The Benefits of Farmers Markets and Parks

Recorded On: 06/19/2019

Over the past decade, there has been steady growth across the farmers market industry nationwide with new market locations popping up in communities of all shapes and sizes. Local park and recreation agencies are one of the venues that have seen this growth firsthand. To gain a better understanding of the role local agencies play in regards to farmers markets and promoting access to healthy and local produce, NRPA recently conducted a survey of the field. Join NRPA’s Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology as he shares key findings from the survey, including where challenges continue to exist for local agencies. Allison Colman, Director of Health, and Maureen Acquino, Program Manager, will also share national trends within local agriculture, including consumer demands, and the benefits of farmers markets being hosted in parks. Examples of successful models that have been documented across the field will also be shared. 

Allison Colman

Director of Health, National Recreation and Park Association

Allison Colman is the Director of Health for the National Recreation and Park Association on the Health and Wellness team.  Allison joined NRPA in 2015 and oversees the out-of-school time portfolio, including NRPA’s Commit to Health campaign and efforts to reduce childhood hunger through the USDA Child Nutrition programs. Allison also manages NRPA Parks for Inclusion initiative. Prior to joining NRPA, Allison worked in the recreation field facilitating health and wellness programs across all populations.  Combined with her work in other non-profits and organizations, Allison has extensive experience in public health and wellness program management and preventative health initiatives.   

Maureen Acquino

Program Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

Maureen Acquino 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. 

Melissa May

Senior Research Manager, National Recreation and Park Association

Melissa came to the NRPA research team in 2015 with a background in environmental planning, GIS, and flood plain analysis. At NRPA, Melissa helps with producing surveys and reports, as well as, creating interactive graphics that accompany all studies and poll results, including the annual Field Report, NRPA Park Pulse, and the Americans' Engagement with Parks Survey.


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