Parks Needs Survey

The Fairfax County Park Authority has released the results of a Park and Recreation Needs Assessment Survey which park officials say provides "a glimpse of the recreational preferences of Fairfax County residents. . .   The survey is one piece of the needs assessment that ultimately seeks to create a balanced park system that takes into account all public recreational facilities and addresses citizen recreational aspirations." 

Here are a few results:

87% of residents use the parks "regularly," a statistics that exceeds the national average.

93% of residents indicate that parks are extremely or highly important to their quality of life, the highest rating in 12 years of measurement, say county officials.

The two most important services for the Park Authority to provide are: (1) preserving open space (We are unsure of their definition) and the environment; and (2) providing opportunities to improve physical health and fitness.

The three most important parks and facilities are paved walking and biking trails, large parks and small community parks.

 The top four actions households are most willing to fund with County tax dollars: expand/renovate walking/biking trails, purchase land to preserve open space; restore/maintain natural areas; and upgrade/renovate existing park buildings.


If given $100 to spend on parks, households would spend it this way:

  • Repair/maintain existing parks and infrastructure: $30
  • Upgrade/expand existing park facilities: $22
  • Conserve and maintain natural and historic resources:  $18
  • Acquire new parkland and open space:  $17
  • Develop new recreation and parks facilities: $13 

The county sent the survey to 15,000 randomly selected Fairfax County households in March 2015 and received 4,665 responses.  You can read a summary of the survey results at and