Parks and Trails, Good for the Economy

It's no secret that 2020 has been a challenging year.

The pandemic has drastically limited our usual social outlets and activities. Outdoor public spaces have been one of the few places New Yorkers could get exercise, see family and friends, and enjoy some fresh air.

The below quote, from someone who took our Parks Pledge, says it all:

“Parks and trails have been an invaluable asset during this time for both my mental and physical well-being. I use them nearly every day.”

But our parks and trails provide much more than space for exercise and respite. They are important economic drivers, especially when indoor spaces are not available.

An economic study commissioned by PTNY found that our State Parks have an out-sized impact on the economic health of surrounding communities and the state as a whole. The NYS Parks System and its visitors support 54,000 jobs and $2.4 billion in state GDP. Ultimately, every dollar spent on the Parks System returns $9 in sales.

Similarly, trails are a boon for local and state economies. Another PTNY-commissioned study, examining the economic impacts of the Erie Canalway Trail (ECT) found that ECT visitor spending generated $253 million in sales, 3,440 jobs, and $28.5 million in taxes for the Upstate economy per year. During the last six months, trails have been more popular than ever, not only providing places for recreation and exercise but also used as routes to work and shopping, as people sought to avoid public transportation and ride-sharing options.

Given how important these green public spaces are to our communities and their economies, it's more crucial than ever to support them.

Lorraine and Richard, committed PTNY donors since 2004, summed it up best:

“We use the trails and parks in NY and we love them, so why wouldn’t we support them? We love the outdoors and try to do what we can.”

If you are able, please donate to Parks & Trails New York today, or contact our Director of Development, Linden Horvath, at to learn more.

Thank you. It takes all of us to ensure our parks, trails, and historic sites are not only there today, during this crisis, but for generations to come.

Tags: Trails, Parks, Donate