounds to emphasize a broad spectrum of recreation activities for all ages and abilities.
The National Recreation Foundation (NRF) began as the War Camp Community Services (WCCS), Inc. that was formed during World War I to provide recreation and services on the “homefront.” After the war ended, the NRF was organized in 1919 with the remaining $1.5 million from the WCCS funds.
As a nonprofit foundation, the National Recreation Foundation is dedicated to enhancing mental, physical, social, and spiritual health.1 A deliberately diverse citizens' Board of Trustees was formed with a common love of and respect for recreation as well as the belief that high quality recreation fosters social stability in communities.
1. “Our History.” National Recreation Foundation. < http://www.nationalrecreationfoundation.org/history > 13 April 2011.
A group of industrial leaders from the Midwest met in 1912 because of their concern about safety in the U.S. workplace. They came to the conclusion that there should be an organization to promote safety. A year later in Chicago on October 13, the National Council for Industrial Safety was founded at the Second Safety Congress in New York City with 200 attendees. In order to broaden the scope and to include non-industrial safety issues, the name of the organization was changed to the National Safety Council (NSC) the following year.
Ed Sobey, who was the first director of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, founded the National Toy Hall of Fame in 1998.1 Originally located in Salem, Oregon, within the A.C. Gilbert's Discovery Village, the National Toy Hall of Fame was purchased in 2002 by the Margaret Woodbury Strong Museum, later known as The Strong, and moved to Rochester, New York.2 It is one of the five play partners of The Strong.
The National Wildlife Federation (NWF) is dedicated to protecting and restoring wildlife habitat in order to leave a legacy of healthy wildlife for the next generation. Built on a network of state affiliates, the National Wildlife Federation “encourages sustainable conservation policy and promotes transparent natural resource management.”1
The Natural Energy Park is an experiential playground design that focuses on how movement, the sun, magnets, and water create power to operate different parts of the play equipment. Through moving a spinning wheel children can cause LEDs on a kite string to light up, and by pointing a solar panel toward or away from the sun they can cause the optical illusion plate to speed up or slow down.1
1. “Green.” reddot. < http://www.red-dot.sg/concept/porfolio/o_e/GR/B004.htm > 18 Aug. 2011.
The Natural Learning Initiative (NLI) was founded to assist communities in creating “stimulating places for play, learning, and environmental education – environments that recognize human dependence on the natural world.”1 The Natural Learning Initiative is concerned that children are losing contact with the natural world due to the lack of attention and development of the outdoor play spaces of child education centers;2
The Natural Play and Learning Areas Guidelines Project is dedicated to “bringing nature back into the daily lives of children” and thus to improving children's health, happiness, and scholastic achievement.1 The Guidelines Project identifies the key design elements of natural play and learning environments for schools, childcare centers, homes, museums, zoos, nature centers, parks, botanical gardens, arboreta, and public lands.
1. “Natural Play Learning Area Guidelines Project.” National Wildlife Federation. < http://www.nwf.org/~/media/PDFs/Be%20Out%20There/Natural%20Play%20Prospectus%20v7.pdf?dmc=1&ts=20130121T1306089883 > 10 Nov. 2012.
Ron King was listening to kids talking when he founded the Natural Playgrounds Company (NPC) in 2000. “They're critical of the limited challenges, and they're very bored. How many times can they slide down a slide before wanting to try something different?”1 As an architect and play environment designer, Ron has started a new movement in the playground industry with his environments that use no manufactured equipment.
1. “Natural Playgrounds Company Starts New Design Trend.” PR Leap. < http://www.prleap.com/pr/23739 > 31 Jan. 2006.
Rusty Keeler's Natural Playscapes, Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul, published in 2008 by Exchange Press,is an explanation of and a workbook for creating children's outdoor play areas. These natural playscapes utilize “art, hills, pathways, trees, herbs, open areas, sand, water, music” so that “children will find places to run, climb, dig, pretend, and hide, with opportunities to bellow or be silent.”1 Believing the children need “a variety of rich, stimulating experiences and environments that support a wide range of play,” Rusty prefers the idea of a “landscape for play” or a “playscape.”2
1. Keeler, Rusty. Natural Playscapes, Creating Outdoor Play Environments for the Soul. , Redmond, WA: Exchange Press, 2008. p. 15.
As a collection of landscape architects, community planners, environmentalists, and early childhood educators, the Nature Action Collaborative for Children (NACC) is dedicated to re-connecting children with the natural world. Recognizing that children worldwide face societal, technological, and environmental conditions that are adversely affecting their physical and mental health, NACC is providing nature education resources to enrich their daily lives.
Nature Explore is dedicated to assisting children and families “develop a profound engagement with the natural world, where nature is an integral, joyful part of children's daily learning.”1 Realizing that connections with nature are part of a healthy childhood and noting that many children no longer “spend unhurried hours exploring the natural world,” Nature Explore provides educators, designers, and families research-based resources and play space design consultations to bring nature back into children's daily lives.2
Nature play is child-initiated, unstructured play in “wild” areas, like the vacant lot next door, the neighborhood park, or a wooded area with a stream. Building tree houses, wading in creeks, and catching frogs and butterflies are enjoyable play activities in natural outdoor settings.1
1. “Nature Play.” Green Hearts Institute for Nature in Childhood. < http://www.greenheartsinc.org/Nature_Play.html > 30 Aug 2010.
Children & Nature Network and ecoAmerica founded Nature Rocks in 2009, a national program to facilitate families in playing and exploring nature together.1 They were initially funded and/or supported by The Nature Conservancy, REI Inc., The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and the American Heart Association. Later these partners were joined by The American Camp Association, Richard Louv, and The Flora Family Foundation.2
1. “Nature Rocks.” ecoAmerica, start with people. < http://www.ecoamerica.org/programs/nature-rocks > 26 June 2011.
2. “About Nature Rocks.” Nature Rocks, Let's Go Explore. < http://www.naturerocks.org/about.aspx > 7 June 2011.
Nature-Deficit Disorder is a phrase coined by Richard Louv in his book, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children From Nature-Deficit Disorder, published in 2005. Having spent ten years traveling around the country, in both rural and urban areas, asking parents and children alike about their experiences in nature, he discovered that in the last two generations there has been a significant decline in time spent enjoying nature.1
1. Karnasiewicz, Sarah. “Do today’s kids have ‘nature-deficit disorder’?” Salon.com. < http://dir.salon.com/story/mwt/feature/2005/06/02/Louv/index.html > 13 July 2011.
PlayCore, a playground designer and manufacturer, and the Natural Learning Initiative (NLI), a design and assistance program of the College of Design of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina, joined together to create the program NatureGrounds: Putting Nature Into Play. Their mission is to “create a dramatic shift in the standard playground development process by deliberately designing nature back into children's lives.”1
1. “Press Release: Unique Playground Initiative 'Puts Nature Into Play'.” NatureGrounds. < http://www.naturegrounds.org/news.html > 22 June 2011.
The New Games Foundation was an organization that hosted free community play events in parks where everyone was encouraged to “Play Hard. Play Fair. Nobody Hurt.” They believed that physical play was vital for everyone, that no one should be left out of the activity, that little or no equipment is required, and that the rules of play should be “dirt simple and fun.” While they believed that competition and cooperation should co-exist, winning or losing was not important. Rather, the process of play was emphasized as games were readily adapted or changed to fit the circumstances.1
1. “The History of the New Games Foundation.” Yehuda. < http://jergames.blogspot.com/2008/02/history-of-new-games-foundation.html > 16 Jan. 2012.
In October 2007, the National Football League (NFL) started a youth health and fitness campaign called NFL PLAY 60. In an effort to combat childhood obesity, NFL PLAY 60 focuses on increasing the wellness of young fans by encouraging them to be physically active for a minimum of 60 minutes each day. The plan was implemented through NFL’s in-school, after-school, and team-based programs. The initiative is prominent during key NFL events, such as the Super Bowl, Pro Bowl Draft, Kickoff, and Thanksgiving Day games. Numerous players and coaches support the program year round.1
1. “About NFL Play 60.” Play 60 The NFL Movement for an Active Generation. < http://www.nfl.com/play60 > 9 Feb. 2011.
Nicros, Inc., a company which has built over one million square feet of climbing wall surface, was founded in 1992 by Nate Postma, who had a love for rock climbing and a background in chemical engineering.1 Two years later he was joined by Eric J. Hörst, an accomplished climber and a training products design consultant.2 The next year, in 1995, Nate's wife, Pam began managing the financial and human relations departments and serves as vice president of the company.3
1. “About Us.” Nicros. < http://www.nicros.com/about-us > 10 Jun 2011.
On September 18, 2008, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the No Child Left Inside Act, H.R. 3036. The legislation was authored by U.S. Representative John Sarbanes of Maryland and passed with a bipartisan vote of 293 to 109. The NCLI Act was initiated partially because of the consequences of the No Child Left Behind Act, which narrowed the focus of the schools on standardized testing and left children with little or no outdoor or environmental experiences.1
1. “House Approves Legislation to Strengthen Environmental Education for America’s Schools.” Committee on Education and Labor Press Release, September 18 2008 U. S. House of Representatives. < http://www.house.gov/apps/list/speech/edlabor_dem/091808NCLI.html > 4 Aug. 2010.
Tom graduated from Portland State University in 1982 with his Bachelor of Science degree in Finance/Law and Marketing. He was a sales manager for 12 years for Columbia Cascade, which is a recreational facilities and services industry. While at Cascade he helped to develop an above ground, modular wooden play structure and the playground systems, Timberform II and Pipeline.1
1. “Commitment to Play.” People Profile. Today’s Playground. October, 2003.
Bert and Shaun Patrick came to realize in 1984 that their local Nottinghamshire County Council had developed a range of synthetic grass surfaced sport and play systems for their schools. Gaining exclusive rights to sell these patented systems, including ChildsPlay, the Patrick family formed Notts Sport to sell the systems to other local authorities. Headquartered in Leicestershire, England, Notts Sport’s mission was “to introduce ChildsPlay and therefore Children's play to a Global audience in a fun and friendly way.”1
1. “Notts Sport Ltd Information for the Playground Encyclopaedia.” Communication with Playground Professionals. 11 May 2011.
The novelty playground era is the time period in playground history when play spaces departed from the typical basic metal play equipment, concrete pipe designs, and asphalt surfacing of the early 20th century to designs with bright colors and thematic, sculptured play structures. Sometimes known as the “age of fantasy,”1 the novelty era was an attempt to promote dramatic play, encourage imagination, and promote learning for the maturing of post-World War II baby boomers of the 1950s and 1960s.2
1. Frost, Joe L. Play and Playscapes. Albany, NY: Delmar Publishers Inc. 1992. p. 127.
2. Brown, Pei-San, John Sutterby and Candra Thornton. “Dramatic Play in Outdoor Play Environments.” PTO Today.