About Unplug Illinois

In June 2014, the Illinois Park and Recreation Association embarked on a major initiative to develop a state-wide community awareness campaign to educate communities about the value of parks and recreation. “Unplug Illinois” was born. We are focused on the following objective: To raise visibility and awareness of the environmental sustainability, wellness and economic impact parks and recreation agencies have on the communities they serve.

 

What is it?

Unplug Illinois works locally and statewide, from the smallest park and recreation agency to the largest in Illinois. Unplug Illinois encourages people to ‘plug into’ all the recreational opportunities local park and recreation agencies offer. It communicates how parks deliver value in people’s lives and communities, parks provide healthier, sustainable communities and play delivers benefits to all. In 2013, IPRA conducted fourteen focus groups from across the state in addition to a membership survey to find out what IPRA’s members needed the most. It was clearly evident throughout the state there was a dire need to have a vehicle to communicate the value of parks and recreation to our constituents. We needed something to bridge the proven disconnect between citizens and elected officials about the essentiality of parks and recreation. The end result – a major initiative between the University of Illinois and IPRA to develop a state-wide community awareness campaign to educate communities across the state about the value of parks and recreation.

Plug into the Unplug Illinois campaign to discover how to recruit advocates for parks and recreation and how to customize your messages based on what you do best. The Unplug Illinois Transformation Kit 3.0 provides pre-designed ads you can plug into your program guides – all you have to do is add your agency name in the fill-able areas! This electronic toolkit is a condensed and updated version of the toolkit created in 2016.

We are focused on the following objective: To raise visibility and awareness to the environmental sustainability, wellness and economic impact parks and recreation agencies have on the communities they serve.

“Operations spending by local parks and recreations agencies generated nearly $91 billion in total economic activity in 2015.” (National Recreation and Park Association)