The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has a powerful data base that can compare park systems nationwide. They just released their 2015 data, and it helps tell the tale of what a different and unique agency NOVA Parks is.
One of the most defining features is that NOVA Parks is largely self funded through enterprise operations. Where the average park system in America generates 27% of their operating revenues from enterprise activities, NOVA Parks is at nearly 85%.
Where the money comes from can also be seen in the chart below that has a line entitled "Total Tax Expenditure per Capita." This shows that NOVA Parks receives only $1.84 per person from our member jurisdictions to off-set our operating expenditures compared to the national average of over $56.