Economic Benefits of Trails, Parks, and Open Space in the Mat-Su Borough [Alaska]

Earth Economics

[Environmental Valuation & Cost-Benefit News]

[The study finds]:
  • Opportunities for physical activity in open spaces can decrease both health care  costs and   productivity losses, leading to more than $3 million in savings annually.
  • The high cost of natural disaster recoveries, not to mention the loss of human life,  can be  minimized with well-planned open space preservation.
  • The estimated annual value of ecosystem services of the 1,438 acres of Mat-Su  Borough owned recreational land is over $1.8 million.
While the figures above paint a positive image of Mat-Su public open spaces, the ROI  analysis was crucial to determine the actual costs and benefits of spending money to  enhance and preserve open space in the Mat-Su. As Chapter 5 details, we reached  a result of a 5.31 return on investment for the Mat-Su Borough owned lands alone, meaning that for every dollar that the Borough invests in open spaces, the payoff is more than $5, an astoundingly good return.

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