The Effects of Federal Cutbacks on Local Park and Recreation Systems in North Carolina: A Case Study


  • Richard J. Gitelson
  • H. Douglas Sessoms


Municipal and county recreation systems, funding patterns, Reaganomics, private enterprise strategies, North Carolina.


To what extent have the actions of the Reagan Administration and the national trend toward social and economic conservatism had on the support of local recreation and park systems? That question stimulated our interest in looking at the funding patterns of municipal and county recreation systems in North Carolina from 1977 to 1983. Using a stratified random sample and information developed by the Recreation Consulting Service of the North Carolina Department of Natural Resources and Community Development, data on 24 municipal and 18 county systems were analyzed and adjusted for inflation. The results suggested that the Reagan policies and cutbacks at the federal level had had minimal influence on operational budgets, and that real growth in support of local park and recreation systems had occurred during the seven years of study. The cutbacks had affected support of capital development programs with municipalities being more affected by cutbacks than were counties. Where cutbacks were experienced, both counties and municipalities tended to rely more heavily upon general funds to compensate for loss of federal and state dollars than upon private enterprise strategies.?





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