A new National Park Service (NPS) report shows that more than 185,000 visitors in 2010 spent $9.2 million at Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield and in communities near the park. That spending supported more than 167 jobs in the area.

“The people and the business owners in communities near national parks have always known their economic value,” said park superintendent Ted Hillmer. “Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield is clean, green fuel for the engine that drives our local economy.”

Most of the spending/jobs are related to lodging, food, and beverage service (52 percent) followed by other retail (29 percent), entertainment/amusements (10 percent), gas and local transportation (7 percent) and groceries (2 percent).

The figures are based on $12 billion of direct spending by 281 million visitors in 394 national parks and nearby communities and are included in an annual, peer-reviewed, visitor spending analysis conducted by Dr. Daniel Stynes, of Michigan State University, for the National Park Service.

Across the U.S, local visitor spending added a total of $31 billion to the national economy and supported more than 258,000 jobs, an increase of $689 million and 11,500 jobs over 2009.

To download the report, click here then click on Economic Benefits to Local Communities from National Park Visitation and Payroll, 2010.

The report includes information for visitor spending at individual parks and by state.

For more on how the NPS is working within Missouri, go to www.nps.gov/missouri

Administered by the National Park Service, Wilson’s Creek National Battlefield preserves the site of the first major battle of the Civil War in the West, site where the first Union general was killed in the Civil War and evokes the rural character experienced by the combatants.  Wilson’s Creek is located 10 miles southwest of Springfield, Missouri, at the intersection of Highway ZZ and Farm Road 182.  To receive more information call (417) 732-2662.