Feature Article - June 2017
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Parks & Recreation

A Look at Trends in Parks & Recreation


Park Facilities

The number of parks respondents who reported or expect increasing numbers of people at their facilities holds fairly steady from 2014 through 2018. In last year's report, 60.7 percent of parks respondents said the number of people using their facilities had increased from 2014 to 2015. This year, 61.4 percent of parks respondents reported an increase in usage from 2015 to 2016. At the same time, around one-third of respondents said the number of people using their facilities had stayed the same in 2015 (34.1 percent) and 2016 (33.7 percent). (See Figure 45.)


Looking forward, the percentage of parks respondents who expect to see further increases to the number of people using their facilities holds relatively steady, with 60.9 percent projecting an increase in 2017, and 59.3 percent projecting an increase in 2018. At the same time, the number of parks respondents expecting to see usage decrease falls from 5 percent who reported a decrease in 2016 to 2.2 percent expecting a decrease in 2017 and 1.3 percent expecting a decrease in 2018.

The number of parks respondents who have plans for construction has been gradually increasing over the past several years. In 2013, slightly less than two-thirds (65.5 percent) of parks respondents said they were planning construction. In 2017, more than three-quarters (75.9 percent) said they have such plans. Some 35.7 percent said they are planning new construction (up from 33.3 percent in 2016), while 34.9 percent are planning additions and 55.9 percent are planning renovations. (See Figure 46.)