How You Play: Survey Results

Girl twirling in park

The community’s already high satisfaction rating of Willamalane Park and Recreation District continues to improve, according to a recent study commissioned by the district.

That’s good news for Willamalane, but the organization is intent on using survey data to set the bar even higher to meet the community’s needs.

“We were pleased that 90 percent of our patrons are satisfied with our services, up from 86 percent from a similar survey in 2012,” said Michael Wargo, deputy superintendent.

“However, we are constantly striving to improve, and the survey gave us invaluable feedback which will help shape the diversity of our programming and services we offer, as well as how we communicate with our community.”

The needs assessment survey was conducted last fall by the Community Service Center at the University of Oregon. Titled “Have a Say in How You Play,” the survey asked residents about their favorite activities, current participation and suggestions for future programming and improvements. They were also asked how they’d like to receive information about district programs and activities.

A total of 1,882 people responded to the survey, which was distributed through direct mail, email and interviews held at Willamalane and other community events.

Willamalane is viewed in a positive light by its users, and the district’s customer service and the value it offers are among its strengths, the survey showed.

Of those surveyed, 94 percent said they were satisfied with Willamalane’s offerings, with 27 percent stating the value of the programs actually exceeded the price they paid. Only 6 percent felt the value was less. Customer service satisfaction was rated at 87 percent.

Those surveyed also suggested new or expanded activity and class offerings, with the top priorities being yoga, cooking, tai chi and dance.

Respondents said they would also like to see more activities such as day trips, adult fitness and other programs offered in the evenings and weekends.

In other findings, the survey revealed that awareness is very high regarding Willamalane, with 97 percent having some level of familiarity with the agency.

There is still a need, according to the results, to increase community outreach to underserved populations, along with diversifying programs and services for the Latino population.

In addition to Spanish-language survey materials, Willamalane held a conversation with members of the Latino community to receive feedback on how to better meet their needs.

From that conversation came the request to ensure registration and scholarship information is translated into Spanish and that staff is available to help fill out forms.

According to Wargo, Willamalane is already using the survey information to shape future programming and awareness efforts. He said the district plans to collect additional feedback on an ongoing basis to assist in decision-making.

“Willamalane has a long-standing history of gathering input from our community in order to deliver Gold Medal parks and recreation facilities, programs and services,” said Wargo. “This survey and future outreach efforts fall in line with our mission of actively listening and responding to the community.”

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