Friday, December 19, 2014

Community Parks and Leisure Needs Assessment Results Released

Good leaders know there is always room for improvement and after the Village of Bellevue received the results from the 2014 Parks and Leisure Services Community Needs Assessment local officials have a better idea of where to start.

The Parks and Leisure Services Department conducted a needs assessment to gather citizen input to help establish priorities for the future development of parks, facilities, programs, and services within the Village of Bellevue. In addition, to providing the Village with a roadmap for the Parks and Leisure Services Department, the needs assessment data will be used to update the Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan. An approved Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan is required to apply for grants administered by the Department of Natural Resources, which has been a substantial funding source for past Bellevue park projects.

The following steps were taken to gather citizen input:

Nine staff moderated focus group meetings were held with identified key stakeholders groups between April – July, 2014, 65 people participated in the focus group meetings. Listed below are the groups that participated.

o    Park Commission
o    Globe University / Bellin College
o    Faith-Based Community
o    Senior Advisory
o    Green Bay Public Schools
o    Planning Commission
o    Bellevue Service Groups
o    Athletic Associations
o    Open to the General Public / Past & Current Participants

An online survey was available for residents from May 1-July 31st, 2014, 194 responses were received. Paper copies were available upon request.  

Highlights of the survey include:

•    77.5% of respondents are very satisfied or satisfied with the Parks and Leisure Department. 17.2% Neutral. 5% dissatisfied.  
•    95.4% respondents rated facilities in good to excellent condition.
•    The top four ways respondents receive program information are the Newsletter, LI.F.E. Guide, Website & E-newsletter.
•    88.1% find importance in quality of public trees.
•    Most frequently used recreational amenities: Playground Equipment, Paved Trails and Park Open Space.
•    Actions respondents felt the Village of Bellevue could take to improve the park system:  Repair existing Park Shelter Buildings, Develop Passive Facilities & Develop additional paved trails. 
•    Respondents indicated we are not meeting their needs in the following areas: Outdoor Swimming/Aquatics Center 53.4%, Splash Pad 48.4%, Off Leash Dog Park 32.2% Paved Walking / Biking Trails 25%.
•    Top used Bellevue Parks: 1) Josten 91% of respondents use Josten Park though out the year, 2) DeBroux 62%, 3) Willow Creek 43.2%, 4) East River Park. 42%.
•    40% of respondents believe there is a need to build a new community center in Bellevue.
•    Top three areas respondents feel the Village of Bellevue should allocate funding to: construction of outdoor swimming/aquatic Center, improvement/maintenance of existing parks and recreation facilities and construction of new passive recreation facilities.
•    Program areas most important to respondents: Family Special Events, Youth Sports Programs and Adult Fitness & Wellness

Input from the focus groups:

•    Village should focus on maintenance of existing facilities
•    Develop new trails & and improve connectivity
•    Build a new Community Center. However, there is insufficient support to raise taxes to build a Community Center.
•    Participants felt they are well informed.
•    Upgrades to Josten Park Shelter, add gym and shelter reconfiguration.
•    Outdoor recreation development: Splash Pad, Community Pool, Soccer Tournament Facility, and additional playgrounds.

“This is the third parks and leisure services community needs assessment that we have participated in, and we are thankful for the community’s feedback,” said Debra Lom, Director of Parks and Leisure Services.