The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), the nation’s leading advocate for parks and recreation, is excited to announce that Columbus, Ohio will be the future location for the 2028 NRPA Annual Conference happening Sept. 26-28, 2028.  

“We are looking forward to bringing the NRPA Annual Conference to Columbus in 2028 for the first time ever,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “Columbus has so many unique experiences to offer our attendees and a robust partnership between the city and county that will showcase their park and recreation system. Columbus has been an enthusiastic partner committed to ensuring success for the event, and we are so grateful for their partnership and hard work.” 

Experience Columbus, the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience, anticipates the conference will have a major economic impact on the region while also showcasing the city and county’s expansive parks systems.  

“We are thrilled that the National Recreation and Park Association has selected Columbus for their 2028 Annual Conference,” said Brian Ross, President and CEO of Experience Columbus. “We look forward to welcoming the more than 8,000 attendees, many who will be visiting Columbus for the first time. These visitors will stay in our hotels, experience our parks, trails and outdoor offerings, dine in local restaurants and support our local businesses. We anticipate the conference will bring in $9 million in direct visitor spending. Experience Columbus and Columbus Recreation and Parks will be working together to present an unforgettable 2028 conference.” 

For more than 50 years, the NRPA Annual Conference has been the premier annual meeting of the park and recreation community. The conference brings together more than 8,000 park and recreation professionals, academics, students, advocates and industry suppliers over three days for educational sessions, poster sessions, networking events and the opportunity to preview the latest products and services in the industry.

"We are excited to host the 2028 NRPA Annual Conference here in Columbus,” said Bernita Reese, M.S., CPRP, Director of Columbus Recreation and Parks. “This is a great opportunity to highlight our world-class facilities and for our staff to network with others in the industry, as we stay abreast of current trends so we can continue to provide the best programs and facilities to our residents. We look forward to working with Columbus and Franklin County Metro Parks and other agencies as we share our city with others.”

To learn more about NRPA, visit

To learn more about the NRPA Annual Conference, visit 
To learn more about exhibiting at the NRPA Annual Conference,
About the National Recreation and Park Association 
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit 

About Experience Columbus 
Experience Columbus is the destination marketing organization for the Columbus region, dedicated to growing visitor spending and enhancing the visitor experience. Annually, visitors make 49.6 million trips to Greater Columbus for conventions, trade shows, sporting events and leisure visits, spending $6.6 billion and supporting nearly 75,000 jobs. Columbus is proud to have hosted the 2023 U.S. Conference of Mayors Annual Meeting in June 2023 and PCMA Convening Leaders 2023, which brought together the world's business events professionals in January 2023. For more information, visit  

About Columbus Recreation and Parks Department 
Columbus Recreation and Parks Department improves the quality of life in Columbus by connecting the people of our community through the power of nature, wellness and creativity. The department offers recreational programs designed to meet a wide range of interests. The department also oversees recreational facilities that are open to all, including 415 parks, 32 community centers and specialty facilities, five athletic complexes, six golf courses, 230 miles of regional trails, seven spraygrounds and interactive fountains, eight outdoor pools and an indoor aquatics center, 20 nature preserves, three reservoirs, five dog parks and more. To learn more about all the department offers, visit  


Media Contacts:  
Danielle Doll: | 571-223-2420 
National Recreation and Park Association  

Leah Berger, APR, ECI: | 614-222-6145 
Experience Columbus 

Kerry Francis, APR: | 740-504-5892 
Columbus Recreation and Parks