Why do people visit parks?
According to a recent survey by the National Recreation and Parks Association, there are several and they vary in scope by quite a bit.
In other words, there’s more to parks than just sitting on a park bench.
For example, when posed this question: “What are the Key Reasons you go to parks?” here are some answers.
62% – said to be with family and friends
52% – to be physically active and exercise
50% – to be close to nature
36% – to experience adventure and excitement
16% – to learn a skill or craft
8% – to have someone take care of children (programs for kids)
As you can see, hanging out with family and friends is the top activity for park visitors. This certainly points out the need for plenty of outdoor site furnishings for them to sit such as picnic tables or park benches. Not only that, but when those families get together, they like to eat. So be sure they are plenty of park grills available, especially large commercial grills.
What are the Favorite Activities that people do at parks? Here’s a breakdown on how the respondents, about 1,000 of them, answered:
71% – visit the park, playground area, dog park or other open space
46% – going on a trail either walking, biking or hiking
43% – visit the recreation or senior center
33% – play sports with family or friends
31% – swim at the community pool
20% – take a class or lesson
19% – have children who participate in non-school time activity
18% – compete in an organized sports league
There is quite a range of interests that parks provide.
That’s also quite a bit of work for a parks and recreation department to manage – from cutting the grass and maintaining the park to providing crafts classes or swimming.
In a bit of good news, most of those surveyed believe their local parks and recreation department does a good job of providing them with activities to do and a nice place to visit.
Here is the breakdown of those who were asked if their town’s parks department did a good job.
28% – agree completely
29% – agree very much
31% – agree somewhat
7% – disagree somewhat
2% – disagree very much
2% – disagree completely
That’s certainly a great report card.
In addition, 9 out of 10 people surveyed agreed that providing decent parks and community activities is a very important function of local governments.
“People are passionate about parks because everybody benefits from the offerings these parks provide,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of professional development, research and technology. “Easy access to park and recreation amenities for all members of the community is essential to the well-being of our cities, towns and countries.”
There are an estimated 10,000 parks and recreation departments in the United States.
You can see how busy they must be.
It’s certainly nice to see people are involved in their parks…and more importantly, it’s very encouraging to see the public gives their town high marks for providing those services.