March 9, 2011
Bill Shapard

Tulsa World: Survey shows public support for city parks

By P.J. LASSEK World Staff Writer

A citywide survey shows that residents like and support the city's park system in spite of the financial struggles affecting park personnel, conditions and services, the Park Board was told Tuesday.

Mayoral Chief of Staff Terry Simonson told the board that the good news is that people who have experience with the parks "like what they see, they just want more of the same."

Shapard Research of Oklahoma City was hired to conduct the survey by the Tulsa Community Foundation, which paid $51,000 to the firm. The foundation presented the results to the city as a gift.

Shapard Research surveyed 200 households in each of the nine City Council districts from Dec. 12 to Jan. 21, with a total of 1,803 respondents. The survey has a margin of ±2.3 percentage points.

Simonson told the Park Board that the survey started with one simple question: "If you had 20 minutes alone with the mayor, what would you tell him?"

The survey didn't go into a lot of depth in every area, but every area had three to six questions, he said.

When it came to the city's park system, the survey shows that 70 percent of respondents are satisfied with the athletic fields; 75 percent with the appearance of park grounds; and 71 percent with shelters and playgrounds.

The survey also shows that youth activities and park maintenance topped the list of park priorities, with community centers and swimming pools tying for third.

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Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of SoonerPoll.com and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.