New Survey: Parks and Recreation Provides Opportunities to Get Active

(February 1, 2021)

Park and recreation professionals ensure access to healthy activities during COVID-19

Four in five U.S. adults report a change in their physical activity in 2020 compared to previous years, with 33 percent reporting their activity levels increased and 46 percent reporting their activity levels decreased, according to a newly released National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) poll. The vast majority of park and recreation professionals and their agencies are providing the public access to venues and amenities during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, including:

  • Trails
  • Parks
  • Tennis Courts
  • Playgrounds
  • Sports Fields

Younger adults and parents are among those who were more likely to have seen an increase in their physical activity, with 50 percent of Gen Zers and 45 percent of parents indicating their activity levels rose. Twenty percent of U.S. adults reported no change to their physical activity levels.

“Park and recreation professionals have gone above and beyond throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure their communities continue to have access to the essential benefits of parks and recreation,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA’s vice president of research, evaluation and technology. “These professionals and their agencies provide the public with vital infrastructure and services that keep their communities physically and mentally healthy, which have been especially important throughout the past year.”

According to NRPA’s 2020 Engagement with Parks Report, three in five U.S. residents visited a park, trail, public open space or other recreation facility at least once during the first three months of the pandemic (mid-March through mid-June 2020). And, a recent NRPA Parks Snapshot survey finds that park and recreation professionals and their agencies continue to make the vast majority of their amenities available to the public. To see a list of the COVID-19 resources NRPA has available for park and recreation professionals, click here.

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 (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