SPRD plans next steps


Last updated 7/26/2022 at Noon

Sisters Park & Recreation District (SPRD) wrapped up their recreation programming needs assessment in June and the District is working on implementing program changes that will be begin this fall.

In May this year, SPRD hired 3J Consulting to conduct an impartial needs assessment, which included hosting four focus groups. This approach allowed for meaningful conversations on current and future programming needs. SPRD’s board of directors received the final report at their June business meeting, which highlighted key findings and recommendations.

According to SPRD Executive Director Jennifer Holland, while, overall, focus group participants were pleased with SPRD, many were surprised to see all the programs the District offers and shared insights on what was missing. Common themes emerged through the process, which became the top recommendations from the consultant. These recommendations included offering a variety of programs for all ages, adding more outdoor recreation programs, increasing childcare capacity, improving the online registration process and District website, and increasing District marketing efforts.

In addition to programmatic recommendations, the focus groups consistently and independent of each other raised the need for public pickleball courts and a community pool, as well as repurposing the old Sisters Elementary School building for a community recreation center.

Holland reports that District staff have already begun work on expanding fall programming with a concerted effort to ensure a variety of programs for all ages in the community.

“Operational changes such as website and registration improvements and District marketing are currently under evaluation,” she stated. “Staff will make recommendations to the board of directors in the coming months on proposed improvements.”

The District will be using the information collected during this process to build a public opinion survey, which will occur later this year, as SPRD prepares for their local option levy renewal election in May 2023. This process will allow the District to analyze the community support for the levy renewal, while also determining if the community is willing to fund capital projects like a community pool.

“We are so grateful to all who share their thoughts and opinions with us. This information is vital for us to ensure we are providing the programs and services people want and also allows us an opportunity to learn more about current barriers to participation so we can work to address them,” Holland said.

The District has opened an online recreation programming survey to give all community members a chance to be heard. This survey can be accessed by visiting the SPRD website and will remain open until August 7.

To see the full needs assessment report, or to participate in the recreation programming survey, visit www.sistersrecreation.com.


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