By David Markham
A random sampling of Johnson County households will be receiving surveys in their mailboxes in early November. If you receive one, know that the survey is real and that your response will aid JCPRD in updating its strategic plan.
“Our overall goal is to have a statistically valid survey we can use to adjust the path of the plan, where we should be looking, and where we are going,” said JCPRD Planning and Development Manager Georgia Sizemore.
“It is our job to ensure that the final sample reasonably represents the county as a whole based on current Census estimates,” added Assistant Director of Community Research Ryan Murray of the ETC Institute, which has been hired to conduct the survey. “This is an opportunity for your voice to be heard and we hope that everyone that receives a survey takes the time to complete it and return it, either using the postage-paid return-reply envelope or going online. The goal is to complete 1,000 surveys with randomly selected households.”
The survey is about 30 questions long and will take between 10-15 minutes to complete for most residents. Recipients are asked to return surveys within two weeks of receiving the mailed packet.
“The initial invitation to participate in the survey is a mailed paper survey that includes a postage paid return reply envelope,” Murray explained. “We also include QR codes on the envelope and survey instrument for residents who prefer to take the survey online. The online survey URL is also included on the paper survey packet that will arrive in mailboxes. Follow-ups will occur using targeted Facebook ads and postcards – if needed; we will make phone calls to households who have not responded but this isn’t typically needed when administering the county-wide survey that we do yearly.”
The new JCPRD survey was developed between JCPRD, ETC, and BerryDunn using a previous planning process survey as a starting point.
“Because this is an update to the 2015 Legacy Plan, we are looking at the processes used in the previous plan effort, which includes using the previous survey as a starting point for the new one,” added JCPRD Project Manager Yolonda Guyton. “The added benefit of starting there is that we can start to look at trends over time from the responses.”
Input on the plan is being sought in other ways as well. This weekend, public engagement events for the strategic plan update will take place from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Friday (Oct. 28) at Heritage Park Shelter #1 as part of JamBOOree, and on Saturday (Oct. 29), a booth for this purpose will be staffed from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. as part of the Mildale Farm Fall Fest. At these events, JCPRD staff members and consultants will engage with participants through activities including: asking participants to list ideas on sticky notes to capture ideas, dot voting, faux money to allocate through labeled boxes, and other engaging activities. Like the surveys, this input will help planners understand where JCPRD might focus its future efforts.
“We’re doing a lot of different types of public engagement right now, and we’re looking at partner engagement and municipality engagement through upcoming partner focus groups and directed surveys,” Sizemore said. “We’re still in the information gathering stage. The next step is analyzing the data to understand where we need to direct our efforts.”
The eight-month process to update JCPRD’s strategic plan began in August. The goal is to share the analysis with the Johnson County Board of Park and Recreation Commissioners in January, and to complete the plan update for an April presentation during an annual joint meeting of the JCPRD board and the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.
The strategic plan guides all aspects of JCPRD’s operations, including the capital improvement program, land acquisition efforts, capital replacement plans processes, organizational structure, staffing, and program offerings.
See more details and updates about JCPRD’s strategic plan update.