SOURCE: National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)
NRPA urges communities everywhere to make park and recreation funding a priority
Ashburn, Va. (Aug. 27, 2020) — A large majority (87%) of U.S. adults say it’s important for people to have fair and just access to high-quality park and recreation programs, services and facilities that create healthy, resilient and economically vibrant communities, according to a newly released National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) poll. These essential services provided by local park and recreation professionals and their agencies include (but are not limited to):
- Parks and Greenspaces
- Recreation Facilities
- Youth Sports and Programs
Ensuring fair and just access to these types of services and amenities is of upmost importance to a large group of people nationwide, according to the recent poll. Two-thirds (67%) of U.S. adults say fair and just access to high-quality park and recreation programs, services and facilities is extremely or very important. This is especially true among older adults and parents. Seventy-three percent of Gen Xers and 69 percent of baby boomers say access to these vital services is extremely or very important, along with 72 percent of all parents. Nearly two-thirds (65%) of millennials agree with this sentiment, as well.
“Across the country, our nation’s park and recreation professionals work hard to ensure everyone has fair and just access to the lifesaving benefits of parks and recreation,” said Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of NRPA. “Parks are essential for community health and well-being. NRPA calls upon communities everywhere to make park and recreation funding a priority, especially in areas where access to high-quality parks (and other essential park and recreation services and amenities) is hindered because of a lack of necessary resources.”
Eighty-three percent of U.S. adults agree that visiting their local parks, trails and public open spaces is essential for their mental health and physical well-being during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a recent NRPA Park Pulse poll. In addition, local park and recreation agencies generated $166 billion in economic activity and supported more than 1.1 million jobs in 2017, according to NRPA’s 2020 Economic Impact Study. NRPA is committed to helping its members ensure fair and just access to high-quality parks and recreation, and is proud to offer resources, such as the Community Engagement Resource Guide: Creating Equitable Access to High-Performing Parks to assist park and recreation professionals and their agencies with this important work. Additional information about NRPA’s equity work is available here.