Neighborhood park users interested in sharing their input for the future of parks and recreation in Davis are encouraged to attend a 7 p.m. meeting today at the Veterans Memorial Center on 203 E. 14th St.
The meeting will feature a city consultant presenting results of surveys about park use and provide a forum for additional input as the city updates its Parks and Facilities Master Plan.
The plan, which was last updated in 1998, details the wants and needs of the community in regard to parks and recreation and will include a recommended list of future modifications or additions.
“This event will provide an opportunity for people to show up and share their ideas about existing parks and future parks,” said Anne Brunette, the city property management coordinator in charge of tonight’s meeting. “Whatever input they could give us will help us better serve the future needs of the community.“
The Master Plan update process takes approximately one year and involves collecting existing parks and population data, evaluating the condition of current facilities and assessing public needs.
Brunette said the most important part of the assessment phase involves a community telephone survey commissioned by the city in fall 2007, which has produced statistically valid results.
“The public loves [the surveys],” she said. “They would like to see us expand on the success we have already achieved and we’re still taking input.“
Results of the telephone satisfaction survey are available on the city’s website and found that residents of Davis consistently ranked parks and recreation facilities as meeting or exceeding expectations.
Four hundred respondents completed the survey conducted from Oct. 1 to 7, 2007, representing the total of approximately 49,000 adult residents of Davis. The survey had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.
The most important benefits of parks as ranked by the survey are to provide opportunities to enjoy the outdoors (65 percent) and improving health and wellness (61 percent).
Summary results also show that 84 percent of respondents chose expanding the greenbelt system as the most important improvement, followed by acquiring natural areas. The combination of children and teens (65 percent) was chosen as the highest rated group for priority in future expansion efforts.
The phone survey in addition to several other surveys conducted by the city will serve as the basis of the information forwarded to the Parks & Recreation Commission. The commission will then hold a future public workshop resulting in a plan to meet the general needs of residents, said Michelle Wierschem, community services superintendent.
CHINTAN DESAI can be reached at email@example.com.