Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

September 2020


NRPA Survey: U.S. Adults Say Parks & Rec Is Essential

A new report from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) shows that a majority of U.S. adults—82%—believe that parks and recreation is essential. The report shows that the public's affinity toward local parks and recreation is strong, with U.S. residents visiting local park and recreation facilities more than twice a month on average.

"The 2020 Engagement With Parks Report," based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, also found that parks and recreation has been a vital respite for people during the COVID-19 pandemic. Three in five U.S. residents—more than 190 million people—visited a park, trail, open space or other recreation facility at least once during the first three months of the pandemic, and more than half of U.S. residents maintained or increased park, trail and open space usage during those same months.

Other key highlights from the report include:

  • 72% of U.S. adults are more likely to vote for local political leaders who make park and recreation funding a priority.
  • 77% of U.S. adults consider having a high-quality park, playground, public open space or recreation center nearby an important factor in deciding where they want to live.

"People value the essential work performed by park and recreation professionals and their agencies," said Kristine Stratton, president and CEO of NRPA. "The COVID-19 pandemic has proven that parks and recreation is fundamental to supporting the physical and mental health of people nationwide. For these reasons, people expect their local political leaders to provide the financial support needed to ensure these indispensable services continue to be available and are expanded to ensure all people have fair and just access to them."

People also believe strongly that equitable access to parks and recreation is vital to communities. According to a recent poll conducted by NRPA, the vast majority (87%) of U.S. adults agree it's important for people to have fair and just access to high-quality park and recreation programs, services and facilities that create healthy, resilient and economically vibrant communities.

The Engagement With Parks Report is an annual research series from NRPA that tracks the general public's interaction with and support for public parks. The findings provide park and recreation professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders with insights on the importance local parks and recreation facilities play in the lives of all people. The NRPA Research Department publishes the Engagement With Parks Report each fall. Visit www.nrpa.org to learn more.


Recent Rec Report Feature Stories

Effective Date for Drain Cover Standard Delayed - September 2020

ACE Urges Governments to Open Parks & Public Spaces for In-Person Fitness - September 2020

CDC Study Examines Successful Overnight Camp Strategies from 2020 - September 2020

Before Pandemic, Fitness Was Hot, SFIA Report Says - August 2020

Data Reveals Racial Disparity in Park Access - August 2020

USA Swimming Waives Swim-a-Thon Fees Through 2021 - August 2020

ACE Urges Congress to Pass COVID-19 Youth Sports & Health Working Families Relief Act - August 2020

Nation's Pediatricians Offer Advice on Return to Youth Sports - August 2020

Congress Fully Funds LWCF With Passage of Great American Outdoors Act - July 2020

AOAP's Aquatics Professional Designation Certified by CMAHC - July 2020

Fitness Participation Up in U.S. - July 2020

KaBOOM! Taskforce Offers Guidance on Playground Reopening - July 2020

Congress Nears Full, Permanent Funding of LWCF - June 2020

More Cities Join Effort to Reimagine Public Spaces - June 2020

CPSC Finds Steady Rise in Fatal Child Drownings - June 2020

NFHS Offers Guidance on Restarting High School Athletics, Activities - June 2020

YMCA, American Camp Association Release Guide to Support Summer Camp Safety - June 2020

NRPA Report Benchmarks Parks & Recreation Agencies - May 2020

CDC Issues Guidance for Aquatic Venues During COVID-19 - May 2020

Fitness Industry Leaders Reach Out to Governors on Safely Reopening - May 2020

Ys Respond to COVID-19 With Food Distribution, Child Care Service - May 2020

NRPA Offers Guidance on Playgrounds During COVID-19 Pandemic - April 2020

$2 Million in Pool Safely Grants Available - April 2020

Health Club Membership Up in 2019, Says IHRSA - April 2020

NRPA Releases Resource for Creating Equity-Based System Master Plans - April 2020

3 Million More Americans Got Active in 2019, Says SFIA - March 2020

TPL Awards 10-Minute Walk Grants - March 2020

Revised VGBA Drain Cover Standard Approved - March 2020

NAYS Offers Free Training on Sudden Cardiac Arrest - March 2020

New CDC Initiative Aims to Boost Activity for Americans - March 2020

NRPA Launches Mentoring in Parks and Rec - February 2020

AOAP Recommends MAHC Adoption - February 2020

ACE Examines Effectiveness of REHIT - February 2020

RTC Shares Progress Toward Completing Great American Rail-Trail - February 2020

18 Cities Earn Grants for Parks - January 2020

USA Swimming Recognizes Top Swimming Clubs - January 2020

Study Finds One-Third of U.S. High Schools Have No Access to Athletic Trainers - January 2020

Philadelphia Kids to Get More Play Options - January 2020

People's Choice Awards Honors Whirligig Park in North Carolina - December 2019

NSF International Adds New Standards for Interactive Water Play - December 2019

ACSM: Wearable Tech, HIIT Are Top Fitness Trends for 2020 - December 2019

TPL Looks to Schoolyards to Improve Park Access - December 2019

Meet Me at the Park Grant Program Reaches More than a Million Kids - November 2019

PHTA Recognizes Achievements in Aquatics - November 2019

Know the Dangers of Unauthorized Entry - November 2019

Survey Says: Americans Love Their Parks - November 2019

NRPA Awards Grants to 10 Communities to Expand Park Access - October 2019

CPSC Awards Pool Safely Grants - October 2019

NCAA Announces AASP Grant Recipients - October 2019

$170.6 Million in LWCF Grants to Support Parks & Outdoor Recreation - October 2019

High School Sports Participation Declines for the First Time in 30 Years - September 2019

TPL Suggests Schoolyards as Park-Access Solution - September 2019

New Study May Change Use of Chlorine Stabilizers in Swimming Pools - September 2019

High School Sports Participation Declines for the First Time in 30 Years - September 2019

City Parks Alliance on Park Funding & Equity - September 2019