July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18

RESEARCH
The Economic Impact of Local Parks
By Kevin Roth
T
hrough the tireless efforts of hundreds of thousands of full-time,
part-time and seasonal workers - and supported by countless volunteers
and advocates - local park and recreation agencies have
a positive impact on the lives of millions of people. Park and recreation
facilities, amenities and programming are diverse; they range from
no- or low-cost fitness opportunities and access to nutritious meals at out-ofschool
programs for youth, to providing our cities, towns and counties with
cleaner air and water thanks to preserved open spaces.
Parks and recreation also is an
engine of economic activity locally,
statewide and across the nation. The
latest edition of the NRPA Economic
Impact of Local Parks report (nrpa.org/
EconomicImpact), finds local park
and recreation agencies' operations
and capital spending generated
nearly $218 billion in economic activity
and supported 1.3 million jobs
across the United States in 2019. This
is the fourth of a series of analyses
conducted by Dr. Terry Clower of
the Center for Regional Analysis at
George Mason University.
According to the U.S. Census
Bureau, local park and recreation
agencies employed more than
385,000
full-time and part-time
employees in 2019. That translates
to almost $49 billion of operations
spending by the nation's local
park and recreation agencies. This
spending - combined with capital
expenditures - ripples through the
national, regional and local economies
as park and recreation employees
spend their paychecks, park
and recreation agency vendors hire
workers, and both agencies and
their vendors purchase products
and services to serve their clients.
The new report also features economic
impact estimates for all 50
18 Parks & Recreation | JULY 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
states and the District of Columbia.
For example, California's local park
and recreation agencies' operations
and capital spending generated
more than $23.6 billion of economic
activity and supported more than
126,700 jobs.
These estimates are even more
potent because they are conservative
and do not reflect other ways
that parks and recreation promotes
economic activity and prosperity.
Beyond the impact of local park and
recreation agency spending, other
critical economic impact contributions
from public parks include:
* Conservation and resiliency
* Health and wellness
* Property values
* Visitor spending
Park and recreation agency
spending generates
three
significant
effects:
* Direct effects reflect the spending
by local park and recreation
agencies and include wages and
benefits to agency employees and
spending on equipment, utilities,
goods and services.
* Indirect effects capture the spending
associated with local park and
recreation agencies' vendors.
* Induced effects track the impact
of consumer spending (from wages)
by park and recreation agency
employees and employees working
for agencies' vendors.
Even more exciting is that early
indications suggest that park and
recreation contributions to the economy
held stout in the face of the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Preliminary analysis finds local park
and recreation agency operations
and capital expenditures generated
$225 billion in economic activity
during 2020. While this estimate is
subject to revision after more data
come in, the implications are clear.
Not only are parks leading the way
in terms of health and wellness, equity,
and conservation, but also they
drive significant economic activity.
By committing to greater and more
sustainable park and recreation funding
models, localities can support a
virtuous cycle of a robust economic
environment that can benefit every
community member.
The past few years have highlighted
the need for park and recreation
professionals and their advocates
to educate policymakers, key
stakeholders and the general public
on the broad impact of their work.
When combined with the ability to
deliver healthier and happier communities,
parks
and recreation's
powerful economic impact highlights
how your agency's offerings
are critical infrastructure that transforms
our cities, towns and counties
into vibrant and prosperous
communities for all.
Kevin Roth is NRPA's Vice President of
Research, Evaluation and Technology
(kroth@nrpa.org).
http://www.nrpa.org/economicimpact http://www.nrpa.org/economicimpact

July 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of July 2022 - Parks & Recreation

July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
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July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
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July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
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July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
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July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
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July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
July 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com