What Strategies is Kansas City Using to Address Community Resources?

The Council Goal for Community Resources is: To support the development, maintenance, and revitalization of sustainable, stable, and healthy communities in which neighborhoods are safe and well maintained; people have acess to health care services; strategies are in place to prevent injuries and illnesses; and the environment is protected.

Below are the objectives from the current Citywide Business Plan that outline the specific strategies that the city is pursuing that relate to providing Community Resources. These objectives provide insight into the departments that are involved and the actions that are being taken.

How can we measure Progress on Providing Community Resources?

Assessing citizens' satisfaction of their parks and recreation amenities via the citizen survey is a good measurement of whether they are meeting citizens' needs. The quarterly citizen survey not only covers satisfaction with community center programming and maintenance, as detailed above, but also a host of other Parks and Rec services and operations. Looking behind citizen satisfaction into operational details, the attendance at each community center helps Parks and Recreation plan future programs and determine if existing offerings are meeting the needs of patrons.  Finally, the City is particularly focused on providing fun and safe activities for youth within the Parks and Recreation framework; examining participation numbers and survey data from this effort is an indication of whether that goal is being met.

In addition to the resource of community centers, the City is also focused on providing arts and cultural assets to neighborhoods throughout Kansas City.  Stay tuned for more content on that topic in the near future!

Residents' Priorities for Parks and Rec: park maintenance, tree trimming, and youth programs and activities.

The chart below shows which parks and recreation services were selected by citizens as important for improvement in the FY 2015-16 Citizen Survey. A higher score indicates that more citizens indicated that an area should be given more emphasis in the future. (Updated annually)

Residents' Use of Parks and Community Centers

The citizen survey asks residents whether they have been to a KCMO park or community center in the last year, which allows the city to track residents' use of these amenities. As the chart below shows, residents' use of city parks has remained steady over time and that community center use declined in FY2016 (Updated annually)

Attendance at community center

Youth Activities

Youth are a crucial customer group for the Parks and Recreation Department - not only are they currently likely to use many of Parks and Recreation's facilities, but they represent the adult citizens of tomorrow who will be utilizing these facilities in the long-term. There is also a citywide priority to provide quality programming for young people in an effort to assist in their educational development. According to the FY16 citizen survey, youth athletics/activities also ranks as the 3rd highest priority for improvement for citizens, up from the 5th highest priority in FY14.

In an effort to address this issue, in the last few years, the city has placed a special focus on developing and honing excellent summer activities for youth. Data about these efforts is shown below.

Youth Participation in Summer Activities

For a number of years, the City has organized summer athletic leagues for basketball, volleyball, and soccer (Night Hoops, Nets, and Kicks, as shown below). In 2011, the city launched Club KC, a Friday/Saturday evening activity for middle school and high school students that has included dance competitions, video games, art activities, swimming, and basketball. (Updated annually)

Club KC Participant Survey Results

Since 2013, participants in Club KC have provided feedback on their experience through a quick survey. The below is the three year trend for the question, "How would you rate your overall experience [at ClubKC]?" Overall, the results show a positive perception of the experience.