Americans Support Increased Local Funding for Parks and Recreation

Tue, 10/04/2016 - 5:12pm
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6 months ago
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Findings published in NRPA’s annual Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey Report

 According to a new report issued by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), a network of more than 52,000 park and recreation advocates, Americans’ support for local parks and recreation is strong. The report highlights NRPA’s 2016 Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey that found the majority of Americans agree parks and recreation are important services delivered by local government — offering that funding for local parks and recreation agencies should be increased.     

Public parks and recreation centers offer a wide range of community-based services that include opportunities for people of all ages to be physically active, connect with nature, and gather with family and friends. To better understand Americans’ use of local park and recreation facilities and their willingness to fund these resources, NRPA issued a survey to 1,000 Americans ages 18+. The survey found that:   

  • Americans on average visit their local park and recreation facilities approximately 29 times a year with millennials and parents frequenting parks the most 
  • Nine in 10 Americans agree that parks and recreation are important services delivered by their local government
  • Three in four Americans agree that NRPA’s three pillars of Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity represent what they see as priorities for their local park and recreation agency
  • Seven in 10 Americans say they are more likely to vote for local politicians who make park and recreation funding a priority
  • Three-quarters of Americans support increased local government spending for park and recreation agencies with solid support for a nearly 30 percent local government funding increase for parks and recreation

“This new report confirms the fact that Americans value the services offered by their local park and recreation agencies,” said Barbara Tulipane, NRPA President and CEO. “I encourage our members and advocates to use these results as a way to push for additional funding and resources in the communities they serve – doing so will make a positive impact on the lives of many supportive citizens.”

Americans’ support for public parks and recreation is well established. A report released earlier this year found that Americans almost unanimously agree that their communities benefit from their local public parks, even if they themselves are not regular park users. The report also showed that support for local parks is widespread, spanning different age groups, income strata, household types and political affiliations.

The Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey is a new annual research series from NRPA that tracks the general public’s interaction with and support for public parks. The survey results provide park and recreation professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders with insights on the importance local parks and recreation facilities play in lives of all Americans. The NRPA Research Department will release new results from the Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey each fall.

To read NRPA’s Americans’ Engagement with Parks report, click here.     


To learn more about NRPA, visit  


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