Why are parks important?
The City of Muncie’s most recent Five Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan
described the many benefits of public parks and the Delaware County website also includes additional information
on the health and economic benefits of parks.
Quality of Life Benefits
- Makes neighborhoods more attractive places to live
- Strengthens community pride
- Improves physical health with opportunities for exercise and recreation
- Improves mental health
- Can reduce violence and crime
- Attracts and retains businesses
- Attracts home buyers (when parks are within 2000 feet of the home)
- Attracts retirees
- Reduced costs for public services
- Provides “free” natural services like flood control & filtration of pollutants
- Higher assessments, thus higher property tax revenue for local government (when parks are within 2000 feet of the home)
- Increased tourism
- Offer natural environmental protection
- Improved water quality – absorbs storm runoff, reduces runoff and filters out sediment, nutrients, pathogens, pesticides, metals and other contaminants
- Reduce air pollution – natural air filters
- Moderates temperatures – reduces heat island effects
- Energy conservation (within the parks these are applicable for cabins and offices)
- Tree cover can reduce building energy use in the summer by providing shade
- Trees also contribute to reduced winter energy use by providing a wind block
- Increased natural areas provide for habitat diversity
- Contributes to connecting natural areas which provide for healthier wildlife
According to the 2012 U.S. Census population estimates, Muncie is the 9th largest second class city in Indiana. Muncie spends less on its park system and employs one of the lowest amounts of full time employees than all other second class cities benchmarked. While Muncie provides an average number of parks, the amount of acres dedicated to parkland in the City is the least amount offered per resident.
Overall, the total number of “close to home” recreational space (community, neighborhood, and mini park facilities) available to Muncie residents is about 3.4 acres per 1000 persons, which is well below the National Recreation and Park Association’s recommended level of service of 6.25-10.5 acres per 1000 persons. This is primarily due to a lack of community park space.
Why would the City of Muncie want to reduce its parkland further by turning it over to a private developer?
Historic Photos from gallery
2014-2018 Muncie Five Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan. (Apr. 2014)
Molter, Molly. Why Delaware County Needs More Parks, Open Spaces, Trails, Street Trees, & Natural Areas. (May 2007)
Muncie-Delaware County Comprehensive Plan. (2000)
Parks, Open Space, Trails, Greenways and Recreational amenities.
Economic Research Associates. Real Estate Impact Review of Parks and Recreation. (Mar. 2005)
Gies, Erica. The Economic Benefits of Parks and Open Space. (2009)
Harnik, Peter and Welle, Ben. Measuring the Economic Value of a City Park System. (2009)
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