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

Feature Story

February 2021


Outdoor Participation Up Significantly, Says Topline Data From Outdoor Foundation

The Outdoor Foundation, the philanthropic arm of the Outdoor Industry Association, released topline data frm its forthcoming Outdoor Participation Report, supporting what has been reported anecdotally for the past year: Americans found respite and solace from pandemic restrictions by increasing their time outdoors, participating in activities such as trail running, hiking, camping, fishing and biking.

These topline findings, as well as the full report, which will be available in early summer 2021, include much-anticipated insights about how and how much Americans engaged in outdoor activities throughout 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A few notable highlights include:

  • Camping participation grew 28%, with 7.9 million additional participants in 2020.
  • 8.1 million more Americans hiked in 2020 vs. 2019, as the participation rate grew 16.3%.
  • Freshwater fishing added 3.4 million participants in 2020, a gain of 8.6%.

Encouragingly, the data also indicate an overall decline in reported inactivity for most age groups and income levels, as well as a continued significant uptick in total outdoor participation to 52.9%, up from 50.5% in 2018 and 50.7% in 2019.

"These topline figures and the forthcoming full report build in more than 10 years of tracking outdoor participation trends and help the Foundation understand both motivations and barriers to outdoor participation," said Outdoor Foundation Managing Director Stephanie Maez. "In particular, we use the data from this annual study to identify barriers that keep Americans from going outside and to break down those barriers through supporting strategic community-based 'Thrive Outside' programs.

"The 2.2% jump in total participation over the past year is the largest annual increase we've seen since we began tracking the numbers, and it translates to many millions of additional participants who discovered the outdoors in 2020. Given the unique and unprecedented events of 2020, members of OIA are already asking what they can do to ensure the above numbers aren't merely a short-term blip and to sustain the increase over time."

"OIA and its member companies track trends and gaps in outdoor recreation and use this data to drive positive growth in the outdoor recreation economy and help get all Americans thriving outside," added OIA Executive Director Lise Aangeenbrug. "We do that through a two-pronged approach that includes the Foundation's community-based initiatives and our recreation and conservation policy work."

A one-time special report will be released in March answering four timely questions:

  • Who are the new outdoor participants who discovered the outdoors for the first time during the pandemic?
  • What barriers that previously prevented them from going outdoors came down in 2020?
  • How likely are they to continue participating in the outdoors after the pandemic?
  • What can the outdoor industry do to retain the new participants?

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USA Swimming, U.S. Masters Swimming Partner to Support Learn-to-Swim - January 2021

Online Training Tops 2021 Fitness Trends, Says ACSM - January 2021

New Appropriations Act Boosts City Park Funding - January 2021

Trust for Public Land Ranks Boise No. 1 for Dog Parks - December 2020

USA Swimming Recognizes Top-Performing Clubs - December 2020

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ACA Grant Program Aims to Promote Access and Inclusion at Camp - December 2020

2020 Voters Approve $3.7 Billion for Parks & Public Lands - November 2020

Study Highlights Parks & Rec's Role in Youth Sports - November 2020

Grants Available for Swim Lesson Providers - November 2020

Sports Medicine Experts to Address COVID-19 and Athlete Care - November 2020

Study Shows Americans Miss the Gym - November 2020

City Parks Alliance Launches Park Funding Hub - October 2020

Pool Safely's New PSA Focuses on Child Drowning Prevention - October 2020

U.S. Reps File Health & Fitness Recovery Act - October 2020

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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

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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