Nassau and Suffolk Counties Park Benefit Report
The Trust for Public Land’s latest economic analysis concludes that Long Island parks and open space provide a $2.74 billion annual economic benefit to local governments and taxpayers. Additionally, the conservation of Long Island parks and open space is eight times less costly than new residential development.
The report finds that Long Islanders are willing to pay $1.48 billion annually to recreate in public parks. Non-residents who visit Long Island because of parks and open space spend $615 million in the local economy, which generates $27.3 million in sales tax. More than 600,000 Long Islanders engage in physical activities in parks, generating measurable health benefits of $164 million per year. Proximity to parks and open space enhances the value of residential properties-an aggregate, one-time increase of $5.8 billion. Increased tax revenues from these properties generate $58.2 million annually.
Parks and open spaces capture precipitation and slow run-off, reducing stormwater management costs by $23.9 million annually. By protecting underground drinking water sources, open space also reduces the cost of drinking water up to ten-fold. Trees and shrubs remove air pollutants, reducing pollution-control costs by $18.9 million a year.
The report also calls attention to the thriving agriculture industry on Long Island, worth $288 million annually. This value includes visits made to wineries, strawberry fields in the spring, pumpkin patches in the fall, and Christmas tree farms in the winter.
Commissioned by the Rauch Foundation and the Long Island Community Foundation.