Ecosystem service values provided by National Parks to residential property owners

John Loomis, Leslie Richardson, Putri Komala Dara, Julie Mueller, Jeffrey Zabel, Paige Smalley, Ryan Fitch, Christoph Nolte, Robert Paterson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper focuses on the ecosystem service benefits to homeowners from living in close proximity to three National Parks. Knowing these ecosystem service benefits is of policy and management relevance as expansion of existing Parks and protected areas along ecosystem boundaries often requires acquisition of undeveloped private land or other multiple use public lands, something that local officials may oppose. While the effects on house prices from urban parks, and two other types of U.S. Federal lands have been studied, the effect of lands in the U.S. National Park System on house prices had not been studied at the time of this research. To fill this information gap, hedonic price models were estimated to calculate the effect on residential house prices of proximity to three National Parks (NPs). After controlling for other characteristics of the house, neighborhood, and several other types of open space (e.g., National Forests, County Parks), we estimate house sale prices were on average 9.8% higher for houses within 2 km of National Park boundaries. This house price premium represents the value of the ecosystem services received by homeowners from living in close to these NPs. Quantifiable information on local ecosystem service benefits may ameliorate some concerns by local governments about converting private land or other agencies' multiple use lands in order to expand NPs or protected areas to better reflect ecosystem boundaries rather than historical, and often arbitrary boundaries. In addition, quantifiable information on enhancement of property values may broaden stakeholder groups to include the real estate industry. Thus, our results may support agencies in better achieving their objectives of managing NPs as ecological units.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108175
JournalEcological Economics
StatePublished - Jun 2024


  • Ecosystem service values
  • Hedonic price method
  • National Parks
  • Property values
  • Protected areas

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Environmental Science
  • Economics and Econometrics


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