We can all name a positive feeling we get when we are outdoors in a park or watching our child’s first dance class at the local rec center. The mental and physical benefits of parks and recreation are a little easier to define. Concerts…Baseball Games…Festivals…Tournaments…these are just a few ways that park and recreation departments add to the economic benefits of a community. The impact of these events, along with the value of having a community center or park near a neighborhood can shape a community’s economic standing. In 2013, Florida’s local and regional public park agencies generated nearly $7.5 billion in economic activity and supported over 60,000 jobs in the state. [NRPA-The Economic Impact of Local Parks]
The Economic Impact Pillar of the Strategic Plan hopes to leverage the economic impact of park and recreation agencies to ultimately improve funding sources that allow departments to serve their community in the highest capacity. By partnering with local, regional and statewide economic development organizations we would like to to develop a partnership for a statewide economic impact study. FRPA will, in turn, be able to provide learning opportunities to educate and influence internal and external audiences about the economic impact of parks. This will build a network of informed people to help promote the message of how important parks and recreation offerings are to a community's economic climate. FRPA also hopes to provide agencies with the resources to help adopt best practices and sustainable and expanded funding models that recognize economic impact.