Americans Show Strong Support for Local Environmental Sustainability, Survey Finds

(April 10, 2017)

Local government agencies urged to prioritize sustainable practices in communities everywhere

Ashburn, Va. (April 10, 2017) — Environmental sustainability and the protection of the earth’s natural resources, including open space, is a growing priority for communities large and small. A recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) found that most Americans want their local government, including park and recreation agencies, schools, public works and community development departments, to prioritize sustainable practices, such as, water quality monitoring, green space assessment, environmentally friendly buildings and lawn upkeep.        

The overwhelming majority (83 percent) of Americans ages 18+ polled say it’s important that local government prioritizes environmental initiatives. This is particularly true of Millennials who say it’s either “extremely important” or “very important.” Both non-parents (79 percent) and families with children (89 percent) feel strongly about local government prioritizing environmental initiatives.            

“Given the current political climate, it’s essential that local government agencies take a leading role in promoting the importance of environmental sustainability,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA president and CEO. “By prioritizing sustainable practices at the local level, we are helping protect the environment and preserve access to open space, which is important, especially for future generations.”

NRPA, a strong proponent of conservation, is collaborating with park and recreation agencies nationwide to implement sustainable practices in underserved, low-income communities. The organization’s Great Urban Parks Campaign aims to improve environmental and social outcomes in underserved communities through green infrastructure projects in local parks. This video demonstrates how green infrastructure improves communities and promotes environmental sustainability.   

NRPA is also committed to connecting people, especially children, to the benefits of nature and the outdoors. May 17–19, 2017, park and recreation leaders from across the country will gather in Austin, Texas, for NRPA’s Innovation Lab titled Connecting Communities to Nature. This event will focus on innovative strategies that create meaningful connections to the outdoors for youth within urban communities. Additional information about the event is available here.     

This poll is part of NRPA’s Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public’s opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit  

To view the interactive charts with the survey results, click here.

To view the full-size infographic, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit


About The National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all Americans have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of nearly 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit