Monday, July 23, 2012


According to the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission*, the economic activity associated with protected open space in southeastern Pennsylvania results in more than 6,900 jobs and $299 million in annual earnings.  Total annual expenditures in the five-county region surrounding Philadelphia associated with protected open space equal $566 million. Specifically, 33% of that is generated through tourist activity associated alone. Economic activity associated with protected open space generates $30 million per year in state and local tax revenue.
*Return On Environment- the Economic Value of Protected Open Space In Southeastern Pennsylvania, Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission, Publication No.: 11033B, 3/2011

These economic effects are not found in southeastern Pennsylvania alone. The economic value attributed to trails’ increasing commerce, home values and the overall desirability of a specific region are well documented nationally, too.  For a good summary of them, see: The Business of Trails: A Compilation of Economic Benefits by Terry Eastin, Executive Director, Mississippi River Trail, Inc.  

In nearby Virginia and relating to a trail I always say the Chester Valley Trail closely parallels, the Washington & Old Dominion Trail, a case study prepared by the Virginia Department of Conservation in 2004 stated: "An estimated 1.7 million adult W&OD users spent in total about $12 million annually related to their recreational use of the trail.  Of this amount, about $7 million was spent directly in the northern Virginia economy by locals and non-locals using the trail. The Estimated 1.6 million local visits accounted for about $5.3 million of spending directly related to the use of the W&OD."(Ibid)

So, the potential economic benefit of completion of the Chester Valley Trail means increased home values (previous post) and large expenditures in the local economy of visitors of all kinds.