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Promoting Parks and Recreation’s Role in Economic Development

This study builds on previous NRPA research on the economic importance of local park and recreation agencies by exploring the role that quality park amenities play in 21st century regional economic development.

by National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA)


NRPA Parks and Recreation in Economic Development


Parks and recreation supports environmental stewardship and promotes health and wellness in communities across the United States. Less appreciated are these agencies’ many contributions to economic prosperity. Park and recreation agencies employ hundreds of thousands of people while their operations and capital spending generate significant economic activity. Moreover, local parks shape perceptions of and enhance the quality of life in communities.

This study builds on previous NRPA research on the economic importance of local park and recreation agencies by exploring the role that quality park amenities play in 21st century regional economic development. It reviews the impact that a community’s quality of life has on its ability to attract and retain business and a talented workforce. This report also identifies opportunities where local parks officials can better engage with their communities’ economic development entities.

Published May 2018

About the Author


National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of public parks, recreation and conservation.

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