Press Release
For Immediate Release
Contact: Heather Weishaar, Outreach Director, 708-588-2282

IPRA/IPRF Announce $25,000 Grants and Partnership with National Fitness Campaign to Improve Quality of Life Across Illinois

CHICAGO, IL (Feb 19th, 2020) – Today, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association (IPRA) and the Illinois Park and Recreation Foundation (IPRF) announce that $25,000 grants are now available to ten Illinois park and recreation agencies (with at least one IPRA member) in 2020 to support joining the National Fitness Campaign (NFC) and expanding the campaign across Illinois.

NFC delivers a comprehensive fitness and wellness ecosystem built around their highly acclaimed Fitness Court®. This award winning initiative is now supporting more than one hundred cities across America including cities like Forest Park, Hoffman Estates, and Lincoln in Illinois. 

Fitness Courts® are becoming one of America’s most valuable park resources because they bring people outdoors to engage in functional fitness on the world’s best outdoor gym, featuring an exciting series of seven minute workouts. Community members enjoy the benefits of digital coaching on the free Fitness Court app, which delivers fresh content to keep fitness training fun for adults of all ages and fitness levels. NFC trains local agency staff as part of the campaign, these experts can build engagement and usage. 

This state-wide grant program includes exclusive funding opportunities for IPRA members to join and launch the Fitness Court and NFC initiative, continuing education regarding implementation of healthy infrastructure and pedestrian oriented planning principles, and a comprehensive suite of tools, fitness classes and programs designed to build a wellness culture in communities across Illinois. Grant funding represents an important share of the funding required to adopt and launch the program, with cities and local sponsors providing remaining funds together to build NFC partnerships across the state.

Forty remote program briefing slots have been made available between February 25th and March 6th on a first come, first serve basis to IPRA members interested in qualifying for funding. Briefings must be attended by the Executive Director of a park and recreation agency with at least one IPRA member to qualify. Members can request a briefing by contacting Heather Weishaar, Outreach Director [email protected] at IPRA. Grant Applications are due on April 15th at 5pm PST, and awards will be announced May 1st.


Established in 1944, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association’s mission is to provide and promote exceptional standards of education, networking, and resources for all professionals in the Illinois park, recreation, and conservation communities. For more information about IPRA, its board and mission, please visit the IPRA website:

National Fitness Campaign (NFC) is a social enterprise – founded in San Francisco, California in 1979 – that offers grant funding, project management and master planning services to cities, schools and sponsors to promote healthy infrastructure. The Fitness Court ® is a trademarked system created by founder, Mitch Menaged, that was designed to be the world’s best outdoor gym. NFC’s mission is to design healthy infrastructure for cities to improve the quality of life for people. Learn more about NFC at