Cities began building playgrounds in the late 1800s and early 1900s as a way of getting young children out of traffic and older ones away from delinquency. In time, the physical spaces were joined by recreation programs organized by nonprofit organizations. Today, it’s not only children who use America’s publicly owned playgrounds, athletic fields, parks, and streams. Tens of millions of adults do, too. And for our access to inexpensive recreation, we can thank government.
State and national parks drew more than one billion visitors in 2019. If you are one who loves these places of extraordinary natural beauty, you can thank government for preserving them and making them accessible.
If you’ve ever gone to a festival or concert in a city park, taken a walk on a pedestrian trail, or played basketball or hopscotch on a playground, you can thank government for making these urban spaces available.