Parks could mean money for states

Sep 13, 2011

A new report on a Virginia national park highlights the economic benefits that a state can reap from public spaces.

The report by the National Parks Conservation Association suggest that the national park areas around Colonial Williamsburg are strong economic drivers that provide jobs, recreation and highly-desired open space.

“Tourism is an $18 billion industry in Virginia,” said Pam Goddard, NPCA’s Chesapeake and Virginia program manager. “Colonial National Historical Park contributes to the thriving industry by attracting visitors to experience the park’s historic sites such as the Yorktown battlefield and the Jamestown glassblowing studio, spending money and supporting the local economy.”

In the Center for a Better South’s Getting Greener book, the Center encourages states to invest in protecting more land for public uses.

Among the recommendations:

  • Recommendation 12: Every Southern state should boost dedicated revenue and bond funding for land conservation to at least $1 per person per month, and should maintain at least an acre of state parks for every 30 residents.
  • Recommendation 14: Southern states should emulate Virginia’s encouragement of permanent private land conservation through state tax credits that enhance federal tax incentives for land preservation.

Learn more here.

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