“It brings the community together”: Benefits from local park and recreation renovations

Lauren E. Mullenbach, Nicholas A.D. Pitas, Joseph Walker, Andrew Justin Mowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

As public dollars for parks and recreation become increasingly scarce, empirical evidence of community benefits from capital investments becomes more important. However, measuring impacts of parks and recreation investments can be costly and difficult for local park agencies. This study presents an alternative approach to assessing community response to parks and recreation center renovations. Results of three renovation case studies indicate favorable impacts from investment. Data were collected with a new survey instrument, developed to allow local stakeholders to perform retrospective evaluations of renovations and share their perspectives. Residents perceived the study sites were better maintained (52% strongly agree) and more appealing to broad cross-sections of the community (39% strongly agree). Open-ended responses revealed five themes: study sites became destinations for families, provided sense of community, facilitated positive health outcomes, became neighborhood assets, and provided community benefits. Implications for community agencies and organizations and recommendations for the tool’s improvement are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-503
Number of pages17
JournalCommunity Development
Volume49
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 20 2018

Fingerprint

renovation
recreation
community
community response
stakeholder
leisure time facility
cross section
capital investment
dollar
assets
resident
health
evaluation
evidence

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Sociology and Political Science

Cite this

Mullenbach, Lauren E. ; Pitas, Nicholas A.D. ; Walker, Joseph ; Mowen, Andrew Justin. / “It brings the community together” : Benefits from local park and recreation renovations. In: Community Development. 2018 ; Vol. 49, No. 5. pp. 487-503.
@article{3a2517a289cc47ce9cbf10386ff816f6,
title = "“It brings the community together”: Benefits from local park and recreation renovations",
abstract = "As public dollars for parks and recreation become increasingly scarce, empirical evidence of community benefits from capital investments becomes more important. However, measuring impacts of parks and recreation investments can be costly and difficult for local park agencies. This study presents an alternative approach to assessing community response to parks and recreation center renovations. Results of three renovation case studies indicate favorable impacts from investment. Data were collected with a new survey instrument, developed to allow local stakeholders to perform retrospective evaluations of renovations and share their perspectives. Residents perceived the study sites were better maintained (52{\%} strongly agree) and more appealing to broad cross-sections of the community (39{\%} strongly agree). Open-ended responses revealed five themes: study sites became destinations for families, provided sense of community, facilitated positive health outcomes, became neighborhood assets, and provided community benefits. Implications for community agencies and organizations and recommendations for the tool’s improvement are discussed.",
author = "Mullenbach, {Lauren E.} and Pitas, {Nicholas A.D.} and Joseph Walker and Mowen, {Andrew Justin}",
year = "2018",
month = "10",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1080/15575330.2018.1527777",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "49",
pages = "487--503",
journal = "Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society",
issn = "1557-5330",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "5",

}

“It brings the community together” : Benefits from local park and recreation renovations. / Mullenbach, Lauren E.; Pitas, Nicholas A.D.; Walker, Joseph; Mowen, Andrew Justin.

In: Community Development, Vol. 49, No. 5, 20.10.2018, p. 487-503.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - “It brings the community together”

T2 - Benefits from local park and recreation renovations

AU - Mullenbach, Lauren E.

AU - Pitas, Nicholas A.D.

AU - Walker, Joseph

AU - Mowen, Andrew Justin

PY - 2018/10/20

Y1 - 2018/10/20

N2 - As public dollars for parks and recreation become increasingly scarce, empirical evidence of community benefits from capital investments becomes more important. However, measuring impacts of parks and recreation investments can be costly and difficult for local park agencies. This study presents an alternative approach to assessing community response to parks and recreation center renovations. Results of three renovation case studies indicate favorable impacts from investment. Data were collected with a new survey instrument, developed to allow local stakeholders to perform retrospective evaluations of renovations and share their perspectives. Residents perceived the study sites were better maintained (52% strongly agree) and more appealing to broad cross-sections of the community (39% strongly agree). Open-ended responses revealed five themes: study sites became destinations for families, provided sense of community, facilitated positive health outcomes, became neighborhood assets, and provided community benefits. Implications for community agencies and organizations and recommendations for the tool’s improvement are discussed.

AB - As public dollars for parks and recreation become increasingly scarce, empirical evidence of community benefits from capital investments becomes more important. However, measuring impacts of parks and recreation investments can be costly and difficult for local park agencies. This study presents an alternative approach to assessing community response to parks and recreation center renovations. Results of three renovation case studies indicate favorable impacts from investment. Data were collected with a new survey instrument, developed to allow local stakeholders to perform retrospective evaluations of renovations and share their perspectives. Residents perceived the study sites were better maintained (52% strongly agree) and more appealing to broad cross-sections of the community (39% strongly agree). Open-ended responses revealed five themes: study sites became destinations for families, provided sense of community, facilitated positive health outcomes, became neighborhood assets, and provided community benefits. Implications for community agencies and organizations and recommendations for the tool’s improvement are discussed.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=85055547907&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=85055547907&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/15575330.2018.1527777

DO - 10.1080/15575330.2018.1527777

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:85055547907

VL - 49

SP - 487

EP - 503

JO - Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society

JF - Community Development: Journal of the Community Development Society

SN - 1557-5330

IS - 5

ER -