Park Association Releases Economic Impacts Study

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.

In CoCrown Hill OS Park with dog walkerslorado only, local and regional parks generated $4.6 billion in operations and capital spending, representing 36,247 jobs statewide.

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


About the author /

Michelle Poolet

PLAN Jeffco Board Member. Michelle Poolet is a relative new-comer to PLAN Jeffco, but not to the world of volunteer work. She has been on the Board of PLAN Jeffco since 2008, and in that time has worked hard to ensure the success of various PJ conferences and events. She is part of the PLAN Jeffco web content subcommittee, and liaisons between the PLAN Jeffco Board and the Open Space Advisory Committee. Her “day job” is as President and Chief Enterprise Architect of Mount Vernon Data Systems, a BBB A+ accredited database consulting company. Michelle lives on Lookout Mountain, in unincorporated JeffCo, with her best pal, TessaRose the collie, with whom she enjoys daily trekking in the forests.

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