About

Image courtesy of Environmental Learning for Kids

Our History

World War I had a galvanizing effect on many American communities. As the United States answered its Allies' call for support by sending thousands of young men into military service, those left at home banded together to support the war effort. War Camp Community Services (WCCS), Inc. was established in 1919 to provide funds for recreation and other services for the "homefront."

By the end of World War I, the WCCS fund contained nearly $1.5 million. This money was invested in an endowment portfolio that grew to approximately $40 million, giving way to the early beginnings of the National Recreation Foundation. Today, the National Recreation Foundation operates as a non-profit public foundation dedicated to working with organizations to increase access to recreational opportunities and to use recreation as a tool for improving mental, physical, and social health.

Image courtesy of New York Harbor Parks

Board of Trustees

The National Recreation Foundation Board of Trustees has historically represented diverse geographic areas of the U.S. in order to engage with the different facets of American life. Nonetheless, Board members have always shared three common bonds: a love of recreation, a deep respect for its value in all our lives, and the belief that high quality recreation programs are vital in fostering social stability and healthy lifestyles in our communities. 

The National Recreation Foundation accepts no unsolicited grant proposals.
Grants are only generated by its Trustees.