New Report Provides Look at the State of the Park and Recreation Industry | Athletic Business

New Report Provides Look at the State of the Park and Recreation Industry

SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)

Report features key benchmarking data for park and recreation professionals nationwide

Ashburn, Va. (May 4, 2020) — The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) released a new report giving park and recreation professionals the data they need to be industry leaders, while best serving their communities with the 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review. This report, with its accompanying interactive and customizable online reporting tools, is the most comprehensive resource of park and recreation data and insights in the United States.

The 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review replaces outdated national standards with key metrics that empower park and recreation professionals to compare agencies and identify best practices. Key findings from the 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review show that the typical park and recreation agency:

  • Has 1 park for every 2,281 residents
  • Manages 11 miles of walking, hiking, running and bike trails
  • Has 8.1 staff members per 10,000 residents
  • Has operating expenditures per capita of $81.19
  • Recovers 25.9 percent of operating expenditures through revenue generation

The report also shows the critical role park and recreation professionals play in the lives of youth, with 57 percent of agencies providing afterschool care and 83 percent of agencies offering summer camps. 

The 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review’s key findings come from the data provided by 1,053 park and recreation agencies in NRPA Park Metrics, NRPA’s benchmarking resource that assists park and recreation professionals in the effective management and planning of their operating resources and capital facilities. The report not only provides benchmarks, but also shows the breadth and depth of activities and roles that local park and recreation agencies are performing.

“Now more than ever, we recognize that park and recreation professionals are delivering essential services,” said Kristine Stratton, NRPA president and CEO. “The Agency Performance Review demonstrates park and recreation’s positive contributions to communities across the country and that this indispensable local resource deserves full funding support as we start on our path to recovery.”

The 2020 NRPA Agency Performance Review helps park and recreation professionals evaluate the performance of their agencies and understand how they relate to their peers in terms of staffing, budget, amount of park space and facilities. Combining this data with other resources, such as NRPA’s Economic Impact of Local Parks ReportAmericans’ Broad-Based Support for Local Recreation and Park Services ReportAmericans’ Engagement with Parks Survey and Park Pulse polls, can help agencies receive the support they need to provide tailored services that meet the unique needs of their community.

To view the report, interactive tables, customizable reports and corresponding infographic, visit

To learn more about NRPA, visit

About the National Recreation and Park Association
The National Recreation and Park Association is a national not-for-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all people have access to parks and recreation for health, conservation and social equity. Through its network of 60,000 recreation and park professionals and advocates, NRPA encourages the promotion of healthy and active lifestyles, conservation initiatives and equitable access to parks and public space. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit

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