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Trails Are Top Priority, According To Bend Parks Survey

BEND, OR -- Bend Parks and Rec surveyed 2,700 people last fall about the district’s priorities and facilities. The results are in and, "Trails are the most important amenity to the community," says the district's Julie Brown, "We hear that year after year." Brown tells KBND News, "More than nine in 10 people said they had used a trail in the last year. So, more than 90% of our community, based on this sample size, that they are using trails." Brown says the reason for the increase, compared to the last survey three years ago, is a combination fo factors, "One of the things that was pretty interesting: the group of respondents that have lived in Bend for less than five years and answered that they use the parks and trails on a daily basis was very, very high." Why people use trails is also changing, "We used to see a lot of people use the trails purely for recreational use and enjoyment. It is increasingly more of a transportation corridor, as well."

It's not all positive. The survey also revealed areas that need work, "They want us to make sure that we are taking care of what we have first, before we build new. They do want us to focus on areas where maybe we have underserved portions of town. We have a goal of wanting to have a park within a half-mile walk for all members of the community. We’re not there yet. We have about 60% of the community that is there. But that’s something that we need to continue striving towards."

The data will be used to make adjustments to the current 10-year project plan. "Maybe some of the things that we thought we were going to build, maybe they’re a lower priority now, moving forward," says Brown. District staff will present recommendations to the Parks Board at its February meeting. 


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