Good to see you, July, and Happy National Park and Recreation Month!

Sure, things may look and feel a bit different this year, but there’s every reason to celebrate this special month, for we as a country – not just an agency – have officially observed Park and Recreation Month since 1985.

Though the COVID-19 pandemic has delivered more than its share of uncertainty, one thing proves crystal clear: More and more people have taken to the great outdoors for exercise and all aspects of recreational pursuits.

And the Fox Valley Park District’s parks, playgrounds, open spaces and trails are here for you to enjoy.

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) recently released its 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review – the most comprehensive resource for park and recreation data and insights in the U.S.

The FVPD compares very favorably to the average, national metrics.

As we’ve seen getting outside become the “in” thing again, let’s look at the numbers, based on the 233,000 residents we serve, to see how we support our mission to provide safe park and recreation experiences through environmentally and fiscally responsible actions:

Residents Per Park

National average: One park for every 2,281 residents.
FVPD: One park for every 1,533 residents.

Acres of Parkland

National average: 9.9 acres per 1,000 residents.
FVPD: 10.1 acres per 1,000 residents.

Walking and Biking Trails

National average: Management of 11 miles of trails.
FVPD: Management of 48 miles of trails.


National average: 3,750 residents per playground.
FVPD: 2,330 residents per playground.

Labor efficiency

National average:  8.1 full-time employees per 10,000 residents.
FVPD: 4.1 full-time employees per 10,000 residents.

So, as we make our way through National Park and Recreation Month, set aside some time to stroll through your neighborhood park, hop on a stretch of scenic trail, or take the kiddos for a romp on a nearby playground.

The fun has returned.