Trails contribute more than $8.2 billion to Washington state's economy, according to companion studies released by the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office.
According to a press release from the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, trails contribute more than $8.2 billion to Washington state’s economy.
"One study, Economic, Environmental, & Social Benefits of Recreational Trails in Washington State, estimates that trail-based activities improve health and reduce medical costs by more than $390 million a year for Washington residents. In addition, trails support 81,000 jobs annually.
“We know that trails provide a lot of benefits. People are healthier when they use trails, trails are good for local businesses and trails are better for the environment,” said Kaleen Cottingham, director of the state Recreation and Conservation Office. “It just makes sense that state and local leaders should invest in this valuable commodity. Not only will people benefit, but so will the state overall.”
A companion report, Health Benefits of Contact with Nature, looks at the health benefits associated with trails and other outdoor activities. It notes an abundance of benefits from hiking, biking and walking such as improved heart and lung fitness, fewer cardiovascular risk factors, fewer deaths and less coronary heart disease, cancer risk and obesity. It also notes that outdoor exercise, such as on trails, can improve mood, restore attention and decrease anger, depression and stress."
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The purpose of this report is to describe the economic, quality of life, public health, and other benefits that Mariposa County and its residents are likely to enjoy from the Merced River Trail based on research and experiences of communities with similar projects.
All over America, hospitals and regional healthcare systems are beginning to tap into the enormous potential of trails to address local health problems. Trails are now recognized as being vital pieces of public health infrastructure.
The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) recently began studying the ways in which bicycling, for transportation and in combination with transit, can reduce automobile use and lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The first of these focused studies concentrated on the Metro Orange Line and parallel bicycle path. This Bicycle Rail Trip Analysis and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Study looks more broadly at bicycle trips to and from Metro Rail. The purpose of this study is to establish the benefits of providing an integrated transportation system where bicyclists are accommodated at train stations and on trains.
This report summarizes some of the most prominent research related to nature and public health to help urban natural resource professionals, urban planners, architects, educators, health professionals, and community groups effectively communicate the health benefits of urban nature to their constituents.