Advancing Parks and Recreation with Census Data

Census data are used in a variety of ways that impact parks and recreation, including helping to determine where new parks are built and how funds for park projects and recreation programs are distributed.

1 minute read

January 24, 2023, 10:00 AM PST

By Clement Lau

Blurred image of people hanging out on green lawn in a park with green trees in background

TippaPatt / Public park

The field of parks and recreation has become increasingly data-driven.  For example, the use of location data from mobile devices to understand park usage and visitorship is one of the latest trends in park planning, as reported in this recent article. While this illustrates how the latest technology has helped to collect data not previously available, there is actually one data source that park planners have relied upon for a long time: the U.S. Census. 

In this blog post by Melissa May of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), she explains the history of the Census and how it impacts parks and recreation. Specifically, Census data are used to help determine where new parks are most needed and how federal, state, and local funding for parks and recreation are allocated. Recognizing the importance of data, the NRPA has set up an online Data and Mapping Resource Library, previously highlighted in this article.

For more information, please read the source article.  

Wednesday, January 18, 2023 in National Recreation and Park Association Open Space Blog

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