Magazine article Parks & Recreation


Magazine article Parks & Recreation


Article excerpt

A merger of technologies that works on all levels

PRORAGIS is a merger of the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Operating Ratio Survey and the GIS Data Model. These two products provide beneficial information to increase operational effectiveness and answer critical budget questions. Merging the two products into an online Park and Recreation Department Profile provides members with national, regional, state and local operating and benchmark data that enhance their operating and capital capabilities. The service is provided with NRPA membership.

What is the NRPA Operating Ratio Survey?

The Operating Ratio Survey is a searchable database compiled by NRPA that provides a comprehensive analysis of components concerning the management and operations of park and recreation agencies. The statistics gathered offer broad "yardsticks" against which an agency's operations can be measured.

In 2009, NRPA surveyed 3,100 member park and recreation departments. From the 679 departments that responded, NRPA was able to create a database that was reliable at the national level. As a result, we were able to compile the following data representing "median" statistics. (That is, for departments with jurisdiction population of 20,000to 50,000, these statistics represent the median figures - with 50 percent having more, 50 percent having less):

* 364 acres of parkland

* 11 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents

* 18 acres of parkland per square mile of jurisdiction

* 19 parks per jurisdiction

* 2008 Operating Budget of $2,566,478

* 24.2 FTE's (full-time equivalent employees)

* Per-capita operating cost of $77

* 14 acres of land maintained for each FTE

All of this, plus facility standards (one baseball field per 3,625 population) were collected and tabulated for all sizes and types of departments across the nation.

What is the NRPA GIS Model?

Also in 2009 and 2010, NRPA developed a GIS model, with funding from APRS, and working with contractors and a Technical Task Force made up of GIS planners and an Advisory Committee. The Advisory Committee consisted of directors, consultants and associated personnel from federal, state, local, academic and private sectors.

NRPAs GIS model created a nomenclature that defined Attributes and Values for Parks, Trails and Facilities. …

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