The Benefits of Parks & Recreation

We all know the benefits of parks and recreation in our communities, but how do we calculate those benefits and show the results? Below are a few links to resources that provide research study results that demonstrate the benefits.

The Benefits of…

Good Nutrition and Living Active Lifestyles

There is no doubt that active living promotes good health, and good health is beneficial to everyone. As recreation providers we are often the first point of contact in getting people active. Many studies show the cost of unhealthy lifestyles and demonstrate the importance of good nutrition and being active.

Be Active North Carolina:
Great resource to find the latest news on healthy activities, economic cost of being unhealthy, grant opportunities and resources to help you promote being active.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Environmental Health
Provides links to resources on Physical Activity, Respiratory Health, Children’s and Elder’s Health and the Built Environment, Mental Health and more.

Visit our Health & Wellness resource page to find additional links on benefits of being active.

Natural Green Environment & Open Space

The Landscape and Human Health Laboratory

University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign – LHHL
A multidisciplinary research laboratory dedicated to studying the relationships between people and the environments they inhabit. Their researchers provide results of several studies about the benefits of a green (vegetation) environment and the relationship to

  • Crime
  • Poverty
  • Violence
  • Positive effects on children’s self-discipline and ability to study.

Research has also shown that green spaces invite people outdoors to be active, interact with neighbors, as well as relieve symptoms for children with ADD.

The Trust for Public Land website provides links to research results on conservation including the Economic Benefits of Parks, Healthy Parks, Healthy Communities and the Center for City Park Excellence.

Community Open Space Partnership is a Wisconsin based organization designed as a broad-based network for local action on open space issues. Their resource page provides information on Impacts of Green Infrastructure, Urban Forestry, Stormwater, a list decision making tools, green space initiatives and citizen-based efforts.

Additional Resources on the Benefits of Parks and Recreation

National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA): Publications and Research. NRPA hosts the Cybrary, which contains many articles and publications. Must be NRPA member to view or download full content.

Search for additional research on Google Scholar:
Note: Many of the publications are available to view online. Others many require a fee. If you need assistance in locating documents or are interested in further research or results, please contact RRS staff to discuss your search needs.