Not only is Program Open Space important for conservation and recreation – these spaces are important to Maryland’s economy!
Maryland State Parks have a $650 million estimated annual economic benefit to local economies and the State. State Park visitors directly spend more than $567 million, spending which supported more than 10,000 full-time jobs and generated more than $39 million in state and local retail, hotel, gas and income taxes. *
For every dollar the State invests, visitors spend $25.56 locally during their State Park visits. *
For every dollar spent by Maryland to conserve land for parks or forests generates ten dollars in private spending on tourism, recreation, and retail industries, a 10 to 1 multiplier. Andthree dollars in economic activity are produced for every dollar spent to conserve farm land.
For every $1million in grant funding, POS supports 7.1 direct Maryland-based construction jobs.
Preserved lands increase the natural beauty of communities and numerous studies have been able to substantiate that preserved lands improve property values of nearby residents. Parks and recreation facilities can increase the value of surrounding properties by up to 15 to 20%, making Program Open Space purchases a particularly effective way to support property values.
Maryland’s land preservation programs enhance health and improve access to locally-grown food and fiber by conserving agricultural and forested lands and other working landscapes and resource-based industries to ensure long-term preservation of food and fiber production in the State.
Preserved lands that contain recreational amenities such as trails, camping, etc., are local economic drivers – attracting visitors from near and far who support area retailers like grocery stores, restaurants, outdoor stores, etc.
A National Park Service study revealed that the economic impact of a trail involves a combination of newly created trail-related jobs and the expansion of existing businesses related to travel, equipment, clothes, food, and souvenirs.
Trails and greenways bring job growth in construction and maintenance as well as tourism-related opportunities like river rafting tours, bike rentals, restaurants and lodging.
* Data from the 2010 Maryland State Parks Economic Impact and Visitor Study