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Impacts and Benefits

A Children's Museum Lobby


The 2020 Grand Forks Metropolitan Statistical Area Retail and Attractions Economic Analysis reveals a regional demand for museums, historical sites, and similar venues amounting to $5.2 million. Currently, 89% of our community travels outside the region in search of cultural entertainment, leading to an annual economic shortfall of $4.6 million. The introduction of the Center for Exploration and Exploration Playground promises to bridge this gap considerably, ensuring these funds contribute to our local economy.


Property Value & Visitor Spending

Research indicates that properties in the vicinity of parklands typically enjoy higher valuations. A 2017 study by the National Recreation & Parks Association (NRPA) highlighted that 85% of survey participants prioritize access to quality parks and recreation amenities in their decision on where to reside. Furthermore, a 2017 NRPA poll revealed the significance of park and recreation features, like parks, trails, and serene spots, in influencing individuals' choices for vacation destinations.


Economic Contribution & Return
on Investment

A study by the Association of Children’s Museums reveals that in 2016, children’s museums across the United States fueled an impressive $5.5 billion in economic activity. Investments in local and regional parks elevate our communities' quality of life and trigger widespread economic benefits. In 2017, these investments spurred over $166 billion in nationwide economic activity, with operations and capital spending supporting more than 1.1 million jobs.
For North Dakota, the local parks and recreation agencies made a significant mark, generating economic transactions worth approximately $946.8 million, providing labor income of around $255.8 million, and supporting 6,806 jobs. This data is derived from an analysis conducted by the IMPLAN Center for Regional Analysis at George Mason University for the National Recreation and Park Association and the U.S. Census Bureau in 2017.



  • Fosters an environment of lifelong learning, building brighter futures for all.

  • Elevates our region's quality of life by providing enriching family entertainment that unites communities through learning, playing, and exploring.

  • Bolsters the local economy and creates a positive impact through regional tourism, inviting visitors to join our vibrant community narrative.

  • Offers a platform for our regional industries to share their unique stories and celebrate our rich cultural heritage, strengthening our bonds and pride.

  • Plays a crucial role in attracting new businesses, retaining valuable employees, and enticing new residents, thereby nurturing growth and prosperity for future generations.

  • Bridges the gap between land and sky, inviting individuals to discover the boundless possibilities and the beauty of our region, fostering a deep connection between our community and the natural wonders that surround us.

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