November 28, 2017

Survey Shows 85% of Americans Consider Parks When Choosing New Home

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In their recent Engagement with Parks Survey, the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA), found respondents have a great affinity for parks and park amenities. 85% of those surveyed said they considered proximity to high-quality parks when they select a new place to live. 

In a statement on the NRPA website, the organization reported, "Park and recreation agencies offer a variety of community-based services that improve people’s physical and mental health and provide opportunities for people to gather with family and friends and connect with nature. Furthermore, these agencies provide solutions to many of the ongoing challenges facing communities today — including the preservation of public lands and climate resiliency."

The survey included 1,000 Americans ages and up. Among the findings were:   

  • Americans, on average, visit their local park and recreation facilities almost twice a month. Nearly seven in 10 survey respondents report having visited a local park and/or recreation facility within a month of participating in the survey, including nearly half have done so within the previous seven days. Millennials and parents are more frequent park users.
  • Eighty-five percent of Americans consider high-quality park and recreation amenities as an important factor when they are choosing a new place to live.
  • More than nine in 10 Americans agree that parks and recreation is an important service their local governments deliver.
  • The reasons Americans visit their local park and recreation facilities are as diverse as they are: a place to be with family and friends, to be more physically active, to be closer to nature, to access quality, affordable child care and to learn a new skill or craft. 
  • What keeps people from greater enjoyment of their local park and recreation facilities is a lack of time, concerns about safety at and walking to/from the park, and a lack of awareness of park locations/offerings.
  • Four in five Americans agree that NRPA’s Three Pillars — Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity — represent what they see as the priorities for their local park and recreation agency.
  • Ninety-five percent of Americans agree that it is important that their local government acts to protect the natural environment, including acquiring, constructing and maintaining local parks, trails and green spaces.
  • Eighty-seven percent of Americans support their local government and park and recreation agency in investing in critical infrastructure that would make their regions more resilient and would improve their community’s ability to withstand or recover quickly from natural disasters. 

“The public’s overwhelming support for parks and recreation is a testament to the impact our agencies are making on a local and national level,” said Barbara Tulipane, CAE, NRPA President and CEO. “Their work is increasingly important — especially in communities that are facing hardships because of natural disasters, climate change and other significant challenges.”

The Americans’ Engagement with Parks Survey is an annual research series from NRPA that tracks the general public’s interaction with and support for public parks. The survey results provide park and recreation professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders with insights on the importance local parks and recreation facilities play in lives of all Americans.