Nearly all U.S. adults (93 percent) believe it is important to protect natural resources, including fresh air and clean water, through the acquisition and maintenance of local parks, trails and green spaces, according to a newly released report from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).
Furthermore, 88 percent of people agree local parks and recreation provide good opportunities to interact with nature and the outdoors. When visiting a local park, most people seek a secluded, outdoor quiet place or areas that offer scenic views of nature, waterbody access and trails.
The 2019 Engagement with Parks Report, based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18+, also found the public’s affinity toward their local parks and recreation is strong. People visit their local park and recreation facilities twice a month on average and their favorite activities include visiting a local park, playground, dog park or other open space, hiking, biking or walking on a trail, visiting a local recreation center or senior center, and playing sports or a game with family and friends.
Other key highlights from the report include:
- More than 9 in 10 people agree parks and recreation is an important local government service
- 85 percent of U.S. adults consider high-quality parks and recreation amenities important factors when choosing a place to live
“People are passionate for parks because everybody benefits from the offerings these spaces provide,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of professional development, research and technology. “Parks are a solution to many of the issues people face, especially as it relates to their health, and the natural environment. Easy access to park and recreation amenities for all members of the community is essential to the well-being of our cities, towns and counties.”
People also believe strongly in the importance of local recreation and community centers. According to a recent poll conducted by NRPA, the vast majority (91 percent) of U.S. adults agree easy access to these spaces enhances neighborhoods. This includes low-/no-cost fitness and educational opportunities typically offered at these facilities.
The Engagement with Parks Report is an annual research series from NRPA that tracks the general public’s interaction with and support for public parks. The findings provide park and recreation professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders with insights on the importance local parks and recreation facilities play in the lives of all people. The NRPA Research Department publishes the Engagement with Parks Report each fall.
To read NRPA’s Engagement with Parks Report, click here.