Westminster, MD, Thursday, March 21, 2019 –Today, during Open Session, the Carroll County Board of Commissioners viewed a presentation on the 2019 Carroll County Recreation & Parks Needs Assessment Survey.

In January 2019, the Department of Recreation and Parks initiated needs assessment surveys to gauge the public’s need for programs and recreational facilities as well as input regarding current service levels. One percent of Carroll County households (630) were randomly selected and contacted by mail with a link to complete the survey online. In addition, a separate public survey was made available online and distributed through recreation councils, mailing list, and social media. Recreation & Parks Director Jeff Degitz shared the background and results of the survey and referenced how the results will be used for future capital budget and program planning efforts.

Highlights of the presentation included participant’s views on existing park usage, priorities, needs, funding practices, interest in a Carroll County Community Event Center, recreation programming and general feedback.

Mr. Degitz summarized the survey takeaways as the following:
• Community desires likely exceed the ability to fund
• Increased demand for passive activities consistent with changing demographics
• Significant differences between surveys on event center, turf field & athletic fields
• Need for improved marketing of services
• The current practice of maintaining existing infrastructure and meeting new needs consistent with the public’s desire
• Significant support for a public-private partnership as a way to fund a community event center
• Strong desire for indoor track/walking facility and aquatic center
• Significant support for higher out-of-county program fees

Mr. Degitz indicated next steps include using the survey results in the FY21 Community Investment Plan (CIP) process, planning program initiatives and reviewing the department’s marketing efforts.

The presentation is available for public viewing and today’s Open Session is available for viewing on the county meeting portal and YouTube channel. In addition, all meetings will be replayed on Comcast Channel 24.