Feature Article - June 2010
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A Look at Trends in Parks & Recreation

Parks & Recreation—Who Are You?

Parks respondents, like survey respondents in general, were most likely to come from the Midwest. More than 28 percent of parks respondents were from this region. This was followed by the West (22.9 percent); South Atlantic (22.5 percent); Northeast (14.5 percent); and South Central states (11.7 percent). Nearly half (46.6 percent) of parks respondents said they worked in suburban communities, with the remainder divided nearly evenly between urban areas (27.3 percent) and rural communities (26.1 percent).

This year's survey showed a slight drop in the number of respondents who are managing just a single facility. Just 15.6 percent of parks respondents said they manage one facility this year, compared with 18 percent last year. At the same time, there was an increase in the number of respondents who said they manage 20 or more facilities—16 percent, compared with 12.6 percent last year. The majority of respondents fall somewhere in the middle. (See Figure 40.) Nearly a quarter (23.3 percent) are managing two to three facilities; and a little more than a quarter (27.4 percent) said they manage between four and nine facilities.

There was very little change from last year in the number of parks respondents who said they partner with other organizations. Slightly more this year said they were teaming up with local schools (76.3 percent vs. 75.2 percent last year), as well as corporate or local businesses (39.9 percent vs. 38.5 percent), YMCAs (27.2 percent vs. 25.1 percent), and military organizations (9.4 percent vs. 7.4 percent). (See Figure 41.) These partnerships offer park agencies an opportunity to extend their reach and expand their programming beyond what they could do on their own.