What is the value of Arlington’s community parks and open spaces? That is the question that the County’s Parks and Recreation Commission has tried to answer in a White Paper, “Valuing Arlington’s Community Parks and Open Space,” presented to the County Board at its July meeting.
The purpose of the analysis is to develop “more concrete data to inform the public discussion and advise the County Board in its evaluation of budgetary decisions to support the acquisition and preservation of open space and to support continuous maintenance of parks, recreation and open space in Arlington,” according to the report.
The bottom line? The Commission estimated that the annual, ongoing benefits from Arlington parks and open space is $155 million. On top of that, “the existence of parks and open space may have resulted in a one-time increase in residential property values estimated at $160 million,” according to the report.
How did the Commission reach those conclusions? By reviewing scholarly and popular articles, and applying a methodology developed by The Trust for Public Land (TPL) for measuring the economic benefits of parks and open space. The group examined 10 recent studies by TPL of communities that included Seattle, Virginia Beach, Philadelphia and other communities representing a wide range of demographic, geographic, ecological, economic and governmental characteristics.
To learn more about the Parks and Recreation Commission, visit the County website.