Parks and Recreation Is a Part of Everyone’s Lives, Every Day

Ashburn, VA (October 4, 2023)

Findings published in the 2023 NRPA Engagement With Parks Report

More than 280 million people in the United States visited a local park or recreation facility at least once during the past year according to the newly released 2023 Engagement With Parks Report from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA).

The 2023 Engagement With Parks Report, based on a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, shows the public’s affinity toward their local parks and recreation is strong, with many residents seeking high-quality parks and recreation when choosing a place to live and continue to be places for rest, relaxation, celebration and fellowship. Local recreation, community and senior centers offer residents a place to exercise, learn and commune; they also provide children with out-of-school opportunities, giving parents peace of mind that their children are cared for while they fulfill work and life obligations.

Key Findings:

  • Seven in 10 residents have at least one local park, playground, open space or recreation center within walking distance of their homes.
  • Eighty-four percent of U.S. adults seek high-quality parks and recreation when choosing a place to live.
  • Visitors who find their parks and recreational facilities to be inclusive visit nearly two times as often than do those who do not hold this view.
  • Eighty-eight percent of U.S. adults agree it is vital for their local park and recreation agencies to engage with every member of their communities to ensure offerings meet their needs.

“The results of this year’s report demonstrate that parks and recreation should be accessible, inclusive, high quality and nearby,” said Kevin Roth, NRPA vice president of research, evaluation and technology. “The public’s strong and broad-based support for parks and recreation solidifies the case made to local elected officials, stakeholders and the media for greater and more sustainable funding for this essential function.”

The 2023 Engagement With Parks Report is an annual research series from NRPA that tracks the general public’s interaction with and support for public parks. The findings provide park and recreation professionals, policymakers and other key stakeholders with insights on the importance local parks and recreation facilities play in the lives of all people. The NRPA Research Department publishes the Engagement With Parks Report each fall.

To read NRPA’s Engagement With Parks Report, click here.

To learn more about NRPA, visit


About the National Recreation and Park Association

The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) is the leading not-for-profit organization dedicated to building strong, vibrant and resilient communities through the power of parks and recreation. With more than 60,000 members, NRPA advances this mission by investing in and championing the work of park and recreation professionals and advocates — the catalysts for positive change in service of equity, climate-readiness, and overall health and well-being. For more information, visit For digital access to NRPA’s flagship publication, Parks & Recreation, visit