Print Page | Contact Us | Your Cart | Sign In | Register
Share |


Parks Enrich the Lives of Illinois Residents

The people of Illinois know and appreciate their park districts and forest preserves. They count on having local parks, programs and a wide variety of available recreational opportunities. Download printable posters with key findings from IAPD’s latest research. Simply click on the image to download a printable poster.

Illinois Voters Strongly Support Land Protection

Despite their worries about the economy, Illinois voters strongly support spending more money to protect land and water, according to a new poll.

A total of 79 percent of the voters surveyed voiced support for dedicating $350 million in a state capital budget to conserve land and water, and the support cuts across all major parts of the electorate.

"Even in these difficult economic times, people in Illinois want to protect the places which make this such a wonderful place to live. We need to act now and make these kinds of investments," said State Senator Susan Garrett.

State Senator Pam Althoff agreed. "This is about the long-term and making the kinds of investments in our land and water which future generations will appreciate and enjoy. Certainly we need to deal with today's problems, but we also have to think about the future of Illinois, and these results show voters are doing just that."

Click here to download the key findings of the voter survey.

Illinois Park Districts—Citizen Perspectives
In cooperation with the IAPD, the Office of Recreation and Park Resources, Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism, University of Illinois conducted a state-wide survey of households in Illinois residing in park district areas as a follow-up to the "1980 Citizen Study.”. Households residing within park district boundaries throughout the state of Illinois were asked to participate in an evaluation of their local park district.

Click here to download the results of the study.
Click here to download reprintable posters.



Special Districts in the United States
In partnership with the IAPD, the University of Illinois' Recreation, Sport and Tourism Department's Office of Recreation and Park Services, has released
Special Report 1. Annotated Bibliography on Special Districts in the United States.

This effort was undertaken at the urging of the IAPD Research Council. If you have any questions regarding this annotated bibliography, contact Mike Mulvaney at

Click here to download the Special Report 1. Annotated Bibliography on Special Districts in the United States.

Land Cash Donation Ordinances/Impact Fees

November 1, 2009 - The News-Gazette - Good thing C-U forefathers knew to go green - Click here to read. For more information, call Joe Petry, Champaign Park District commissioner, at 217-840-5538.

Click here to download the Land Cash Donation Survey Results

In partnership with the IAPD, the University of Illinois' Recreation, Sport and Tourism Department's Office of Recreation and Park Services, has developed an annotated bibliography on recent articles on land cash donation ordinances and impact fees. As other relevant articles come to light, the bibliography will be updated.

This effort was undertaken at the urging of the IAPD Research Council. If you have articles that you believe should be added to this bibliography, contact IAPD at or Robin Hall at the University of Illinois at

Click here to download the annotated bibliography.

Economic Impact Research Results 

Economic Impact of Local Parks and Recreation Report

Real Estate Impact Review of Parks and Recreation Report

Various Statistics

  • New research shows that as little as 10 minutes of moderate exercise can help liven you up. According to a study at Northern Arizona University of Tucson, just 10 minutes of exercise improved mood, increased vigor, reduced feelings of fatigue, and helped participants feel more clear-headed.
    Source:, July 13, 2001
  • The National Sporting Goods Association estimates that total sales of bicycles, pleasure boats, recreation vehicles and snowmobiles in 2000 amounted to $31.5 billion. This is an increase from 1998, when these sales totaled $24.7 billion.
    Source: American Demographics, February 2001
  • Rural tourism appeals to many Americans, with 62% of all U.S. adults taking a trip to a small town or village within the past three years, according to the Travel Industry Association. This translates to 86.8 million U.S. adults. A majority of rural trips were for leisure purposes (86%). Among the list of popular activities enjoyed on rural trips are going to a beach, lake or river (44%), visiting historical sites (41%) and fishing, hunting or boating (32%).
    Source: American Bus Association's FastFax, March 26, 2001
  • A study last year by the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of America revealed that hikers aged 45 and over far outnumber those between the ages of 25 and 34. By 2005, hiking, road biking, and perhaps even mountain biking will be dominated by middle-aged men and women, according to studies by the Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association of America.
    Source: AMC Outdoors Magazine, June 2001
  • In older people, daily physical activity helps delay or prevent chronic illnesses and diseases associated with aging and maintains quality of life and independence longer.
    Source: American Heart Association, 2001
  • Daily physical activity reduces the risk of heart disease by improving blood circulation throughout the body, keeps weight under control, improves blood cholesterol levels, prevents and manages high blood pressure, and prevents bone loss.
    Source: American Heart Association, 2001
  • Research shows that people are more active in neighborhoods that are perceived as safe and that have recreational facilities nearby.
    Source: Center for Disease Control Web site (exact source requested)
  • One of the major barriers to youth participation in physical activity is a lack of access to sports and recreation facilities. Increased access to school facilities would, therefore, help facilitate increases in physical activity among young people. School districts should work with youth sports and recreation programs to take maximum advantage of school facilities for the benefit of children, adolescents, and the community as a whole.
    Source: CDC Web site
  • An Emory University study concludes that environmental exposure has positive health effects and can help prevent or treat illnesses. Four types of contact provide these benefits: contact with animals, contact with plants, viewing landscapes, and contact with wilderness.
    Source: Dr. Howard Frumkin, Emory University, Rollins School of Public Health, 2001
  • Lack of physical activity is a primary factor in more than 200,000 deaths per year in the U.S., a total equivalent to 25 percent of all chronic disease deaths and 10 percent of all deaths.
    Source: Dr. Thomas Schmidt, February 2001
  • According to a study conducted by the New York-based research firm of Roper Starch Worldwide, only two in 10 Americans did not participate in outdoor recreation at least annually in 1999.
  • According to the 1999 Roper survey, the fastest growth in outdoor recreation participation is among Americans with household incomes between $15,000 and $30,000. Monthly participation grew by 18 percentage points from 1994 to 66 percent in 1999, putting participation among this group at
    near-equivalency with more affluent households.
  • Women are a fast growing segment of the hiking and backpacking group. Nearly 17 million women went day hiking at least once in 1998 and almost 2 million made at least one overnight backpacking trip that year.
    Source: Harvard Health Publications 2000
  • According to a study at Texas A&M University, viewing nature has stress-reducing, anti-depressive, and restorative effects. This study has been investigating the links between the environment and emotional health for more than 20 years.
  • Patients involved with a 3-year health walk study through the United Kingdom National Urban Forestry Unit and the Sonning Common Health Center showed an improvement in the general level of health and had less frequent visits to the doctor and lower levels of drug prescription.
  • According to a Harvard University research team, walking reduces the risk of diabetes by helping the body to use the natural anti-diabetes hormone, insulin, more efficiently and effectively.
    Source: Harvard University, October 1999

Health & Fitness

  • Park districts provide the opportunity to exercise and recreate in a safe, attractive setting. Exercising regularly helps both the physical and mental condition and reduces the risk of mortality, chronic disease and illness.
  • Adhering to a fitness program helps employees be more productive, absent less often and less likely to have an accident.
  • Each mile walked or ran by a sedentary person adds an extra 21 minutes of life and saves society from unnecessary medical expenses. 


  • Efforts to conserve the natural habitat amid rapid urban development have proven successful by many Illinois park districts and forest preserves.
  • One tree's contribution over 50 years in controlling air pollution, soil erosion, soil fertility, recycling water and humidity is worth a total of $196,250.
Graduate Research Projects
A clearinghouse of research conducted by each of the universities with parks and recreation programs. Click here to download.