MISS! Pennsylvania among stingiest states in spending on parks and rec

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MISS! Pennsylvania among stingiest states in spending on parks and rec

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This is NOT how we want to be known! We are in the bottom 10 of per resident spending on the parks and recreation amenities that make Pennsylvania a beautiful place to live. All while being in the TOP FIVE in terms of the money each of us spend to do that activities.

That’s some serious disconnect!

Pennsylvania among stingiest states in spending on parks and rec: study


Pennsylvania spends about $1.1 billion annually on its parks and recreation areas, but that is just $83 per resident, the 10th lowest rate of spending among the states, according to an analysis by researchers at Cliq, a seller of camping chairs.

Average state spending across the country is $139 per resident, and the top five spending states are North Dakota, $425 per resident; Colorado, $270; Minnesota, $248; Illinois, $240; and Nevada, $233.

The Cliq researchers analyzed data on state and local government finances from the U.S. Census Bureau and data on the outdoor recreation economy from the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis.

They noted that Pennsylvania produces 1.6% of its annual GDP from outdoor recreation and sees 2.2% of total state employment in that sector. The national average for all the states is 2.1% of GDP and 2.5% of total state employment.

According to Cliq, recent data from the Outdoor Industry Association showed a 2.4 percentage point jump in total outdoor participation among Americans from 2019 to 2020. Outdoor activities of all types became an enticing alternative for people looking to get away from home while keeping their risk of spreading or contracting the coronavirus relatively low.

The OIA data specifically estimated that 2020 saw 8.1 million more hikers, 7.9 million new campers, and 3.4 million additional freshwater anglers taking advantage of the great outdoors during the pandemic.

Cliq noted that these factors may help parks fare better when it comes to government funding than they did after the Great Recession. Following the last recession, state and local revenues were decimated nationwide, and parks and recreation became a target for budgetary cutbacks in many jurisdictions. During this time, total state and local spending on parks fell from an all-time peak of $48.5 billion in 2009 to $39.9 billion in 2013 (in inflation-adjusted 2018 dollars). Spending has resumed an upward trajectory since, but still has not returned to pre-recession heights, after adjusting for inflation.

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MISS! Pennsylvania among stingiest states in spending on parks and rec