June 2021 - 20

ADVOCACY

Funding local parks
provides a strong return
on investment in the
physical, environmental
and economic health of
communities.

Making the Grade: Supporting the
Growth of Local Parks and Recreation
By Emily Feenstra

I

n March, the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) released
its 2021 Report Card for America's Infrastructure (tinyurl.com/49sbxfzu),
which examines the conditions, needs and opportunities for improvement for 17 categories of infrastructure in the United States. ASCE
has released this report every four years since 2001 to provide actionable
information and recommendations to lawmakers and industry stakeholders on how best to address the nation's infrastructure challenges.
The 2021 report comes at a
unique moment for infrastructure in
the United States. With the worst of
the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic behind us and the pace of
vaccinations ramping up, the Biden
administration and congressional
leadership are shifting their focus to
long-term economic recovery. President Biden has indicated that he
wants to go big by rolling out plans
for a multi-trillion-dollar package
aimed at getting millions of Amer-

20	 Parks & Recreation

| J U N E 2 02 1 | PA R K S A N D R E C R E AT I O N .O R G

icans back to work while addressing
our massive infrastructure backlog.

The Power of Parks
When properly leveraged, local
parks serve as an invaluable community good. They offer opportunities for community members of
all ages to recreate, enjoy green
space and engage socially. Many
park and recreation departments
also provide other resources, like
nutrition services, childcare, men-

toring and continued education.
Local parks also provide significant economic benefits. In 2017,
local park and recreation agencies
generated $166.4 billion in economic activity while supporting
more than 1.1 million jobs across
the United States. Funding local
parks provides a strong return on
investment in the physical, environmental and economic health of
communities.

ASCE's Grade
ASCE's assessment of national,
state and local parks in 2021 was
a D+. The reason for this grade is
simple: park and recreation departments are doing fantastic work, but
they need sustained, reliable funding to do more.


http://www.tinyurl.com/49sbxfzu

June 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of June 2021

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https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com