For Immediate Release
Posted: March 06, 2024


Shelly Angers, NH Department of Natural & Cultural Resources
(603) 271-3136 |

New Hampshire’s 5-year outdoor recreation plan approved by National Park Service

National Park Service has approved New Hampshire’s 2024-2028 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Management Plan, the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation announced today.

An approved SCORP is required of any state wishing to participate in the Land and Water Conservation Fund State Assistance program, which is administered by the Department of the Interior, National Park Service. Once approved by NPS, the SCORP serves as a planning tool for state and local entities who manage and develop outdoor recreation across the entire state.

To create the 2024-2028 SCORP, N.H. State Parks partnered with the University of New Hampshire’s Recreation Management and Policy program to study New Hampshire residents’ outdoor recreation participation patterns, attitudes, perceptions and opinions.

Several areas were identified as priorities and will serve as the foundation for initiatives in the coming years: 
-    The Recreation Experience
-    Recreation and Climate
-    Recreation for All
-    Health and Wellness
-    Economic Vitality

“New Hampshire has long been renowned for its breathtaking landscapes, magnificent parks, vibrant forests, pristine lakes and majestic mountains,” wrote Gov. Chris Sununu in the plan’s opening letter. “Our commitment to protecting and promoting these assets has always been a priority, as they contribute significantly to the well-being and quality of life of our residents, our visitors and our economy.”

Data incorporated into the SCORP was gathered from a wide range of sources, including organizations that manage publicly accessible lands for outdoor recreation in New Hampshire; focus groups concentrating on better understanding the specific outdoor recreation needs and opinions of persons with disabilities as well as of those who are Black, Indigenous and people of color; a web-based survey of outdoor recreation providers and web-based surveys of New Hampshire residents who were at least 18 years of age and who participated in outdoor recreation within the state in the previous 12 months.

“The benefits of outdoor recreation are more than just physical,” said N.H. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Commissioner Sarah L. Stewart. “Eighty-nine percent of those surveyed noted that stress reduction is an important benefit of outdoor recreation participation, and 84 percent agreed that participation in outdoor recreation activities helps them to appreciate life more.

“It’s also significant to note that New Hampshire’s SCORP addresses the importance of implementing visitor education programs, which is especially crucial as more and more people become involved in outdoor recreation opportunities, in all seasons, statewide.”

Outdoor recreation in New Hampshire is a $2.7 billion industry that employs 28,000 workers.

Established by the Land and Water Conservation Fund Act of 1965, the LWCF State Assistance program provides 50/50 matching grants to state and local governments for the development or renovation of recreational facilities, land acquisition for outdoor recreational areas, or projects that include elements of both development and acquisition.

LWCF grants for local assistance are funded by the National Park Service and administered in New Hampshire by the N.H. Division of Parks and Recreation. Since 1965, nearly $50 million in LWCF grants have been awarded to New Hampshire cities and towns as well as to state parks and state forests across all of New Hampshire’s ten counties, resulting in almost $100 million invested in public outdoor recreation projects.

A link to New Hampshire’s 2024-2028 Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Management Plan can be found on the Community Recreation section of N.H. State Parks’ website at

The Division of Parks and Recreation is one of five divisions of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. N.H. State Parks and Recreation is comprised of the Bureau of Parks Operations, the Bureau of Historic Sites, the Bureau of Trails, the Bureau of Community Recreation and Cannon Mountain Ski Area. The Division manages 93 properties, including state parks, beaches, campgrounds, historic sites, trails, waysides and natural areas. To learn more, visit, follow N.H. State Parks on Facebook and Twitter, or call 603-271-3556.