Today, the provision of recreation services and facilities is recognized as an essential component of a community’s master plan. Residents want opportunities for participation in quality recreation programs, attractive parks, and effective and safe recreation facilities. Only through local government provisions can recreation truly be made available to all residents. Local government provides the major opportunity for many people, and the only opportunity for some of the people, for access to recreational facilities such as parks, recreation centers, tennis courts, softball and baseball diamonds, swimming pools, and other specialized facilities.
In remaining accountable for expenditures and to meet these community needs, public park and recreation agencies are responsible for accurately identifying the park and recreation interests within the community. This task is often achieved by means of a community-wide recreation study. The purpose of the communitywide study is to obtain accurate insight of community attitudes, opinions, and perceptions toward possible park and recreation programming, facilities and services. The data collected from the community-wide study is then used by the park and recreation agency to plan for the provision of programs, resources, and facilities to best meet the interests of their residents.
Despite its importance in an agency’s short and long-range planning efforts, many agencies lack some of the resources (human, physical, or financial) to conduct a community-wide recreation study. In response to this issue, the Department of Recreation Administration at Eastern Illinois University partnered with the Bourbonnais Township Park District to identify the specific purpose, techniques, and procedures of the community-wide study to obtain a clear planning direction for the future recreational services within the Bourbonnais community.
Mulvaney, Michael A.; Clark, Hollice III; and LaMore, Kelly, "A Creative Approach to Comprehensive Planning" (2010). Faculty Research and Creative Activity. 3.