The Economic Impact of Parks: What About Tomorrow?


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Parks and recreation agencies drives economic activity in their communities. Now more than ever, it is critical to understand how the work of park and recreation professionals and their agencies drive business activity in every city, town and county in the U.S. This presentation will present the latest estimate of the economic impact of park and recreation spending. In addition, the researchers will provide an early analysis of the pandemic-driven recession’s impact on park and recreation budgets and how to use this information to make the case for budget stability during these uncertain times. 


NRPA Education online learning content is accessible for 180 days from the date of your registration. The learning content is available for registration for one year from the date of origination.

Kevin Roth, PhD

Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology, National Recreation and Park Association

Kevin A. Roth is NRPA's Vice President of Professional Development, Research and Technology. Kevin 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. Kevin also guides the development of innovative in-person and online educational offerings for professionals that advance parks and recreation in their communities. He also oversees the team delivering IT and web services to the association.

Kevin 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. Kevin has a Ph.D. in Economics from George Washington University and a BA in Economics from St. Mary’s College of Maryland.

Terry Clower, PhD

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 spent 10 years employed in private industry in logistics and transportation management positions.

Dr. Ana M. Alvarez

Deputy General Manager, East Bay Regional Park District

Ana M. Alvarez serves as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer at the East Bay Regional Park District, the largest local park agency in the United States with 25 million visitors per year in the San Francisco Bay Area. She leads cross-disciplinary efforts in planning for a new generation of parklands, strategic organizational adaptation and climate resiliency.  Ana contributes to the local, state and national conversations on the role of parks today in addressing complex issues. Her professional accomplishments epitomize proactive and meaningful civic engagement, community building based on public’s trust and sustainability planning based on science, which she believes are paramount for the vibrancy of healthy communities. 

William V. Zimmermann

Interim Commissioner, City of New Rochelle Parks & Recreation Department

William V. Zimmermann is the Interim Commissioner at City of New Rochelle Parks & Recreation Department.

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