Recreation Management - Ideas and Solutions for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

March 2018


More Than 330 Million Recreation Visits Recorded in 2017 for National Park System

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Study Shows Economic Benefits of the Great Outdoors - March 2018

Parks for Inclusion Initiative Aims to Expand Reach to All Americans - February 2018

SHAPE America, NFL & Partners Collaborate on Training for Health & P.E. Educators - February 2018

CPSC Offers $1.1 Million in Pool Safely Grants - February 2018

Bipartisan PHIT Act Could Boost America's Wellness - February 2018

China Plant Shutdowns May Affect Pool Operations & Budgets - January 2018

Arlington County 'Pulls Together' to Remove Invasive Plants - January 2018

Youth Sports Participation Increases for Underserved Kids - January 2018

Study: Physical Activity Boosts Learning Time - January 2018

Preventing Germs in Gyms: What Works? - December 2017

Study: Laws Reduce Recurrent Concussions - December 2017

Grants Awarded for Urban Water & Wildlife Habitat Restoration - December 2017

APSP University Launches New Certification Course - November 2017

New Series Aims to Empower Students With Healthy Habits - November 2017

US Club Soccer Puts Focus on Player Safety - November 2017

New Initiative Aims to Ensure All Have Access to Parks & Rec - November 2017

L.A. Parks Earn Mostly Positive Report Card - October 2017

Health Club Memberships Up, Led by Youth & Older Adults - October 2017

Dallas Park Recognized With ASLA Award - October 2017

Adult Obesity Rates Leveling Off - October 2017

Improving Kids' Wellness—In the Classroom - October 2017

Brooklyn Waterfront Greenway Development Continues - September 2017

Louisville Splash 'n' Dash 5K Raises $35,000+ for Norton Children's Hospital - September 2017

Philadelphia Eagles Go Green - September 2017

High School Sports Participation Up, Nearing 8 Million - September 2017

Inside South Side High School's Redevelopment - August 2017

New Health Research Conducted at Special Olympics - August 2017

Protect Players From Heat - August 2017

Tackling the Active Play Deficit - August 2017

Botanical Garden Partners With Businesses on Health - July 2017

Survey Examines Parents' View of Play - July 2017

Kids Swim Free in Tucson This Summer - July 2017

Building Communities to Encourage Physical Activity - June 2017

California Campus Converts Courts to Golf Practice Space - June 2017

Where Are the Nation's Top City Park Systems? - June 2017

KaBOOM! Brings Play to Military Kids - May 2017

USA Basketball Open Court Sessions Get Youths Into the Game - May 2017

Educators Push Legislators to Support Health & Physical Education Programs - May 2017

NFHS Revises Rules for Competitive Spirit Squads - May 2017

Pool & Spa Professionals Fight Immigration Restrictions - April 2017

Grants Available to Boost Dog Parks - April 2017

New Aquatic Management Program Aims to Improve Safety, Efficiency - April 2017

16 Cities Nationwide to Receive Park Improvement Funding - April 2017

Study Confirms: People Pee in Pools - March 2017

Volunteers Get Hands-On History Experience in Virginia - March 2017

Park Hop Inspires Park Usage - March 2017

National Health Campaign Reaches 228,000 Youth in Three Years - March 2017

The National Park Service announced that there were 330,882,751 recreation visits in 2017—almost identical to the record-setting 330,971,689 recreation visits in 2016. While numbers were steady, visitors actually spent more time in parks during their 2017 visits compared with 2016.

Increased attendance at parks, 1.5 billion visits in the past five years, also means aging park facilities are incurring further wear and tear. President Trump has proposed legislation to establish a Public Lands Infrastructure Fund that would help address the $11.6 billion maintenance backlog in the National Park System. The fund would take new revenue from federal energy leasing and development and provide up to $18 billion to help pay for repairs and improvements in national parks, national wildlife refuges and Bureau of Indian Education funded schools.

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke said the parks are "being loved to death." He added, "As visitor rates continue at a high level, we must prioritize much-needed deferred maintenance, including aging facilities, roads and other critical infrastructure."

National Park System 2017 visitation highlights include:

  • More than 1.44 billion recreation hours in 2017, an increase of 19 million hours over 2016.
  • Most—385 of 417 parks in the National Park System—count park visitors.
  • 61 of the 385 reporting parks set new visitation records (about 16 percent of reporting parks).
  • 42 parks broke a record they set in 2016.
  • Three parks had more than 10 million recreation visits: Blue Ridge Parkway, Golden Gate National Recreation Area, and Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
  • 10 parks had more than 5 million recreation visits.
  • 81 parks had more than 1 million recreation visits—one more million-visitor park than 2016.
  • Half of national park visitation occurred in 27 parks.
  • The total solar eclipse in August 2017 brought visitors in record numbers to several parks.

The top 10 National Park System properties and their deferred maintenance requirements include:

  • Blue Ridge Parkway: 16,093,765 visits / $186,619,608 deferred maintenance
  • Golden Gate National Recreation Area: 14,981,897 visits / $325,814,011 deferred maintenance
  • Great Smoky Mountains National Park: 11.388,893 visits / $64,049,392 deferred maintenance
  • Gateway National Recreation Area: 9,190,610 visits / $788,419,471 deferred maintenance
  • Lincoln Memorial: 7,956,117 visits / $33,868,238 deferred maintenance
  • Lake Mead National Recreation Area: 7,882,339 visits / $205,540,564 deferred maintenance
  • George Washington Memorial Parkway: 7,562,793 visits / $233,441,316 deferred maintenance
  • Natchez Trace Parkway: 6,326,062 visits / $10,656,651 deferred maintenance
  • Grand Canyon National Park: 6,254,238 visits / $329,437,056 deferred maintenance
  • Vietnam Veterans Memorial: 5,072,589 visits / $625,250 deferred maintenance

The top 10 most visited National Parks include: Great Smoky Mountains National Park; Grand Canyon National Park; Zion National Park; Rocky Mountain National Park; Yosemite National Park; Yellowstone National Park; Acadia National Park; Olympic National Park; Grand Teton National Park; and Glacier National Park.


Busch Systems - Conserve Your Landscape With Our Recycling & Waste Containers
Commercial Recreation Specialists - It's all here.
Eaton - Ephesus All Field
Connect-a-Dock - Floating Dock Kayak Launch
Zeager - Bonded WoodCarpet(R) Systems  - Safe & Beautiful - Accessible & Natural
No Fault - Safe Play Starts with Safe Surfaces
Belson Outdoors - Your Outdoor Superstore
National Recreation Systems - Trusted Manufacturer of Quality Aluminum Bleachers, Benches and Picnic tables for over 25 years