How are we doing? That simple question was the impetus behind a survey Seattle Parks and Recreation (SPR) conducted late last year and it is one important way that we measure and evaluate our performance as a department. The department hired EMC Research to conduct the statistically valid online survey of randomly selected Seattle residents to gather baseline data on park visitor attitudes, usage and priorities for SPR.
In looking at the results of the 58-question survey, answered by 513 adults, most residents rated Seattle’s quality of life positively and nearly all residents believe that Seattle’s park and recreation system is important to their quality of life. More specifically:
- Overall, Seattle’s park and recreation system gets positive (A or B) marks from nearly four in five residents.
- SPR gets high marks for “meeting the needs of the neighborhood” and “maintenance and cleanliness” but lower marks for “safety.” There is also a knowledge gap around SPR spending.
- Homelessness/camping, drugs, and illegal activities are the leading reasons for lower safety ratings.
- Restroom-related issues top the list of specific maintenance and cleanliness concerns, followed by full garbage cans, drug paraphernalia, and homelessness/camping.
- Respondents believe improving existing facilities, improving maintenance, and improving safety should be SPR’s top funding priorities.
- By a large margin, natural areas/green space, small neighborhood parks, and walking/jogging trails are the most used by residents and, as a result, these are the places that residents say SPR should spend more on.
Here is a complete summary of survey results.