KU News Release

March 15, 2011
Contact: Toni Dixon, School of Business, 785-864-4449

Study: Kansas parks produce solid return on investment

More Information

LAWRENCE — Funds spent on Kansas recreation and parks programs, facilities, activities and employees return $1.70 for every $1 invested, according to an economic impact study conducted by the University of Kansas School of Business’ Jayhawk Consulting group.

“This means that spending for Kansas parks and recreational activities are additive, not detrimental, to the overall Kansas economy,” said Wally Meyer, director of Entrepreneurship Programs at the School of Business. “It’s a statement that funds invested into Kansas recreation and parks produce a positive economic value.”

The study was commissioned by the Kansas Recreation and Park Association to examine the economic benefits provided in local communities and on a statewide basis. Six business students from Jayhawk Consulting, an outreach program coordinated through the School of Business, were chosen to conduct the study.

“This is the first statewide economic impact study that focused exclusively on the park and recreation industry,” said Kansas Recreation and Park Association Executive Director Doug Vance.

In addition to the return on investment findings, the study also revealed that real estate values in Kansas communities are consistently higher when located next to or near local parks.

“We knew that our agencies provide essential services in local communities and now it is clear from this study that parks and recreation brings meaningful economic value in our local communities,” said Vance.

“Utilizing IMPLAN, an economic modeling software, we assessed the quantitative benefit of parks and recreation in Kansas,” said first-year MBA student Adam Buck.

The students’ study also provided insights into usage and perceptions of park and recreation facilities and services.

Jayhawk Consulting students found that 73 percent of the population uses recreation and park services at least once per week and that 60 percent of users factored in lower cost when considering public recreation and parks as a choice. Results of the economic impact report also showed that citizens rank the importance of parks and recreation in the top five of city services.

The study is available at www.krpa.org or by contacting the Kansas Recreation and Park Association.

The Jayhawk Consulting students are listed below by hometown, major or degree earned, parents’ names and high school.

From Lawrence 66047
Katsiaryna Ivanovna Quandt, master’s student in business; bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

From Lawrence 66049
Katherine Lee Anderson, bachelor’s in business from KU, fall 2010; Mary Anderson; Lawrence Free State High School.

From Overland Park 66214
Melissa Susan Terrill, master’s in accounting from KU, fall 2010; Ben and Susan Terrill; bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison; Shawnee Mission South High School.

From Overland Park 66223
Zainab Yetunde Sanusi, master’s in business administration from KU, fall 2010; bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

From Prairie Village 66208
Michael Edward Link, master’s student in accounting; Nick Link; bachelor’s degree from KU; Rockhurst High School, Kansas City, Mo.

From Houston 77084
Adam C. Buck, master’s student in business administration; bachelor’s from the University of Texas-Austin.

The University of Kansas is a major comprehensive research and teaching university. University Relations is the central public relations office for KU's Lawrence campus.

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