Parks are pretty. They’re relaxing. They’re fun and educational and great places for families and friends to gather. But did you know that parks also play a major role in our economy?
The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) conducted a study on the economic impact of local parks, wherein they learned that in 2013 alone, our country’s local and regional public parks generated nearly $140 billion in economic activity and supported almost 1 million jobs nationwide.
NRPA further broke down their findings to the state level, with local parks in Indiana generating $1.39 billion in economic activity — an economic impact of about $211 per Hoosier — and supporting over 11,000 jobs in 2013. Indiana ranks 26th in the nation in jobs supported by parks.
To drill down even further in the economic impact of parks, we turn to Visit Hendricks County, which commissioned a study that showed in 2014, visitors to Hendricks County generated $58.2 million in tax dollars, which saved local households $637 in taxes.
Visitors to Hendricks County spent a total of $239.3 million in 2014, of which 19 percent — or roughly $45.5 million — was spent on recreation and entertainment. As part of the recreation and entertainment segment, parks play a significant role in bringing millions of dollars into our county, benefitting our citizens.
Is it any wonder, then, that NRPA found so much support for parks among Americans?
Parks play a major role in the economic health of our country, our state, and our county. Make sure your local government and elected officials know how you feel about parks!