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

Feature Story

August 2019


Survey Reveals Top Outdoor Recreation Activities

Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Pediatricians Urge Communities to Provide Swim Lessons for All - August 2019

Report: Tennis Participation Remains Consistent - August 2019

Survey: Only Half of Collegiate Sports Programs Follow NCAA Model for Student Medical Care - August 2019

Fieldhouse Renovated, Expanded at UW-Platteville - July 2019

NRPA, Disney Award Play Space Grants - July 2019

Swim Clinic Teaches Water Safety Basics - July 2019

Nation's Pediatrics: Put More Emphasis on Enjoyment of Sports - July 2019

Diabetes Declines, National DPP Program Helped - July 2019

Washington, D.C., Unseats Minneapolis as Best City Park System - June 2019

Survey: Half of Americans Use the Pool as a 'Communal Bathtub' - June 2019

NFL Foundation Helps to Advance Youth Wellness - June 2019

Youth Sports Participation Holds Steady in 2018 - June 2019

Dog Parks Still on the Rise - May 2019

USA Swimming Grants Will Boost Learn-to-Swim Programs - May 2019

IHRSA: One in Five Americans Belong to at Least One Health Club - May 2019

New Program Aims to Grow Pickleball & Tennis - May 2019

IHRSA Reports on Health Club Compensation - April 2019

Grant Funding Brings Parks Closer to People in 10 Cities - April 2019

Note & Float Program Reaches Lifesaving Milestone - April 2019

Fund Established to Assist Aspiring Women Coaches - April 2019

Applications Open for ESPN RePlay Program - April 2019

NRPA Offers Play Space Grants - March 2019

Smarter Lifeguard Management - March 2019

U.S. Soccer Foundation Aims to Boost Female Participation - March 2019

In Oregon, Outdoor Recreation Saves $1.4 Billion in Healthcare Costs - March 2019

Survey: Communities Should Support Pollinators - February 2019

NSPF, APSP Unite to Form Pool & Hot Tub Alliance - February 2019

Guide Aims to Help Gyms Implement Diabetes Prevention - February 2019

Senior Living Continues Shift Toward Wellness - February 2019

Partnership Aims to Expand Play Opportunities - January 2019

Grant Funds Help Educate Pool Operators - January 2019

NFL Foundation Grants Boost Local Football Fields - January 2019

Leaders Recognized for Advancing Outdoor Recreation - January 2019

Goldfish Swim School Sponsors USA Swimming Foundation - December 2018

Physical Activity for Kids Gets Low Grade - December 2018

New Law Helps Sports Medicine Professionals & Athletes - December 2018

Outdoor Recreation Adds Billions to U.S. Economy - November 2018

Nearly $1 Million in Pool Grants Awarded - November 2018

Report: One in Four Americans Use a Health Club - November 2018

New Active Transportation Program Aims to Boost Health & Environment - November 2018

Foundation Celebrates Sports Innovations - October 2018

Grant Awarded to Chattanooga Nature Play Area - October 2018

Obesity Continues to Challenge America's Health - October 2018

Grant Program Funds Keep America Beautiful Initiatives - October 2018

Nation's Pediatricians Emphasize Power of Play - October 2018

Step Into Swim Continues to Create New Swimmers - September 2018

Pickleball Benefits Older Adults - September 2018

NSPF Endorses MAHC Adoption - September 2018

Cities Spend More on Public Parks in 2018 - September 2018

Be Ready for Back-to-School Sports - August 2018

NRPA, Pool Safely Partner on Water & Recreation Safety - August 2018

States Make Progress Toward Active Transportation - August 2018

IHRSA Briefing Looks at Club Employees vs. Contractors - August 2018

By Chandler Garland

After a long and cold winter, many are excited to get outdoors to enjoy the summer sun—and most turn to their local park and recreation centers for outdoor activities. In fact, according to a recent poll by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA), around 91% of Americans are projected to participate in an outdoor recreation activity hosted by their local park and recreation agency this summer. The survey also captures data on Americans' favorite activities to do at their local parks.

More than half of all Americans surveyed (58%) said that their favorite activity was simply gathering with family and friends at their local park for games, picnics and barbecues. In second and third place were going to the pool (48%) and hiking along local trails (45%).

Other popular activities include: attending community social events (38%), attending performing arts events (32%), camping (30%), playing in team sports or leagues (12%), playing racquet sports (11%), and running/cycling races (10%).

"Park and recreation agencies across the country proudly offer their communities a wide variety of outdoor recreation activities," said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of professional development, research and technology. "These activities provide people of all ages and abilities with opportunities to improve health, enjoy nature or simply have fun with family and friends while enjoying outdoor recreation."

And the best part is that parks and recreation agencies are able to offer all these activities to local communities at little or no cost.

Compared to Americans overall, parents are most likely to gather with friends and family at the park (68% vs. 58%), go to the pool (66% vs. 48%) and go camping (42% vs. 30%). The millennial generation was shown to be particularly active outdoors compared to other generations, with significantly more millennials marking that gathering with family and friends at the park (62%), going to the pool (61%), and walking or hiking along trails (52%) as their favorite outdoor recreational activities.

Nearly every local park and recreation agency provides an outdoor recreation activity, including picnic areas. Some 52% of agencies operate pools, and 78% provide and maintain trails.

This poll is part of NRPA's Park Pulse, a continuing series of monthly surveys that gauge the public's opinion on topics relating to parks and recreation. To explore previous Park Pulse survey results, visit www.nrpa.org/Park-Pulse.