The National Recreation and Park Association unveiled a study showing that local and regional public park agencies generated nearly $140 billion in economic activity and supported almost 1 million jobs in 2013.
Colorado was second in the nation in spending on a per capita basis with $878 per person, compared to Illinois in first place with $1,007 per resident and Utah, with $706 per resident in third place.
The Economic Impact of Local Parks study is largely based on estimates of spending by local and regional park agencies on annual operations and capital expenditures. It does not include visitor spending or any estimates of improvement in health and wellness or property values.
Researchers derived spending estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2013 Annual Survey of Public employment and payroll. Capital spending data was based on the ratio of capital spending to operational spending as shown by the NRPA database for 1,169 local and regional park agencies.
The National Recreation and Park Association, based in Ashburn, Va., commissioned the study from the Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University.
The study is available at nrpa.org