Preservation of Public Lands a Top Priority for Americans, Survey Finds

(February 7, 2017)


NRPA pushes for permanent authorization of Land and Water Conservation Fund

Ashburn, Va. (February 7, 2017) — A recent poll conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), a network of more than 52,000 park and recreation professionals and advocates, reaffirms the fact that Americans are passionate about the preservation of public lands, such as local, state and national parks, making the permanent authorization of the Land and Water Conservation Fund an even bigger priority for lawmakers and the new administration. 

The majority (82 percent) of Americans ages 18+ polled say it’s important to preserve public lands, including parks, recreation areas, forests, conservation areas, wildlife refuges, etc. This includes 62 percent of Americans who say it is either "very" or "extremely" important to protect open space. Support for the protection of open space crosses people of all ages with Millennials (67 percent) being the most passionate. A majority of Baby Boomers (56 percent) and Gen X’ers (61 percent) share this passion, as well. Very few Americans (seven percent) don’t see the preservation of public land as being important.

“Preservation of our public lands is one of the most pressing issues of our time,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA President and CEO. “Making sure parks and open space are protected for future generations is our goal; however, the support of local, state and federal government is essential.” 

The typical park and recreation agency manages at least 368 acres of open space. More than 32 percent of that space is undeveloped. NRPA encourages lawmakers to support permanent authorization of the LWCF, as it will help ensure access to parks and open space for generations to come.

The LWCF State Assistance Program has provided more than 40,000 grants to states and localities in support of close-to-home conservation and outdoor recreation.  These grants have ensured the permanent protection of 3 million acres of public recreation lands across every state and territory of the nation. To learn more about LWCF and the State Assistance Program, visit  

For more information about NRPA’s advocacy efforts on behalf of the LWCF, visit  

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 advancing park, recreation and conservation efforts that enhance quality of life for all people. Through its network of more than 52,000 recreation and park professionals and citizens, 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