A community survey shows that the public opinion of the Naperville Park District is the highest it’s been since 2009, at 8.4/10. That was just one of the results revealed to the Naperville Park District Board of Commissioners at its meeting on Thursday, June 23.
508 households in a random sample participated in the first wave of the survey, with 537 more households taking part through the public portion of the survey launched on the district’s website.
High Use, Positive Rankings
Most people were pleased with the park district offerings, with more than 97% of respondents saying that one of their household members had used either a park or one of the district’s facilities within the past two years.
The number one spot for visitors was the Riverwalk, at 83%. Second was Knoch Knolls Nature Center at 45%, followed by Fort Hill Activity Center at 37%, and then Centennial Beach at 35%. The Riverwalk, Fort Hill, and Centennial Beach were all visited by residents from across all regions of Naperville, whereas Knoch Knolls saw more visitors from the southeast region.
When asked what areas could use improvement, 33% said more programs and events, with a particular ask for more Pre-K programming, more offerings of programs that are in high demand which currently fill up too quickly, and a wider variety of program times.
But overall, residents said the park district offered a good value for their tax dollars spent, with 78% in agreement.
When looking at indoor facilities, the survey found people most tend to use indoor tracks, fitness facilities, and gym courts. The top thing that respondents expressed an interest in adding more of were indoor walking/jogging tracks. Fewer than half of the respondents felt that fitness facilities and gyms weren’t completely available and said they’d like to see more of those. Some also mentioned the need for more indoor water facilities such as pools and water parks. At least 78% of those questioned said they would be willing to pay higher fees and/or higher property taxes for an indoor pool facility with multiple amenities, such as a lap pool, indoor splash pad or water park.
Respondents seemed to feel the outdoor facilities offered were meeting most of their needs. Walking and biking trails were noted as being used most, with 77% expressing an interest in those. Outdoor open space and natural areas were high amenities for 59% of survey respondents, with picnic areas and shelters close behind at 57%.
In looking at the park district’s core values, more than half felt that the three most important are health and wellness, public safety, and accessibility.
There are multiple ways to get information and news from the park district. Three fourths of respondents seek it from the district’s website, with 38% saying they use the digital quarterly program guide. 30% said they utilize mailings and newsletters.
Full survey results are available on the Naperville Park District’s website.
Naperville News 17’s Anthony Yench reports.
photo courtesy: Naperville Park District
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