(Update: Adding video, comments from BPRD Community Relations Manager)
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Bend Park and Recreation District is asking you for your feedback about priorities and projects for the future.
With help from RRC Associates, a market research firm, the park district is launching a new community needs survey this fall.
The survey aims to glean insight from district community members as part of a mid-term check-in on BPRD’s Comprehensive Plan that guides about 10 years worth of projects. To date, half of the 99 projects are completed or in process since the most recent plan was adopted in 2018.
“We are looking for what types of recreation, amenities and places and activities are people interested in? How often are you visiting some of these places? What's most important to you and your household? That helps us to inform kind of our next phase of planning,” Community Relations Manager Julie Brown said Wednesday.
Every few years, the park district conducts surveys to gauge use behaviors and priorities of Bend residents in regards to parks and recreation services, including those provided by the park district, as well as by private-sector businesses. These results inform projects and priorities for park, trail and recreation services as the community grows and interests wane or intensify.
"It’s good for us to be able to get a sense for interest levels and what might be growing in popularity and what might be waning, so that we can make some adjustments, if we need to." Brown said.
The park district is hoping to get input from residents to understand the improvements required for their facilities.
One local resident, Anderson Koerig, suggested easier access to the river.
"My favorite thing to do is just jump in the river and then lay in the grass and the sun dry off. So more easy river access," Koerig said. "Riverbend Park is great, but there’s always a ton of people right there. If there were a couple more spots with a nice grassy area, that would be cool.”
Beginning later this week, approximately 5,000 randomly selected community members living in the park district will receive mail asking to participate in the anonymous, statistically valid survey, which will take about 15 minutes to complete, either on paper or online.
If you are contacted, the park district asks that you please consider taking time to complete the survey.
“The comprehensive plan is our road map for what amenities to build and maintain for the community and it is best when it’s informed by the community members we serve,” said Michelle Healy, the park district's deputy executive director. “Participating in this survey is an opportunity to provide feedback that may lead to adjustments to reflect changing needs of the community.”
The 2023 survey includes questions asked in previous years to track changes over time and also features new questions, based upon recent inquiries and requests for activities or amenities.
For district residents who don’t receive an invitation to take the statistically valid survey, there is still an opportunity to participate. An online open survey will be available from mid- to late October.
Brown said, "We will ask the exact same questions, and we’ll have those on our website and we’ll share that on social media. So anybody else who maybe wasn’t selected at random but really wants to give us the input will still have the opportunity to share their thoughts with us, too.”
Community members can check bendparksandrec.org and/or BPRD social media accounts for a link to the survey when available. They will be offering versions of the survey in English and Spanish.
Those who complete the entry form on the back of the cover letter can enter a drawing to win one of four $50 gift cards to either Target or Fred Meyer.