Parks + Economy

Parks Make a Difference

What can public parks do for your local economy?

  1. Parks provide jobs for residents, boosting local employment rates.
  2. Businesses located near parks see a boost in traffic.
  3. Residential properties located close to parks see increased values.
  4. Parks create a draw for the community, stimulating tourism, attracting new residents, and encouraging new businesses to set up in the community.
  5. Green infrastructure makes communities more resilient to natural disasters, reducing recovery and insurance costs.
  6. Parks make us happy – thus improving our wellbeing and reducing our impact on health programs.


  • An Oregon State University study found that Oregon residents’ engagement in one of 30 outdoor recreation activities in 2018 resulted in $735 million to $1.416 billion in cost of illness savings accrued to health insurers, providers and participants.
  • Park and recreation agencies’ protection of land, water, trees, open spaces and wildlife improves air and water quality in communities. Through effective land management methods and green infrastructure investments, parks and recreation makes communities more resilient to natural disasters, reducing disaster recovery and insurance costs.
  • Economic research has demonstrated consistently that homes and properties located near parklands have higher values than those located farther away. Higher home values not only benefit the owners of these properties, but also add to the tax base of local governments.
  • More than 80 percent of corporate executives responding to a 2019 Area Development survey rated quality-of-life features as an important factor when choosing a location for a headquarters, factory or other company facility.
  • Many local park and recreation agency amenities spur tourism to their respective locales, generating significant economic activity, including (but not limited to) increased sales at local restaurants/bars and hotels. An August 2017 NRPA Park Pulse poll found that people seek out park and recreation amenities, such as beaches, parks, trails and secluded and relaxing places, when choosing a vacation destination.

- NRPA, The Economic Impact of Parks