The City’s Parks and Recreation Department is conducting a Recreation Needs Assessment to help inform strategic planning efforts for recreational services and facilities. This effort is intended to gauge the community’s recreational amenity preferences and willingness to pay for facilities and activities, and identify service gaps and opportunities to increase equity in recreation offerings.
“Because our community’s recreational needs and preferences change over time, we need to ensure our offerings reflect what people want to see in Bellingham, ” Parks & Recreation Director Nicole Oliver said. “We are asking questions about what types of facilities and programs our community values and digging into specifics that we can improve on. Our parks and trails are world class; now it’s time to look at our recreation facilities and aquatic spaces, as well as programming.”
Public survey now open
The Recreation Needs Assessment survey is available on the project’s Engage Bellingham page and will be open through the middle of February. The planning effort is expected to take until spring of 2022 and will include three focus group sessions. Parks & Recreation Staff will provide recommendations and update planning documents by May.
“The outcomes of this process will directly guide our work,” said Parks & Recreation Department Recreation Manager Melissa Bianconi. “In the short term, public responses may lead to more opportunities for things like afterschool care or active adult programs. In the longer term, the results of this effort will guide creation of partnerships for developing aquatic spaces, community centers and more. Now is the chance to tell us what matters and how we can more equitably support quality of life services.”