BREC Releases Public Opinion Poll Results
Opinion Poll Shows Continued Public Support of BREC Programs and Tremendous Progress Being Made Throughout Parish
A public opinion poll presented to the BREC Commission tonight shows that overall approval ratings of the recreation and parks agency have continued to rise since the passage of the 2004 “Imagine Your Parks” strategic plan. In fact, an overwhelming 90 percent of registered voters say BREC is a source of pride for the East Baton Rouge community.
Eighty-two percent of voters surveyed believe that BREC is doing an excellent or good job in meeting the recreational needs of East Baton Rouge Parish, an increase from 76 percent in 2010. When asked if BREC can be trusted, 85 percent of those surveyed agreed and 73 percent said that they believe BREC is spending their tax dollars wisely.
The poll was developed and conducted by Southern Media & Opinion Research, Inc. and includes interviews of 400 voters via landline and cellular telephones. The survey began Saturday, May 11 and ended Sunday, May 19. It has an overall margin of error of 4.9 percentage points.
“BREC conducts public opinion surveys on a regular basis as part of our ongoing effort to ensure that we are providing the community with the services that they value and need and we are delighted with these results,” said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. “A lot of hard work has gone into making the Imagine Your Parks strategic plan a reality and this survey indicates that it has been an incredible success."
The Imagine Your Parks strategic plan will end in December of 2014 and this survey is just the first step in the development of a new 10-year strategic plan for BREC that will guide the organization from 2015-2025. The agency will also conduct a more detailed, technical survey and is currently in the process of hiring consultants to lead the year-long planning effort which will also include extensive input, public meetings and a thorough evaluation of the entire park system to plan the next 10 years of development.
In 2004 BREC participated in 125 public meetings across the parish to determine what improvements the community would like to see in the parks system. The end result was the passage of a new $70.5-million tax which primarily financed the creation of twelve community parks. Additional work has been done at BREC’s special use facilities and many neighborhood parks.
In order to make the taxpayer funding stretch even further, BREC and the BREC Foundation have created numerous private partnerships and applied for grant funding for projects such as the construction of walking and biking trails and the purchase of vehicle called “BREC on the Geaux” which will bring mobile playground equipment to children who live in neighborhoods known as “play deserts.” Private donations have allowed BREC to move forward with the design process for the upcoming Knock Knock Children’s Museum, the construction of a new Visitor’s Center at Magnolia Mound and upgraded renovations to neighborhood parks where groups have held significant fundraising efforts.
“While we have made tremendous progress in the transformation of recreational opportunities across the parish, we know much more work remains to be done. We are excited to hear the new and innovative ideas residents will have for the facilities in their areas and we will continue to leverage taxpayer support in order to deliver the highest quality services to the people of East Baton Rouge Parish,” said McKnight.