Basalt cliffs, blue sky

Economic Benefits of Parks

Learn more about how Washington State Parks provide economic and ecosystem benefits.

Study confirms state parks provide significant economic and ecosystem benefits

A study initiated by the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission has confirmed that state parks remain a significant economic driver in Washington, with a total estimated contribution of $1.6 billion a year.

The purpose of the Commission-ordered study was to better understand the economic activity associated specifically with the state park system. The study confirms that state parks provide economic benefits to rural areas and also contribute to tourism, ecosystems and quality of life. The study concludes that:

  • In 2019, visitors to Washington state parks supported $1.6 billion in direct and indirect spending.
  • Parks supported over 10,000 full-time and seasonal jobs, and contributed over $786 million to the state's GDP.
  • State park visitors contributed over $116 million in state and local tax revenues, producing nearly six times what the Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission receives in general tax support ($40 million biannually).


For more information on the study, please visit the Earth Economics website at:

Economic Analysis of Washington State Parks