People For Parks Oregon

PEOPLE FOR PARKS

Benefits Of Parks And Recreation

People for Parks is continuing to research and further develop plans that address the livability aspects that is the basis for our competitiveness and economic growth in East Multnomah County. We invite you to tell us how parks and recreation benefits your life. Please e-mail rkminden@comcast.net with any suggestions, facts, or links that might support this effort. A strong parks and recreation system provides innumerable benefits to the local community. To better understand the value of parks and recreation, we've listed the types of key benefits below:
• Economic
• Crime Prevention
• Health
• Social
• Environmental

"Parks and Recreation opportunities are the fabric of our community. They provide the opportunity for social interaction and the enjoyment of life."

~ Melissa Slotemaker, Parks and Recreation Planner - Fairview

"Livability is an important consideration to businesses when choosing where to locate. Places with a reputation for providing amenities and a high quality of life attract businesses and have healthier economies.”

~ Cindy Hagen, Economic Development Planner

ECONOMIC BENEFITS

Raises property value: An analysis of approximately 30 studies found a positive impact of 20% on residential and commercial property values. Raises Revenue: The incremental net fiscal revenue to the Texas state government from local parks activity is approximately $171.6 million per year, or almost 7 times the level of funding proposed by a recent Task Force. Raises economic development: Parks are increasingly important to attracting certain types of desirable corporate locations, particularly those involving high numbers of knowledge workers. Business activity and tourism: Local parks generate substantial business activity through their operations and maintenance, capital investments, and tourism. These gains are quantified in many study. Above information retrieved November 14, 2008 from TPL and TPR Foundation.

CRIME PREVENTION BENEFITS

Either prevention or detention you choose! Figures from cities which implemented various P&R programs: Cincinnati, Ohio - 31% decrease in crime Kansas City, Missouri - 25% decrease in the rate of juvenile apprehensions Fort Worth, Texas - 28% decrease in crime. Above information taken from: Crompton, John L. & Witt, Peter A. (1996) Recreation Programs that Work for At-Risk Youth. Venture Publishing Inc; State College, Pennsylvania

Parks and Recreation Programs Reduce Juvenile Crime and Delinquency Research shows that juvenile crime triples between 3:00pm and 6:00pm. Numerous studies have shown that after school programs can significantly reduce juvenile crime and reduce the victimization of children by other juveniles. Source: Fight Crime, Invest in Kids.

In Multnomah County, Oregon, it costs $72,000 to incarcerate a juvenile for one year ($215.00 a day.) It costs taxpayers about $85.00 per youth for one year to participate and enjoy numerous recreation programs and classes such as: Eight weeks of after school soccer or basketball.
Eighteen classes of ballet, tap, or jazz dance.
Thirty-six pre-school or kinder-gym classes.
Six weeks of drama, art, or rock climbing classes.
Thirty-five nights of Friday Night Basketball.
Sixteen mad science classes.

INDIVIDUAL AND FAMILY BENEFITS

Teens are three times less likely to skip class or use drugs, and are less likely to drink alcohol, smoke, and engage in sexual activity. Parents are more able to balance work and family life, and are less likely to have to miss work. Students improve standardized test scores by almost 50%. Students are half as likely to drop out of high school, and are one and a half times more likely to continue to higher education. Above information retrieved July 4, 2004 from the After School Alliance

HEALTH BENEFITS

Parks and recreation programs provide fun, convenient, and affordable opportunities for people of all ages and abilities to engage in needed physical activity. Such opportunities help prevent obesity, heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other related diseases. Such programs also reduce personal and public spending on obesity-related diseases.

COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL BENEFITS

Park and recreation programs enhance community spirit and pride Recreating together builds strong families, the foundation for a stronger society. Recreation promotes ethnic and cultural harmony. "You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation" – Plato Eighty-eight percent of parents believe that participating in outdoor activities strengthens family relationships according to an REI national survey of parents with children ages four to 14. Parents ranked camping as the number one "great outdoor family experience" (33%), followed by hiking (14.5%), bicycling (13.3%), and fishing (12.8%).
Sports Edge Newswire, May 29, 2002
Community programs reduce alienation, loneliness, and anti-social behaviors Recreation programs build leadership and enhance self-esteem of youth; especially youth from disadvantaged backgrounds Above information retrieved on December, 2008 from the Manitowoc

ENVIRONMENTAL BENEFITS

Trees and forest found in parks improve air quality and lower urban heating. Green spaces help protect bio-diversity - which contributes to the health of all species Green areas have the potential to mitigate the adverse effects of suburbanization in a sustainable way Green spaces reduce the rate and volume of storm water runoff - reducing the incidence and severity of flooding and erosion Parks and open spaces help protect water quality through deterring the development of watersheds