Economics of Parks and Recreation

Livability and community vibrancy attract new development, large employers and their living-wage jobs. Building parks, having greenspaces, trails, and other community assets support those outcomes as well, while also improving livability and health, according to the Trust for Public Lands.

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 Eco-tourism, cultural events, and recreation, are important drivers for the local economy, too. It all increases property values, supports local businesses, expands job opportunities, and boosts local services – everything from education to top tier health care.

The Trust for Public Land’s Center for City Park Excellence has identified seven ways in which cities derive economic benefit from their parks:

  Property value


  Direct use


  Community cohesion

  Clean water

  Clean air

 “Parks and open space outside of cities produce economic benefits as well,” according to The Trust for Public Land. “Parks attract non-resident visitors who put new dollars into local economies. Proximity to parks and open space enhances the value of residential properties and produces increased tax revenues for communities. Open space captures precipitation, reduces storm water management costs, and by protecting underground water sources, open space can reduce the cost of drinking water up to ten-fold. Trees and shrubs reduce air pollution control costs. And of course, there is the value to human communities of protecting the habitats of wild creatures who live near us.”