Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Valuable Data, Valuable You: How You Can Help to Increase the Collective Impact of a National Dataset

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Valuable Data, Valuable You: How You Can Help to Increase the Collective Impact of a National Dataset

Article excerpt

As park and recreation professionals, we have a responsibility to invest in improving the quality of life within our communities. By improving our agencies, we can collectively expand our reach, increasing the impact that the park and recreation industry has on the lives of citizens across the country. The information we collect about our agencies should reveal how we are leveraging our resources and capabilities to improve lives and provide access to the parks, open spaces and facilities we strive to preserve and maintain. With changing demographics and population needs, having credible data to make effective decisions about the future is a priority. The data analyzed and collected in PRORAGIS[TM] enables your agency to make responsible choices to meet and address your community's needs, which allows you to directly impact the quality of life in your area.

Increasing the collective impact of park and recreation agencies relies on our ability to measure how we are doing nationally when dealing with complex issues such as hunger, public health and youth development. National data can be analyzed to provide a glimpse into how park and recreation agencies are currently providing access to a better quality of life for all individuals.

Hunger

Meals provided during the school day are the only source of food for some children. The number of agencies providing before- and after-school feeding programs has steadily increased. Summer presents a challenge of its own with both the cost of summer camp programs and the ability to provide meals to the children who are able to attend. The number of agencies providing meals during summer camp has increased in recent years to almost 35 percent.

Often living on limited incomes, seniors also face the issue of going hungry. The number of agencies providing meals to seniors has increased steadily along with the number of seniors served each week. Using the data in PRORAGIS to develop programs that serve such needy individuals is critical to the overall wellness of our communities.

Public Health

Promoting the well-being of communities is an essential part of encouraging individuals to take an active role and interest in addressing their health. …

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