The East Bay Regional Park District has published a report on the value of parks to the people who use them and the communities that surround them. With parkland abutting the Marsh Creek State Park, and a regional trail that will one day bring hikers, bicyclists and walkers to the doorstep of the Stone House, the findings of the EBRPD report can be used to see the value of its facilities, but also to reveal the kind of benefits the Trust hopes to help bring to our 3,700-acre slice of the park world as well.
Below are the highlights of the report provided by EBRPD. To see the entire report, or to watch a video presentation on its findings, click here.
“The 120,000 acres of the East Bay Regional Park District are more than just a pretty place. There are creeks that provide drinking water, trails to walk and ride that help us live healthy lives, and grasslands that are grazed which support the local food economy. And now we have an independent, scientific report by economists to prove that East Bay Parks are more than just a pretty place.Based on this report, we now know that the Park District:
Hosts 25 million visits a year. This is more than the A’s, Raiders, Warriors, Giants, 49ers, Earthquakes, and Sharks combined.
Provides a range of benefits to residents, businesses, and visitors that total about $500 million annually. This includes the values of recreation, healthcare, property values, and other ecosystem services.
Generates nearly $200 million in regional economic activity every year that would not happen without the District. This includes visitor spending and grant-funded capital investments, and the multiplier effects of both.
What does that translate into? This scientific report conclusively says that the District is interconnected with many aspects of life in the East Bay including infrastructure, jobs, transportation, public health, and housing.
In addition to these benefits, the District is a good investment. Based on our annual budget of $127 million, every $1 yields a return of $4. This means that Alameda and Contra Costa County taxpayers are getting good value for themselves and all residents regardless of background.
This report is the second installment in a longitudinal study by Economic & Planning Systems, Inc, a land use and economics firm based in Oakland. The first report was produced in the year 2000 and was groundbreaking at the time. A lot has changed over the past 17 years. The 2017 report – which you can find on our website at ebparks.org – builds on the 2000 methodology and will add to the national body of research about the economic impact of parks and open spaces.
What does this all mean for you as a resident of Alameda and Contra Costa Counties and as a park user? It means that you can go out and enjoy East Bay Parks knowing that they are more than just pretty places. They are an integral part of life in the East Bay.
For more information, call (510) 544-2008.”