We have always known that local and regional public parks add significant value and benefits to their communities in terms of Conservation, Health & Wellness and Social Equity. Beyond that, local and regional park agencies are also engines of economic activity in their communities.
America’s local and regional public park agencies generated nearly $140 billion in economic activity and supported almost 1 million jobs from their operations and capital spending alone in 2013. When the spending at local and regional parks is combined with that of national and state parks, public parks are responsible for more than $200 billion in annual economic activity. These are the key findings of research conducted by the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University and led by Dr. Terry Clower.
The study, the first nationwide study of its kind, focuses exclusively on the direct, indirect and induced effects local and regional park agencies’ spending have on economic activity. The analysis is based on data compiled from both the U.S. Census Bureau and the NRPA’s PRORAGIS database. Read a more thorough, technical discussion of the study here.
The economic benefits of local and regional public parks span coast-to-coast across the U.S. Learn what the economic contribution local and regional parks make in your state here.
Policymakers and elected officials at all levels of government should take notice. Investments made to local and regional parks not only raise the standard of living in our neighborhoods, towns and cities, but they also spark activity that can ripple throughout the economy. Yet public park funding is at threat.
Perhaps you have questions about NRPA’s The Economic Impact of Local Parks study? Here are a few FAQs.