Photo Courtesy of Centerville-Washington Park District

Ohio Parks and Recreation Association is a non-profit, public interest organization representing over 2,400 professionals, citizen board members, and corporate supporters striving to provide quality park and recreational facilities and opportunities for all Ohioans while protecting and preserving Ohio's natural resources. Ohio has become known as a trend setter in the nation with parks and recreation often singled out for national test markets and pilot programs.

OPRA was initially organized in 1934 as the Ohio Recreation Association, with a separate organization, the Ohio Parks Association, formed in 1942. In 1963 ORA and OPA Incorporated to become OPRA. The Association is directed by a Board, executive director, and administrative staff.


OPRA is dedicated to position parks and recreation, its professionals, and citizen advocates for success through effective networking, professional development, communications, and advocacy.


OPRA will advance parks and recreation services to enhance the quality of life for the communities we represent through:

  • Synergy among our diverse membership
  • Targeted education and training of our professionals and advocate leaders
  • Comprehensive advocacy that creates value to invest in the parks, facilities, programs, and services we provide
  • Governance and leadership by a committed OPRA Board and staff
  • Fiscal accountability

Institutional Values

OPRA must possess ideals that will unite a diverse membership into a common collective. We call these ideals our institutional values. They represent the essence of our organization and these values tie and bind the membership to a preferred future. OPRA must clearly define these values for its membership and persistently advocate for them. They represent our committed voice.

  1. Advocate awareness and education about the positive impact and value of the profession, to build healthy and active individuals, families, and communities.
  1. Communicate Effectively with members and partners about the Association, its mission and strategies, professional trends, and information in a timely and useful manner.
  1. Ensure integrity through collaboration with our members that develops honesty, trust, commitment, and respect.
  1. Foster professional development through research, educational programs, and networking opportunities.
  1. Identify organizational priorities to achieve desired outcomes for our members in a fiscally sound manner.
  1. Provide a proactive and visible Board of Directors that are dedicated to serving the members, managing forward, and being accountable.


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