- For the Korean family name Park, see Korean name.
A park is any of a number of geographic features.
Originally, the term referred to an area maintained as open space where residences, industry and farming were not allowed, often originally so that nobility might have a place to hunt. These were known for instance, as deer parks (deer being originally a term meaning any wild animal).
Today, the strict usage, based on the original meaning, is an area of open space provided for recreational uses. Parks in this sense are usually owned and provided by the government. Park uses are often divided into two categories: active and passive recreation. Active recreation is that which require intensive development and often involves cooperative or team activity, including playgrounds and ball fields. Passive recreation is that which emphasizes the open-space aspect of a park and which involves a low level of development, including picnic areas and trails.
In some countries, especially the United Kingdom, the concept of the country park was popular in the 1970s, and many such parks were established with government support during that time. Country parks are often located near to urban populations, and provide recreational facilities typical of the countryside rather than the town.
In the United States the concept of preserving unique landscapes for the pleasure of the general public was established and implemented during the presidential administration of Teddy Roosevelt. Tourism and, later, recreation, were the intended purposes of the lands Roosevelt set aside in the system. These parks were ultimately termed national parks and today constitute the US National Park System. Similarly, US state governments have also set aside and continue to set aside lands of various sizes to preserve them for the enjoyment of the public. National and regional parks are found in many other countries, and vary greatly in the sort of management and administration which they enjoy.
The term park is also used in reference to industrial areas, often termed industrial parks. Some technology research areas are also called research parks. Small environmental areas, often part of urban renewal schemes, are called pocket parks. The word park may also be used in community names, such as Oak Park or College Park. Sometimes the active recreational aspect may be expressed in the extreme of naming an Censored page, usually privately-owned.
- See also: List of national parks
- Central Park (in Manhattan, New York)
- Fairmount Park (in Philadelphia)
- Royal Parks of London
- List of urban public parks and gardens of Hong Kong
- Mount Royal Park, Montreal
- Ottawa Greenbelt
- Bois de la Cambre, Brussels, Belgium
- List of parks and gardens in Paris, France