NRPA – Americans Engagement with Parks Survey


The vast offerings of the local park and recreation agency improve the lives of people throughout our nation. From the fact that Americans on average visit their local park and recreation facilities approximately 29 times a year to the majority of Americans identifying parks and recreation as an important service provided by their local government, the general public is an untapped advocate to spread the public park and recreation story.

This annual study probes Americans’ usage of parks, the key reasons that drive their use and the greatest challenges preventing greater usage. Each year, the study probes the importance of public parks in Americans’ lives, including how parks compare to other services and offerings of local governments. The survey of 1,000 American adults looks at frequency and drivers of parks/recreation facilities visits and the barriers to that prevent greater enjoyment. Survey respondents also indicate the importance of park and recreation plays in their decisions at the voting booth and their level of support for greater funding.

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Key Findings

  • Americans on average visit their local park and recreation facilities approximately 29 times a year, with 3 in 5 saying their most recent visit was within the past month.
  • Three in four Americans agree that the NRPA Three Pillars of Conservation, Health and Wellness, and Social Equity represent what they see as the priorities for their local park and recreation agency.
  • Nine in 10 Americans agree that parks and recreation are important services delivered by their local government.
  • Seven in 10 Americans say they are more likely to vote for local politicians who make park and recreation funding a priority.
  • Three-quarters of Americans support increased local government spending for park and recreation agencies with solid support for a nearly 30 percent increase in funding for local park and recreation agencies.
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