Strong Public Support for Parks and Recreation Nationwide

The latest report by the National Recreational and Park Association (NRPA) offers insights into public perception and use of parks, revealing a high level of affinity.

2 minute read

September 23, 2021, 11:00 AM PDT

By clementkhlau

Parks are essential and well-loved by the public, according to the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)'s 2021 Engagement with Parks Report.  Over the past year, 260 million people accessed their local parks or recreation facilities. In a time of uncertainty, parks and recreation revealed its importance, providing opportunities for recreation and respite in parks, trails and other public spaces.

Since 2016, NRPA's research team has conducted an annual survey to better understand how people connect with parks and recreation across the United States. The report provides park and recreation professionals and advocates, policymakers, and other key stakeholders with insights into how local parks and recreation facilities impact the lives of every person in the U.S.

Key findings of the report include: 

  • Over seven in 10 U.S. residents have at least one local park, playground, open space or recreation center within walking distance (half-mile) of their homes.
  • Four in five adults seek high-quality parks and recreation when choosing a place to live.
  • 87 percent of people agree that parks and recreation is an important service provided by their local government.
  • Almost 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.

“Parks and recreation is an essential part of every person’s life,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of research, evaluation and technology. “This report’s findings highlight how it is vital that park and recreation agencies and their professionals have sufficient and sustainable funding so that they can provide a wide array of offerings and services that benefit all community members.”

For more information, please read the report here.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021 in National Recreation and Park Association

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