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The City of Sugar Land Parks & Recreation Department seeks to create and maintain unparalleled recreational opportunities and unique, high quality parks and public spaces enhancing our community, with exceptional customer service.

Parks & Recreation strives to provide safe, beautiful, inclusive and environmentally responsible parks & recreation facilities by becoming key contributors to creating destination activity centers, great neighborhoods, bicycle/pedestrian mobility and outstanding cultural, educational and recreational opportunities.

In addition, the Department will play an integral role in the balanced development and redevelopment of the community by facilitating economic, cultural and tourism opportunities and will be a primary factor in the pride our citizens hold for Sugar Land.

10 Things Parks Do For You
Community Revitalization
Parks define the shape and feel of a city. They support stabilization of faltering neighborhoods, provide a landmark element and a point of pride for residents.

Community Engagement
Parks support community engagement by providing residents with a venue for participation in an attachment to their communities. They also provide a sense of place and offer essential life-enhancing qualities that aid community and individual well-being.

Economic Development
Parks provide environmental, aesthetic and recreation benefits to our city. They are also a source of positive economic benefits. They enhance property values, increase municipal revenue, bring in homebuyers and workers, and attract retirees. At the bottom line, parks are a good financial investment for a community.

Creating Safer Neighborhoods
Studies across the country have found that, when adjacent to residential areas, green spaces have been shown to create neighborhoods with fewer violent and property crimes. Parks help lead to the formation of neighborhood social ties, the building blocks of strong secure neighborhoods where people tend to support, care about and protect one another.

Greener Infrastructure
The green infrastructure is an interconnected system of green spaces that conserves natural ecosystem values and functions, sustains clear air and water, and provides a wide array of benefits to people and wildlife. It is a community’s natural life support system, serving as the ecological framework needed for environmental and economic sustainability.

Helping Children to Learn
City parks offer children the daily benefits of direct experience with nature – the motivation to explore, discover and learn about their world, and to engage in health-promoting physical activity. City parks engage children in informal, experimental learning and creativity through play and shared experiences with peers, laying the foundation for effective formal education.

Improving Public Health
People value the time they spend in parks, whether walking a dog, playing basketball, or having a picnic. Along with these expected leisure amenities, parks can also provide measurable health benefits, from providing direct contact with nature and a cleaner environment, to opportunities for physical activity and social interaction.

Arts & Cultural Programs
Since parks are the democratic spaces of a city, where communities can come together to express their identities through programs such as “Art in Parks & Public Places”, the marriage of parks and the arts makes perfect sense. Parks can be a vital place for the cultural expression of a community and a city.

Promoting Tourism
Public parks are often the “engine” that drives tourism in many communities. Attractions activate this tourism system. Most of the time, the desire to go to a destination on a pleasure trip is stimulated by its attractions. Many of these attractions are located in parks, while some parks are themselves attractions. Parks provide sites for special events and festivals that attract tourists. Parks also provide sites for sports tournaments, which can be major sources of tourism and economic benefits, especially for smaller to medium size cities.

Smart Growth Practices
Parks are commonly thought of as the venue for “fun and games”, but that is only one role they play. Park land, plazas, landscaped boulevards, waterfronts, public gardens, etc…significantly define the layout, real estate value, traffic flow, public events, and the civic culture of our community. With open spaces, our city and neighborhoods take on structure, beauty, breathing room, and value.

Benefits of Parks
Positive Impact on Real Estate Values
An analysis of approximately 30 studies found a positive impact of 20% on property values abutting or fronting a passive park area. Not only do parks enhance the ability to attract viable companies and an educated workforce, they also rank high on characteristics that the aging population looks for in retirement locations.

A study of 14 parks in the Dallas area found that home values increased when they were adjacent or close to a neighborhood park, and the homes facing a park were valued 22% higher than those more than a half-mile from the park.

A study conducted in Boulder, Colorado, found the average value of homes next to a greenbelt was 32% higher than those 3,200 feet away. Overall, the greenbelt added $5.4 million to the total property value of the neighborhood.

Attracting Economic Development
Parks are increasingly important to attracting certain types of desirable corporate locations & relocations, particularly those involving high numbers of knowledge workers. A 2001 poll of 50 senior executives of Fortune 500 companies rated “quality-of-life issues” (such as parks and recreation, traffic and climate) as one of the most important attributes of the cities they consider when locating their companies. The factor rated most important (availability of a pool of skilled, experienced, tech-savvy workers) is also influenced by local parks.

Business Activity and Tourism
Local parks generate substantial business activity through their operations and maintenance, capital investments and tourism.

Appeal to Potential Residents
The National Association of Home Builders s
urveyed home shoppers and found that 65% believed parks would seriously influence their decision to move to a community.

The National Association of Realtors survey results indicated that 50% of respondents would be more likely to select a neighborhood close to parks and open spaces over one that was not.

A 2001 survey conducted for the National Association of Realtors indicated that 50% of respondents would pay 10% more for a house located near a park or other open space.

Increase of Commercial Office Rental Rates
In addition to evidence that property value of residential communities increase near local parks, emerging studies indicate that rental rates of commercial offices also increase.

Tax Base Expansion
Studies repeatedly indicate that the close proximity to parks is positively associated with increase property values. People are willing to pay to live next to greenways and parks, thus enhancing property values and in turn expanding the tax base. Superior park facilities serve to raise values across an entire area.

What are the “benefits” of a great parks & recreation system?
(The National Recreation & Park Association)

The National Recreation & Park Association provides “benefits” education and information via their “3 Pillars of Parks & Recreation”, which include 1) Nature Conservation and Preservation, 2) Health, Wellness and Fitness and 3) Social Equity (that recreation should be accessible to all, irrespective of economic, demographic or cultural differences).

Furthermore, The National Recreation & Park Association cites examples of these “benefits” including:
  • Parks provide endless learning in life’s outdoor classroom,
  • Parks and Trails make community connections in and between neighborhoods,
  • Nature and recreation are essential for human development and provide a lifetime range of fulfillment opportunities,
  • Parks preserve cultural and historical richness in communities,
  • Recreation contributes to a spirit of togetherness and life, work and play balance in our lives.

Other “benefits” of great park and recreation facilities and programs include:
  • Community Revitalization
  • Community Engagement
  • Economic Development
  • Safer Neighborhoods
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Childhood Learning through Play
  • Improving Public Heath
  • Arts & Cultural Programs
  • Tourism Opportunities
  • Defining the “Image” of a Community 

Information from the Perryman Group & The National Recreation and Park Association.

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