How Parks Improve Our Lives and Communities
A well-designed park is to the eye but the benefits of them are also far-reaching for our communities. Parks work wonders in many ways. Whether it’s encouraging people in the community to be more active or having a safe area for people to walk through in the evenings, parks really help improve the communities they serve.
Their effects even get into the economy, increasing property value, attracting and retaining businesses and residents, along with tourism benefits, for some of the more extensive parks.
Parks also abate pollution, control storm water runoff and some even educate the public on the importance of conservation. Here’s a deeper look into some of the ways in which parks improve our lives and communities.
Health and Well-Being
According to the US Surgeon General, people who engage in regular physical activity benefit from reduced risk of premature death; reduced risk of coronary heart disease, hypertension, colon cancer, and non-insulin-dependent diabetes. Physical activity also helps maintain your muscles, while losing body fat and improving the health of our cardiovascular, respiratory, and endocrine systems.
With obesity rates rising the way they are, the importance of parks is greater than ever. Studies have found that access to parks actually increases frequency of exercise. With exposure to nature and green spaces improving overall physical and psychological health for many communities, we’re proud to be able to support them.
A park’s effect on a community is plentiful. First, the importance of play and physical activity is huge, but it also gives your community a chance to do that while also boosting their social interactions. Recreation opportunities also greatly affect kids, as playing is a large part of their early and late childhood learning.
Green spaces have also been found to boost the strength of social ties within a community. On top of all of the community building effects of a park, it also reduces crime; further strengthening its community. With so many incredible , there are many people looking to boost their communities through parks, recreation, and inspiration.
Prospective residents of a house for sale will have to consider many factors, in order to determine the value they’re willing to pay. According to a study by , John L Crompton found that 20 out of 25 prospective residents were willing to pay more for a house, due to its close proximity to a park.
Another study by illustrates the effect of parks for commercial property value as well. They looked at Bryant Park; a park that was considered very dangerous and a place where many drug deals were taking place. In 1992, a 12-year renovation revitalized the park, becoming the hub for many cultural events. This led to increases between 115 percent and 225 percent, with leasing activity increasing 60 percent over the previous year. Finally, a park near a shopping area can also incentivize people to make the trip to visit both the shops and the park in one go, directly impacted local independent businesses owners who live in the community.
What’s a tree worth to you? To the US Forest Service, one tree generates $31,250 worth of oxygen, $62,000 worth of air pollution control, recycles $37,500 worth of water, and controls $31,250 worth of soil erosion. Additionally, parks end up lightening the load of sewage and storm water runoff, as they are much more effective and exponentially less expensive at storm water management than man-made sewers. Some of the bigger parks – especially state and national parks – have a big effect on conservation. Many may have informative areas on conservation or even host guided tours on the park, with a focus on . Whatever it is, parks only help to boost the health of our planet; something it needs right now.