Recreational agreements are becoming a popular strategy that community and school partners can use to increase access to opportunities for physical activity.
Wisconsin’s state laws help to remove the barrier of liability from schools, making it easier to open up school spaces for community use. At the same time, public health advocates would like to partner with schools to help expand the use of school spaces so that surrounding community members can become more physically active.
Because many stakeholders can benefit from a robust use of school spaces for physical activity, three organizations have partnered to help school districts better understand the purpose and structure of “recreational agreements” that school districts can use in connection with authorizing community use of school grounds for recreational activities. The Wisconsin Association of School Boards, Public Health Law Center and Transform Wisconsin collaboratively developed two sample recreational agreement/facility use forms, a reference checklist, and a fact sheet that provides a general explanation of the liability protection provided by recreational agreements. Using these materials will allow schools to consider taking advantage of the liability protection offered by state law, and provide ways for community members to work with schools in order to truly increase shared use of schools spaces. Recreational agreements have great potential to become a triple win for schools, community organizations, and community members themselves.