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Parks economic benefit study released

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Parks and Recreation System in Colorado Springs provides Real Economic Value to the Community

A new report by The Trust for Public Land shows that the parks and recreation system in Colorado Springs generates hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits each year. “The Trust for Public Land has studied the economic benefits of park systems across the country and we found residents of Colorado Springs are highly engaged with their parks and recreation system and derive immense value from these amenities,” says Jennifer Plowden, a senior conservation economist at The Trust for Public Land and one of the report’s authors.

Colorado Springs’s public parks and recreation system includes nearly 14,370 acres of parks and open spaces, over 150 miles of trails, and numerous recreation and cultural facilities. These amenities include places such as the Garden of the Gods Park, Monument Valley Park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space, Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, Meadows Park Community Center, Starsmore Discovery Center and more.

The parks and recreation system provides seven major economic benefits that have measureable values: health, tourism, economic development, property value, stormwater infiltration, clean air, and recreational use. 

Read the full report

Key Highlights:

  • Colorado Springs residents save $56.5 million in medical care costs annually by using the parks and recreation system amenities to exercise
  • This is in addition to the $58.7 million benefit to residents who recreate within the parks and recreation system each year. Popular activities include walking, hiking, using playgrounds, picnicking, exploring nature, running, jogging, bicycling, and playing sports
  • Tourists visit the parks, trails, open spaces, and facilities, and spend $135 million annually in the local economy and generate $6.36 million in local tax revenues
  • People value living in close proximity to parks, trails, and open spaces. In fact, these amenities raise the value of nearby residential properties by $502 million, and increase tax revenues by $2.58 million a year
  • The city’s parks, trails, and open spaces also provide stormwater management services valued at $3.06 million annually
  • It reduces air pollution control costs by $201,000 a year
  • The parks and recreation system plays an important role in bolstering opportunities for economic development by strengthening quality of life and attracting businesses and employees to the city. $32.4 million is spent each year on sports, recreation, and exercise equipment in Colorado Springs, which supports 88 sporting goods stores that generate $178 million in sales and provide 986 jobs.

Download the report highlights 

The report was prepared for the City of Colorado Springs by economists at The Trust for Public Land. Special thanks to our partners Lyda Hill, The Convention and Visitors Bureau and The Downtown Partnership.

About The Trust for Public Land

The Trust for Public Land creates parks and protects land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come.  Millions of people live near a Trust for Public Land park, garden, or natural area, and millions more visit these sites every year.  To support The Trust for Public Land and share why nature matters to you, visit www.tpl.org.