Indiana parks contribute $1.2 billion to economic activity, report says

The 2018 IPL Mayor's Lunch for Parks occurs March 8, 2018, at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown. (WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana parks and recreation agencies contributed more than $1.2 billion in economic activity, according to new numbers a national parks group presented Thursday.

A luncheon hosted by Mayor Joe Hogsett welcomed the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) to Indianapolis for its annual conference, set for September, and to unveil its Economic Impact of Local Parks Report.

NRPA President and CEO Barbara Tulipane presented the findings to the crowd of 700 corporate, community and city leaders at the Indianapolis Marriott Downtown.

In Indiana, the economic impact also translated into nearly 11,000 jobs, said a news release.

“Compared to the economic impact of parks in other states, Indiana ranks 26th,” the release said. “The top five states for economic impact are California, Illinois, Texas, Florida and New York.”

In September, the NRPA will return to the city for its 2018 conference, one of the city’s largest conferences. It attracts thousands of U.S. parks professionals.

As part of the NRPA’s national “Parks Build Community” initiative, the organization selects a park within the host city for a complete makeover. Lori Hazlett, Indianapolis Parks Foundation president, announced that Indy Parks’ Sandorf Park, 2020 Dawson St. on the city’s southeast side, was chosen to receive for the makeover. The park is adjacent to the SUPER School at Indianapolis Public Schools Frederick Douglass School 19. Many of its students were greeters for Thursday’s luncheon.