Parks in the United States have a substantial positive impact on their communities, at least in part because they encourage people to get outside and enjoy physical activity. Attractive parks have increased aerobic exercise among communities, thus promoting wellness and better mental health. Other studies have also linked the presence of parks with fewer feelings of anger and fear.
Beyond improving community health, parks benefit the local economy; businesses near parks experience more traffic since parks attract people. Properties around parks also see an increase in value, leading to a rise in property taxes collected for the community. This is all fed back into the area and benefits the region’s overall growth and success.
Moreover, parks benefit the environment by reducing air pollution, a concern of paramount importance for many large cities, and mitigating climate change via the presence of trees. Trees also provide shade to reduce the likelihood of heat-related illnesses and the urban heat island effect, while parks’ unpaved ground aids in stormwater collection and management.
Joseph “Joe” Petry, Ph.D., a proven strategist and analyst, serves as a business advisory and finance consultant. A passionate outdoorsman, Joseph Petry formerly served on the Illinois Association of Park Districts Board of Trustees and, for a dozen years, the Champaign Park District Board of Commissioners. He worked in higher education and loved teaching.