(Editor's Note: The following is from a news release dated April 26th, 2011 and has been included in the Friends of the Garden website with permission from the Park Board. The original article can be viewed at http://www.parkboard.org/news11/state_of_parks11.htm. We encourage you view the original as well and read the accompanying documents regarding the economic impact of the parks and the Programs & Events Totals. For your convenience, we have provided a link below to view the 2010 Annual Report.)
State of Springfield-Greene County, MO Parks
At the second annual State of the Parks address on April 26th, the Springfield-Greene County Park Board released its 2010 Annual Report as well as findings from two key studies conducted over the last year, including 2010 Visitor Spending/Economic Impact totals for key athletic events and 2010 Program/Event Attendance Totals.
2010 Annual Report & Program/Event Attendance Totals
The 2010 Park Board Annual Report was distributed, which highlighted the new Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center and other park properties opened last year, along with a financial statement and other key information. Updates also were given for current in-progress projects throughout the county-wide system for 2011.
The Park Board continued its trend of growth throughout the park system, with 2,755,793 county residents and visitors passing through its gates and doors for the past year, through athletic events, family center usage, School-Park programs, pools and a number of other areas – 23 programs or activity areas in total recording events in 2010. This is an increase of 517,958 (23%) from 2009 reported attendance totals.
More than an estimated 4 million additional passive park users are not included in the figure, which include passive or walk-up use of departmental parks, facilities or other related park system amenities.
Visitor Spending/Economic Impact for Key Athletic Events
In 2010, 35 major athletic events directly connected with the Park Board were studied to determine the positive financial impact those activities have on the area's economy. Spending data was calculated for those participants and/or attendees who do not reside within the Springfield-Greene County area.
Through just the 35 athletic events analyzed utilizing Park Board facilities, $6,750,000 was conservatively estimated to have been spent by visitors towards local hotels, meals, shopping and other expenses.
"It's been another busy, yet successful, year for our parks system, and we're pleased to have had this opportunity today to share a summary of 2010," said Parks Director Jodie Adams. "We've built upon the foundation we created with last year's inaugural State of the Parks, and we're once again happy to tell our story – one that continues to develop and grow with the evolution of our park system."
Adams demonstrated how parks directly impact health, environment, conservation, transportation and economic development decisions. "We all agree that parks are more than just green spaces. By the county voters' wishes we will continue to provide quality parks and recreational services to the citizens of Greene County into the next generation of our nearly 100-year-old system."