U.S. Adults Say Parks and Recreation Is a Necessary and Important Service

Ashburn, VA (September 13, 2022)

Findings published in the 2022 NRPA Engagement With Parks Report

Almost all U.S.adults (90 percent) agree that parks and recreation is an important service provided by their local government, according to a newly released report from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). Survey respondents placed nearly the same level of importance on parks and recreation as they did on virtually every other major service delivered by their local governments, like fire protection, roads/transportation, water/utilities, police protection and more.

The 2022 Engagement With Parks Report, based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, shows the public’s affinity toward their local parks and recreation is strong, with 275 million U.S. residents having visited a local park or recreation facility at least once during the past year. Results from the survey show that equitable access to high-quality park and recreation opportunities is a vital factor in a superior quality of life for all.

Nearly nine in 10 people agree that it is important to fund local park and recreation agencies to ensure every member of the community has equitable access to amenities, infrastructure and programming.

Key Findings:

  • Nearly 3 in 4 U.S. residents have at least one local park, playground, open space or recreation center within walking distance of their homes.
  • Eighty-four percent of U.S. adults seek high-quality parks and recreation when choosing a place to live.
  • Hispanic residents (88%) are most likely to cite having walkable access to a park or recreation facility.
  • Families and individuals visit their local parks and recreation facilities an average of 22 times a year.

“The results of this year’s report demonstrates that people place a high value on the programs and services that park and recreation agencies deliver to their local communities every day,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of research, evaluation and technology. “The public’s strong and broad-based support for parks and recreation solidifies the case made to local political leaders, stakeholders and the media for greater and more sustainable funding for this essential function.”

The Engagement With Parks Report is an annual research series from NRPA that tracks the general public’s interaction with and support for public parks. The findings provide park and recreation professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders with insights on the importance local parks and recreation facilities play in the lives of all people. The NRPA Research Department publishes the Engagement With Parks Report each fall.

To read NRPA’s Engagement With Parks Report, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit nrpa.org.



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 nrpa.org. For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit parksandrecreation.org.