Promoting LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Parks and Recreation

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True to the very philosophy of public parks and recreation is the idea that all people—no matter their gender identity or sexual orientation—have access to quality programs, facilities, places and spaces that make their lives and communities great. Those who identify as LGBTQ+ have historically lacked access to physical and social activity opportunities, contributing to health disparities including higher rates of chronic disease, mental health challenges and substance misuse. Park and recreation agencies are uniquely positioned to meet the needs of LGBTQ+ community members, addressing many of these disparities, by ensuring spaces, places and programs are inclusive and welcoming to all. 

Allison Colman (she/her)

Director of Health

National Recreation and Park Association

Allison Colman is Director of Health at the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). For over a decade, Ms. Colman has led the development and implementation of evidence-based public health initiatives and built cross-sector collaborations to advance innovative, community-driven, systems-change strategies that improve community health and well-being. Her work lies at the intersection of public health, social justice, and social change, with the goal of ensuring that all people have the opportunity to truly thrive.

Becky Herz (she/her)

Recreation Coordinator

Cosumnes Community Services Department, Elk Grove, CA

Becky Herz has been involved in recreation management for over 24 years. Her article “Gender Spectrum Inclusion for Recreation Professionals” was featured in Park and Recreation Magazine in October 2018.  Becky has also been published in Aquatics International and on National Public Radio.  She has presented on inclusion at the California Park and Recreation Society Conference, the America Score’s Soccer Summit, and a variety of local and on-line trainings.  She was the keynote speaker at the 2019 CPRS Recreation Therapy Institute.  Becky currently serves as a Commissioner for Sacramento County Regional Parks, and works as a Recreation Coordinator for Cosumnes CSD in Elk Grove, CA.

Maureen Neumann (she/her)

Senior Program Manager

National Recreation and Park Association

Maureen Neumann is a Program Manager for the National Recreation and Park Association. As a part of the Health and Wellness team, she focuses on healthy out-of-school time programming and inclusive practices in parks and recreation. 


Promoting LGBTQ+ Inclusion in Parks and Recreation
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