Results Are In!
We were inspired by the gathering of professionals at the March 2017 CPRS Conference to try to decipher current trends in parks and recreation and to share the knowledge with the larger community. A survey was sent to CPRS members in February to gather their input prior to the conference. Key results were shared at the CPRS Expo and are shown below, with highlights including:
- Popular recreational facilities and activities tend to stand the test of time. What was popular 10 years ago (sports / fields, playgrounds, aquatics) are still popular today. The greatest change in popularity is related to an increased interest in fitness and related activities like walking and outdoor gyms. Providing a looped pathway design in a park can help agencies meet this interest without significant capital investment.
- Multi-use facilities are on the rise, and they apply to a wide range of facilities: sports fields, sport courts, and park open spaces. With land at an increasing premium, devotion to a single use (ie. golf courses) appears to be outdated. Sports fields should be designed to accommodate multiple sport types and sizes of uses on a single space. Layout of sport courts should accommodate multiple layers of striping, each representing a different sport. Park open spaces should be designed to accommodate traditional passive recreation park activities, while also allowing for special events and other specially programmed activities. Multi-use spaces provide a larger return on capital investments, better accommodate a range of users, and are a way to obtain the most ‘bang for the buck’.
- Special events (such as cultural celebrations) and holiday themed events (like Easter egghunts) tend to be the most well attended types of programming events that agencies can offer. Sports programs and music in the park events also tend to draw a lot of people.
- Over 70% of agencies do not use phone apps. Most agencies use social media, but have a harder time translating that presence into true engagement with their communities. Many respondents report using social media in a more passive manner: to provide news updates and generally stay connected to constituents. This presents an area of opportunity for agencies to utilize technology to improve their operations and communications with the community by crowd-sourcing identification (and locations) of problems and tracking progress electronically.
- Respondents skewed slightly towards those from Northern California. 51% of respondents were from the north, 42% were from the south, and the remaining were from Central California (or didn’t provide a response).
- Do you have suggestions for other survey questions and information that would be helpful to your agency and the larger park and recreation community? Drop us a line!
Marie Mai, Associate in the San Jose Office
June 5, 2017 at 3:52 pm