Research

Investing in Health Through Parks and Recreation

Using nationwide data, two research studies tested the relationship between county-level spending on park and recreation operations and specific health outcomes.

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Parks and Recreation Cultivates Connections Among Youth

Each month, through a poll of 1,000 U.S. residents focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story.

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The 2024 NRPA Agency Performance Review Report

This annual report summarizes key findings from nearly 1,000 unique park and recreation agencies across the United States on topics varying from facilities to staffing, budgets, programming and policies.

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Try New Activities With Parks and Recreation

Each month, through a poll of 1,000 U.S. residents focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. Questions span from the serious to the more lighthearted.

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Engaging With Your Community

Park and recreation agencies host myriad events year-round intended to engage the local community.

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NRPA’s Evaluation Resource Hub

NRPA’s Evaluation Resource Hub is the place for park and recreation professionals to learn how to measure the impact of their services.

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The Summer Seasonal Hiring Report

NRPA's Summer Seasonal Hiring Report explores the 2023 summer seasonal hiring process and identifies some of the hiring challenges agencies nationwide faced.

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Hone Your Green Thumb With Parks and Recreation

Parks and recreation provides the perfect place for community members to garden together.

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Resiliency and Recovery: The Economic Contributions of Local Parks

The Center for Regional Analysis (CRA) at George Mason University and the research team at NRPA analyzed the economic contributions of local parks and recreation spending in the United States.

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Parks and Recreation Elicits Good Feelings

Findings from NRPA's latest Park Pulse poll show that parks and recreation elicits good feelings.

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NRPA Park Metrics: Provide Data and Gain Insights

NRPA Park Metrics is the most comprehensive source of park and recreation agency benchmarks in the United States.

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Ring in the New Year With Parks and Recreation

93% of U.S. adults are prioritizing four top activities in the new year.

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Combating Park Access Inequity

Explore how NRPA's new online tool, combined with reports, provides data from a health and wellness perspective, demonstrating that parks and recreation is essential.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Myriad Winter Activities

Each month, through a poll of 1,000 U.S. residents focused on park and recreation issues, NRPA Park Pulse helps tell the park and recreation story. Questions span from the serious to the more lighthearted.

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Data-Driven Decision Making Strengthens Parks and Recreation

Learn more about NRPA Park Metrics and how to get involved.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Nature-Based Solutions

Check out the latest research that shows significant support for nature-based solutions.

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U.S. Adults Place High Value on Parks and Recreation

Explore this in-depth look at research showing the significance of parks in the daily lives of people living the United States.

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People Want Parks and Recreation Close to Home

Research shows support for the need for parks and recreation close to home.

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Park and Recreation Leaders Advance Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Diversity, equity and inclusion starts with park and recreation leaders focusing on their ability to affect their communities. 

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Parks and Recreation Fosters Belonging

See what the research shows about what community members want from their parks and recreation departments.

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Getting to Know NRPA’s Data and Mapping Resource Library

Familiarize yourself with NRPA's vast Data and Mapping Resource Library.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Opportunities for Older Adults

Take a detailed look at research that shows the importance of parks and recreation programming for older adults.

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Strengthening Parks and Recreation Through Competitive Compensation

Learn the importance of competitive compensation when it comes to recruiting and retaining the best available talent in parks and recreation.

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Parks and Recreation Creates Community Connections

Learn what NRPA's research says about how parks and recreation creates community connections.

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Stronger Partnerships and New Responsibilities Emerge From the Pandemic

The NRPA Research team partnered with researchers to understand the pandemic's legacy on parks and recreation.

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Parks and Recreation Fosters Healthy Living

Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults believe it is important to have access to recreation areas.

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The 2023 NRPA Agency Performance Review Report

The 2023 NRPA Agency Performance Review summarizes key findings of more than 1,000 unique park and recreation agencies across the United States on varying topics.

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Making Important Investments in Safe Play

Survey results that show the importance of making investments in safe and inclusive playgrounds.

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Get to Know Your Neighbors

NRPA Facility Market Reports offer key data and insights about the residents served by your agency's facilities.

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Parks and Recreation Makes Communities Sustainable

Eighty-eight percent of U.S. adults support their local park and recreation agency implementing sustainability initiatives.

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Parks and Recreation Is an Engine of Economic Activity

Insight into the amount of economic activity generated by local park and recreation agencies.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Youth Sports Opportunities for All

Park and recreation agencies are leading providers of sports opportunities for all.

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The Sustainability in Parks and Recreation Report

An explanation of what was found in the NRPA’s most recent survey regarding sustainability.

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Get Active Indoors With Parks and Recreation

A significant portion of U.S. adults look toward indoor activities provided by park and recreation agencies as a way to stay in shape.

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A Framework for Assessing Equitable Health Outcomes of Parks

Five steps can help you to assess the health impacts of parks and their economic impacts.

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Access Affordable Activities With Parks and Recreation

Nearly three in five people are very or extremely interested in these opportunities.

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2022 Park Pulse Poll Highlights

Park Pulse results highlight the wide variety of programming, offerings and amenities that make up parks and recreation.

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Celebrate With Parks and Recreation

Nearly three in four U.S. adults plan to attend a holiday-themed event in their communities this year.

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Agency Performance Review Survey Is Ready for Your Input

From now through the end of January, the NRPA Research team is conducting its annual campaign to encourage you to complete the Agency Performance Survey.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Important Inclusive Programming

Eighty-eight percent of U.S. adults want their local park and recreation agencies to provide adaptive and inclusive recreation programing so persons of all abilities may participate.

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People Agree: Parks and Recreation Is Essential

Nine in 10 U.S. adults agree parks and recreation is an important service provided by their local governments.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Vital Youth Services

Park and recreation professionals provide important offerings for youth when school is not in session.

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The 2022 NRPA Park and Recreation Salary Survey

The 2022 NRPA Park and Recreation Salary Survey report features detailed base salary and bonus data for 10 typical park and recreation agency positions.

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Parks and Recreation Provides Healthy, Local Food Options

More than one in four U.S. adults say it is not easy or they are unsure how to access locally-grown food.

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Delving Further Into the Economic Impact of Local Parks

NRPA's The Economic Impact of Local Parks report emphasizes how parks and recreation drive significant economic activity in communities across the nation.

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Parks and Recreation Is a Funding Priority

More than three in five U.S. adults are likely to vote for a political candidate who makes park and recreation funding a key priority.

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The Economic Impact of Local Parks

Local park and recreation agencies have a positive impact on the lives of millions of people.

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Reduce Stress With Parks and Recreation

Eighty-six percent of U.S. adults believe it is helpful to have access to the outdoors and nature during stressful times.

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Using the Data to Tell Your Park and Recreation Story

Beyond benchmarking, data can paint a broader picture of the field’s impact.

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Parks and Recreation Promotes Inclusive Policies and Practices

Eighty-one percent of U.S. adults want park and recreation agencies to ensure their practices and policies are inclusive.

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