Billions of Dollars! Communicating the Economic Value of Parks

Park and recreation directors, marketing and communication folks, state association staff and other advocates are invited to join this discussion about communicating the economic value of parks (which is billions of dollars nationwide). Anyone responsible for delivering positive news about the economic impact of parks and recreation or who needs advocacy tool(s) for getting funding and buy-in from the government and other supporters should participate. During this session, park and recreation folks will learn how to stop selling themselves short, learn ways to talk about their work and hear ways to advocate for funding and other benefits. 

Join this discussion on how to communicate the value of parks and recreation in a compelling way that moves needles. Learn how to use communication strategies to protect and grow budgets, how to couch numbers within larger narratives of fun and play, and how impact assessments fit within the narrative of the role of parks and recreation plays in local and regional economic development. Learn ways to describe the hard-number, economic outcomes of the National Economic Impact Study Report as well as the positive economic outcomes of government investment in parks and recreation.

Teaching Objectives: 

  • Learners will gain a basic understanding of the ways in which parks economically benefit communities.
  • Learners will identify how to best communicate “the numbers” in compelling ways that help move the needle and couch content in the “fun” of parks and recreation.  
  • Learners will hear the real-world application of economic impact research data in New York City and other communities. 

Jennifer Clinton (she/her)

Senior Parks and Conservation Economist

Trust for Public Land

Jennifer Clinton is the Senior Parks and Conservation Economist with the Trust for Public Land. In her role, Jennifer manages a portfolio of economic research projects that are used to advocate for land conservation and parks across the United States. Her recent research in New York City focused on the ecosystem services, public health, recreation, and economic development benefits provided by parks in the City.  

Previously, Jennifer was a Community Development Planner with the regional planning agency for Cape Cod, serving as the project manager for their economic development initiatives. She researched and visualized regional economic trends to share with stakeholders, and conducted surveys of hundreds of small business owners to understand the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Jennifer also researched the impacts of climate change and sea level rise on Cape Cod, helping develop decision support tools for local and state leadership.  

Jennifer holds a M.S. in Agricultural & Resource Economics from the University of Connecticut. She is based in Falmouth, MA. 

Terry Clower, PhD (he/him)

Northern Virginia Chair, Professor of Public Policy, Center for Regional Analysis

George Mason University

Terry L. Clower is Northern Virginia Chair and Professor of Public Policy at George Mason University. He is also director of GMU’s Center for Regional Analysis. The Center provides economic and public policy research services to sponsors in the private, non-profit and public sectors. Prior to joining GMU, he was director for the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas. Dr. Clower also has almost ten years of private sector experience in transportation and logistics management. 

Dr. Clower received a B.S. in Marine Transportation from Texas A&M University in 1982, a M.S. in Applied Economics from the University of North Texas in 1992 and a Ph.D. in Information Sciences from the University of North Texas in 1997 specializing in information infrastructure issues and the use of information resources.

Kevin Roth, PhD (he/him)

Vice President of Research, Evaluation and Technology

National Recreation and Park Association

Kevin A. Roth serves as NRPA's Vice President of Research, Evaluation & Technology. Roth leads the research team in its mission to create valuable data and metrics that enhance park and recreation agency performance and make the case for increased and more stable agency funding. He also oversees the team delivering IT and web services to the association. 

Roth has served in research and leadership functions in the nonprofit association space for more than two decades, including overseeing both research and IT at the Association for Financial Professionals for 13 years and conducting survey research at the National Association of Realtors for four years. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Components visible upon registration.