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US parks survey shows use up during pandemic, but looming state, local budgets cuts cast cloud ahead

More than 190 million U.S. residents visited a park, trail, public open space or recreational facility at least once during the first three months of the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new report from the nonprofit National Recreation and Parks Association.

The fourth annual Engagement in Parks Report, released Tuesday, is based on the results of a June survey of 1,000 adults across the country. This year’s survey was shorter than normal—“because of the dynamic nature of life during the Covid-19 pandemic,” according to the report—and featured just a handful of questions, including how the pandemic had affected frequency of park usage and whether respondents consider public parks an essential government service.

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