Patrons of local parks and recreational centers may not be aware that according to the National Recreation and Park Association (NPRA) that on a regular basis, seven in ten Americans visit local parks and recreational facilities. Something else that’s not generally mentioned is the various ways and the impact that our parks and recreational facilities have on our country, states, and local communities.
For example, studies conducted in 2015 and 2018 by the NPRA and Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University determined that in 2015 alone, America’s local public parks and recreation agencies generated more than $154 billion dollars in economic activity. In addition, the operation and capital spending of local parks and recreation agencies helped to support in excess of 1.1 million jobs, which represents a sizable stimulus to our national economy.
Aside from the wide selection of activities and programs that connect families and communities, parks and recreation agencies like the Fox Valley Park District (FVPD) contribute so much more.
FVPD patrons can see the ongoing improvements being made to our parks and facilities, for example, like the recently completed renovation and expansion of the Prisco Fitness Center. Ongoing improvements demonstrate the FVPD’s commitment to the NPRA’s Three Pillars of conservation, health and wellness and social equity.
A closer look reveals what may not be obvious to the casual observer. For instance, how capital spending by local parks and recreation agencies benefit Illinois. An analysis in 2015 of the economic impact that parks had on our state reveals $10,622,175 in economic activity, $4,212,668 in associated labor income and 83,637 jobs.
It’s clear that the benefits are enormous, and the results suggest that direct, indirect and other inducements continue to have a positive effect. A recent survey bears that out, showing other critical benefits beyond the health and wellness component that result from spending by local parks and recreation agencies.
Things like economic development, visitor spending, conservation and resiliency, and property values are among the additional economic benefits that are generated by local parks, recreation agencies, and patrons.
Our great parks and recreation centers continue to serve as the linchpin that connects communities, states, and the nation, by adding value across the board.