Feature Article - June 2021
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Trends in Parks & Recreation

A Look at Trends in Parks & Recreation

Park Facilities

Although more than half of park respondents reported that the number of people using their facilities fell in 2020, they were less likely to report such a decrease than non-park respondents. In addition, they were nearly twice as likely to report an increase in the number of people using their facilities. Some 56.5% of park respondents reported a decrease in usage in 2020, compared with 63.5% of non-park respondents. Another 29.4% of park respondents actually reported an increase in usage, compared with just 15.5% of non-park respondents.

Looking forward, park respondents expect usage of their facilities to begin picking up again in 2021, before taking off in 2022. In 2021, more than half (52.4%) of park respondents said they expect usage of their facilities to increase, while 32.3% expect no change and 17.8% expect a decrease. And in 2022, more than two-thirds (67.5%) of park respondents are expecting an increase, while 27.7% expect no change and just 4.8% expect a decrease. (See Figure 46.)

While the number of park respondents who reported plans for construction fell in 2021, they were still far more likely than non-park respondents to indicate that they had such plans. Some 71.8% of park respondents said they were planning construction, down from 80.8% in early 2020. This compares with just 59.7% of non-park respondents who said they have construction plans in 2021. Park respondents were most likely to be planning renovations at their facilities (55.2%), while 32.9% were planning new construction, and 32.9% were planning to make additions to their existing facilities. (See Figure 47.)