Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment

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Project Title:                      Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment

Brief Description:             Utilize a multifaceted approach to gain qualitative and quantitative feedback from residents to determine current and emerging needs in parks and recreation facilities, programs and events.

Project Documents

Timeline:                             January 2015 – September 2015

Project Manager:              Creighton Wright, Parks and Recreation Director

Detailed Needs Assessment Project Description:

After completing an extensive visioning process and strategic plan in 2012-2013, one clear direction received is that residents greatly appreciate their parks and recreation programs and facilities and desire to have more.  So the questions is just what do they appreciate and what do they want more of?

In Fiscal Year 2014-2015, the City Council appropriated funds for a Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment.  A Needs Assessment helps evaluate current programs and determines what new programs and services the City needs to provide.  Information from a needs assessment helps to determine needs for parks and recreation facilities like play fields and indoor recreation spaces.  While needs may be great, the City’s finances are relatively constant; one important question that needs asked during the needs assessment is how to pay for enhanced programs and services.  The study will gauge citizen’s willingness to consider alternative revenue streams to pay for enhancements.

A Parks and Recreation Needs Assessment provides both statistically valid, quantitative data and less formal qualitative feedback through community focus groups and other less formal means of gaining feedback. The end-result is a prioritized list of both park facility needs and new or modified program and event needs.

Unlike most needs assessments, the RFP included an operational audit as an additive/alternative.  The operational audit was approved by City Council on June 2.  The operational audit evaluates current operations, identifies opportunities for efficiency and possible increased revenue, implementation of best practices, and reviews and documents current policies and procedures.

Goals of the project:

  • Based on community feedback and direction, identify vision and overarching direction for the Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Determine the level of needs met by the Parks and Recreation Department’s current offerings (programming, events and parks/facilities).
  • Identify unmet needs, level of desire for new programs, events and parks/facilities.
  • Complete initial testing on how to fund (i.e. dedicated tax) desired enhancements or new programs/facilities.
  • Identify possible parks/facility components for new/future facilities including Clarke Ranch, Newell Open Space Preserve, Watson Ranch Community Park and Wetlands Edge viewing area and trails.
  • Determine level of community support for developing parks/amenities that may serve as a “green” tourism draw to the City (i.e. organized run at Newell or Wetlands, or developing a regional nature center or campground at Clarke Ranch).
  • Develop a prioritized list of renovations and new capital projects.

To review and score the proposals, and review data throughout the project, the Parks and Recreation Department created an informal steering committee made up of two PCS members, two OSAC members and four staff.  The process to select the consulting team followed the process below.  The steering committee includes:

  • Janelle Sellick, Chair Parks and Community Services Commission
  • Jack Chow, Former member of Parks and Community Services Commission (term expired mid project)
  • Nance Matson, Chair of Open Space Advisory Committee
  • Robyn Myers, Member of Open Space Advisory Committee
  • Roddrick Sweeney, Recreation Manager
  • Erin Booth-Sahs, Aquatics Supervisor
  • Brian Materne, Interim Parks Supervisor
  • Jessica Ashlee, Administrative Clerk
  • Creighton Wright, Parks and Recreation Director

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