The County of San Diego Department of Parks and Recreation (DPR) conducts a needs assessment survey every 5 years to help us understand trends within the community– giving us insight on what amenities can be improved, and what we should plan for in the future.
In 2020, DPR completed a needs assessment survey to gauge awareness of, access to, and opportunities for new parks, facilities and service offerings. The survey was designed to build upon previous surveys conducted in 2010 and 2015, with new questions to better address needs like communication, accessibility and to incorporate new industry trends.
The County-wide survey was distributed two ways; via general population sample arranged through a company that pulled a random sample of San Diego County households; and through open link which was promoted on DPR’s web and social media channels. A total of 1,188 general population samples were collected, along with 1,062 open link surveys – each group analyzed separately and then together to identify overarching needs.
Survey response demographics were compared to U.S. Census data to ensure they represented the San Diego County population (per the most recent 2018 Census data). For the purposes of this survey, general population responses were reweighted to represent San Diego’s Hispanic/Latino population more accurately, but overall, the data tracked when it came to age and race. However, it should be noted that survey data overrepresents gender on behalf of females (details in the last dot point).
Among key findings:
In open comments we learned that there is still considerable misunderstanding of County properties and programs versus those being offered by other jurisdictions. Respondents also reiterated a need for more communications, more often, in more places (to include both modern and traditional media).
Taking all of this into consideration, and the full breadth of the comprehensive report, we will revisit our Strategic Plan and Strategic Marketing Plan, embarking on new projects, programs and partnerships in the new year and over the next 5 years as we continue to work to provide exceptional park experiences with residents and tourists alike.
Link to full report: coming soon.