Benefits of Recreation

There are numerous community benefits created by parks, recreation and leisure services including:

  • Park and recreation facilities make communities desirable places to live, work, play, and visit, thereby contributing to the ongoing economic vitality of communities throughout our country.

  • Programming provided through park and recreation agencies combats the national obesity epidemic through the development of healthy lifestyles, strong minds, and fit bodies.

  • Park and recreation activities help to deter crime and help our youth develop into contributing members of our communities.

  • Park and recreation experiences help older members of our community continue their life experiences.

  • Parks, greenways, and open spaces are critical components to protecting and preserving our natural environment. 


The articles below share more information about the many health, economic, and environmental benefits that recreation has on communities.


The Benefits of Parks summarizes and justifies why America needs more city parks and open spaces.


Parks Bring Billions to State, Millions to Local Communities is the summary of the California State University research about the monetary impact California Parks have on the local and state budgets.


Economic Benefits of Land Conservation depicts the impact parks and open spaces have on property taxes, farmland preservation, and air/water quality and how these spaces can be protected.


Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space gives examples and statistics from cities around the country of how economically communities benefit from the presence of parks and open space.


Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System overviews the influence parks have on property value, tourism, health, community interaction and environmental issues.


No Place to Play offers a comparative analysis of park access in seven major cities and the impact lack of access have on youth.


Parks, Recreation Promote Health is an editorial about the health benefits of recreation.


The Role Parks and Greenspace in Redevelopment is a case example from Camden, New Jersey that analyzes the benefits/costs of incorporating parks and greenspace into a city's master plan.


Benefits of Parks and Recreation on the City of Columbia, MO web site offers a lengthly summary of how communities can benefit from park, recreation and leisure services including valuable statistics.