& Issues: Economics
greenspaces and trails strengthen our local economy:
value of real property is enhanced and
revenues are increased.
cost is less to develop and maintain parks and
open space than residential developments, which can cost
more than they produce in revenue.
creates jobs for our citizens and revenue for local business
city will become a place to be, where retirees
knowledge workers and business leaders want to live.
our watersheds and aquifer will save the
community significant amounts of money otherwise needed
for remediation from contaminated water and flash floods.
and recreation support healthy lifestyles,
better integrated communities, community identity and pride.
Healthy employees are more productive and generally less
are a unique, multi-purpose component of
a community accessing, connecting and enhancing the park
and greenspace experience while providing additional health,
economic, transportation and environmental benefits.
resource: Trust for Public Lands, the economic benefits
of parks and open space which can be dowloaded as a PDF
value of real property is enhanced
value of lots near parks can increase 20%. (Crompton)
design and uses impact property values more than maximizing
the amount of park edge that could potentially affect a
greater number of properties. (Crompton)
uses such as community greens, versus active uses such as
baseball diamonds, yield higher relative property values.
Learn more at Community Open Space Partnership: Community
Open Space Partnership
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space versus residential development
American Farmland Trust conducted research in Hays county
and discovered the following:
lands do not provide enough tax revenues for the county,
schools and special districts to cover the costs of public
services. For every $1.00 in tax revenue, $1.26 is
required to provide services.
county's farms, ranches and open lands generate three times
more in tax revenues than they receive in public services,
similar to the results of commercial and industrial development.
For each dollar in revenue generated they only require about
$ .33 in services. American
and cultural tourism in Texas yields 500,000 jobs, $623
million in local tax revenues and $2 billion in state tax
revenues. One job was supported for every $78,085 spent
on tourism. Nature-based tourism can be defined as responsible
travel to natural areas, which conserves the environment
and improves the welfare of local people.-Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department
private landowners in Texas currently derive substantial
income from wildlife-associated recreation in the form of
hunting and fishing on their private lands. Activities such
as bird watching, photography, backpacking, horseback riding,
mountain biking, wildlife viewing, and canoeing are increasingly
popular as urban residents and visitors strive to connect
with the outdoors. Landowners may cater to these activities
to augment their agricultural based income. Texas
Parks and Wildlife Department
Texas, particularly along the Balcones Escarpment, has the
highest probability of flash flooding in the United States.
Increasing impervious cover through development significantly
increases the severity of flooding. Protecting natural
vegetation and geologic features that soak up or slow down
run-off and preventing development in or near floodplains
can dramatically reduce the impact of remediation on the
local economy as well as save lives. (Caran, B. 1986, UT
of Texas Library
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the quality of instream and ground water can help our community
avoid loss of tourism and expensive treatment and pipelines.
area and open space conservation consistently ranked among
the most important objectives of the Regional Water Quality
Protection Plan for the Barton Springs Segment of the Edwards
Aquifer and its Contributing Zone. Regional
Water Quality Protection Plan
vegetative cover is less likely to produce pollutants and
more likely to filter non-point source pollutants whether
rainwater enters aquifer recharge features or streambeds.
System Analysis, Inc.
place to be
"knowledge workers", and corporate locators like
being in communities with good parks and recreational opportunities.
chose beauty, recreational opportunities and mild climate
as the top three qualities considered in choosing where
to retire (Miller, et al, 1994)
retirees with an income of $40,000 moving into a community
is similar to a new business spending $4 million annually.
They contribute significant capital to the local economy.
increase the tax base while demanding fewer services, particularly
from schools. (Crompton)
offer human resources, which significantly impacts comparable
wage calculations. Seniors have a wealth of experience and
many have time to volunteer for local projects and programs.
on local experience, retirees make important policy contributions.
knowledge workers have more flexibility in where they live
and often choose areas with good outdoor recreational activities.
of life in a community increases the attractiveness of a
job by 33%. American
Planning Association, City Parks Forum
of life for employees was the third most important factor
in locating a business after access to domestic markets
and availability of skilled labor according to an annual
survey of CEOs conducted by Cushman and Wakefield in 1989.
National Park Service National
aspect of quality of life is access to natural settings,
recreational and cultural opportunities, and open space.
National Park Service, National
Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress reports that
a city's quality of life is more important
than purely business-related factors when it comes to attracting
new businesses, particularly in the rapidly growing high-tech
and service industries (Scenic America,1987).
Lifestyle, Healthy Employees
and recreation support healthy lifestyles. Healthy employees
are more productive and less expensive in terms of health
related costs. National Parks Service, National
parks, natural areas and cultural heritage amenities can
support community identity and pride particularly when the
amenities are a regional attraction. This can help
keep residents in their community to spend recreation dollars
and can enhance human resources for community activities.
Parks and Recreation Federation of Ontario, 1992, Parks
and Recreation Ontario
are transportation and recreational amenities to our community.
Many of the reasons to support parks and greenspaces noted
above relate directly to trails which serve to provide access
to and interconnect parks and greenspaces. Trails
can also provide some relief from automobile traffic congestion,
particularly in a university town, by interconnecting trails
with the bicycle, pedestrian and street infrastructure.
An excellent source of information for understanding all
the benefits, of trails is provided at: American