Park District Recognized Nationally for Regional Impact
Cleveland Metroparks generates an annual economic impact of $873 million for the region’s economy according to a new study released today by The Trust for Public Land (TPL). The study analyzed the benefits park reservations, trails and the zoo offer the communities to show how investments in the Park District pay economic dividends throughout the region.
A summary of the study was highlighted at today’s Board of Park Commissioners monthly meeting. At the meeting Cleveland Metroparks also recognized several recent national achievements in the areas of leadership, conservation and facilities.
The TPL study illustrates the economic impact of Cleveland Metroparks on the region as a result of enhancing property values, reducing stormwater runoff, reducing air pollution, improving community health, attracting visitors, providing recreational opportunities, contributing to the multimodal transportation network and boosting economic development.
“As we work to improve connections across the Emerald Necklace through new trails and greenspace, it’s important that we continue to assess all the ways we can enhance the surrounding communities we serve,” said Cleveland Metroparks CEO Brian M. Zimmerman. “This study is an important illustration that the work we’re doing continues to bring value to the region.”
Since 2013, Cleveland Metroparks has added 10.7 miles in new paved trails and approximately 26 miles in new natural surface trails improving connections and recreational opportunities. Since 2013, Cleveland Metroparks has also added approximately 600 total acres for protection and planted more than 30,000 trees. The study illustrates how these additions and improvements bring additional economic benefits to the region. The study also shows how Cleveland Metroparks investments such as its green infrastructure initiatives to reduce stormwater runoff help reduce millions in stormwater management costs.
Highlights of the TPL study include:
- Cleveland Metroparks is critical to the local tourism economy, attracting visitors and generating $616 million annually in direct visitor spending
- Reservations capture precipitation and slow stormwater runoff, reducing the volume entering the stormwater system at a value of $20.4 million annually
- Trees and greenery remove air pollutants that endanger human health reducing health care costs by $8.09 million annually
- Cleveland Metroparks well-kept reservations and trails enhance the value of properties in close proximity by $155 million
- Reservations and trails contribute to a $64.6 million per year benefit in recreational use for residents
- Approximately 114,000 adults receive measurable health benefits through their physical activity in Cleveland Metroparks yielding annual medical cost savings of $160 million
In addition to establishing Cleveland Metroparks role in the region’s economy, the results of the study are important for planning future Park District investments and seeking local, state and federal support.
The TPL study was commissioned by Cleveland Metroparks through support from The George Gund Foundation and provides an update to the 2013 study using current best practices in methodology and showing an increase in economic return from five years ago.
Recently, Cleveland Metroparks was recognized by the National Association of County Park and Recreation Officials (NACPRO). Led by NACPRO Fellow of the year recipient Brian M. Zimmerman, the Park District was also honored as a national leader in environmental/conservation work for the restoration of Acacia Reservation. The Edgewater Beach House won best facility for its design and strong community benefits, further solidifying Cleveland’s lakefront as a national destination.
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ABOUT TRUST FOR PUBLIC LAND:
The Trust for Public Land is a nonprofit founded in 1972 to create parks and protect land for people, ensuring healthy, livable communities for generations to come. TPL has extensive experience measuring economic benefits and fiscal impacts of land conservation and has published more than 40 economic analyses across the country.
Link to The Economic Benefits of Cleveland Metroparks