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Parks Count! Better Parks for Better Living


Parks Count!

Tell us how Parks Count to you! If you haven’t shared your ideas with us yet, there’s still time. The Meeting in a Box deadline has been EXTENDED to December 5. Get together with some friends and host a small group meeting. Tell us how parks count to you on the online forum through December.

It's time to update the Park and Recreation Needs Assessment! Every so often the Fairfax County Park Authority examines whether park offerings match the community's diverse interests, lifestyles, and changing trends. This ensures that the Park Authority is investing wisely in its award-winning park system and providing quality parks and services to all County residents.

PARKS COUNT! - A QUALITY PARK SYSTEM
FOR A DIVERSE COMMUNITY

Parks count! Fairfax County benefits from a diverse community of over one million residents who have varied ages, incomes, languages, nationalities and levels of activity and mobility. Your park and recreation interests are as diverse as the community. You may like to walk through the woods, skate, swim, play sports, visit historic sites, garden, take classes or socialize with fellow pet owners. Most residents have multiple recreation and leisure interests that rely on parks. We want parks to count in your life!

Parks, activities and facilities help you enjoy life in Fairfax County! The Fairfax County Park Authority provides park, recreational, natural and cultural resource services, facilities, and programs at an affordable cost. Park and recreation needs shift over time and grow more quickly than available resources. These changing needs must be counted and prioritized in order to make wise investments and decisions concerning parks.

Counting your needs and meeting them!  Knowing that residents, individual preferences, and park and recreation trends change over time, we must periodically count your needs and preferences. The Needs Assessment Study is that periodic count, relying on research, surveys, and analysis. It helps us better understand what our customers need from a park and recreation system and how our agency can best balance and prioritize those needs across the County. The last study was completed in 2004 and the current study began in the summer of 2014.

WHAT TO EXPECT – WHAT COUNTS?

Communication and participation...
We've established this website as your central, one-stop shop for updates on the Needs Assessment study. You'll be asked to share opinions and views through this website, by email, and in person at a public forum. Our first public forum was held October 2, 2014 at Oakton Elementary School and featured an open house format. The presentation complete with script is available online.   

We want to know how you use parks, what you love about your parks, and how we can better meet your needs now and in the future. Sharing this information with us will help us understand how you use parks and may help you learn a little bit more about Fairfax County's award-winning park system.  In addition to the open house and traditional email comments, an online forum as well as a Meeting in a Box are ways to share your ideas. 

  • Online forum: The Parks Count crowdsourcing page is an online forum for exchanging ideas.  You can read comments from others and add your own once you’ve set up a user account.  This forum will allow you to e-converse with us and your fellow park users, sharing ideas of how you use parks and what you envision for parks in the future. 
  • Meeting in a Box: This tool will allow you to host a small group meeting of friends, colleagues, or neighbors to discuss the same matters that we’ll be discussing online and in our in-person public meeting.  Examples of groups that might use this include neighborhood groups, civic associations, faith-based organizations, and recreational or sports clubs.  If you can’t come to us, this meeting packet allows us to virtually come to you.

No matter how you get your ideas to us, know we’re counting on you.

A survey...
Using what we've learned from early participation, we will design and send a survey to almost 15,000 randomly selected Fairfax County households in early 2015. If you receive one of these surveys, know we are counting on you. Please complete and return it. The more complete information we have from you, the better we can understand and meet community needs

Counting...
After surveys have been completed, we will begin counting, tabulating and analyzing collected data. As winter starts to thaw, we will count all the data and analysis to develop service level standards and formulate recommendations.

It's not over yet...
We will continue our work through 2015, keeping you posted on our progress through this website. Then, just as you're getting ready for the school year again, we'll invite you to a second public forum to share our work. Later that fall we'll bring the final report to our Park Authority Board for their consideration and approval. Once it is approved, we'll be able to start using the findings to provide parks, facilities and services that count to our community.

STAY INFORMED – YOU COUNT!

For the full duration of this study, updates and new information can be found on this website. Please bookmark it and refer back periodically. If you would like to be added to the Needs Assessment email contact list, please send your name and email address via the E-News subscription box. We will use the email list to announce website updates, meeting dates and key points in the process; notices will also be posted to this site. Count on it!

MEETING IN A BOX

Use the Meeting in a Box to host your own Parks Count meeting. All the tools you need to prepare, facilitate and submit ideas for your group are included.

Download Meeting in a Box

Click Submit to send your results OR
email parkscount@fairfaxcounty.gov
by December 5, 2014 - Deadline Extended!

Submit Meeting in a Box

ONLINE FORUM

Use the online forum to tell us your stories and ideas about what parks you use – and how you use them. Add comments, share ideas and vote if you see other ideas and stories you like. Get engaged in the discussion.

Count Me
Poster
Want to let your club, organization, or community know about Parks Count? Download a poster to place on your bulletin board, encouraging others to share their ideas.
FCPA E-News
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map iconWhere are parks?  Use our Park Locator Search Engine to see what’s near you. 


2004 Needs Assessment Like history?  See the 2004 Needs Assessment final report.  It’ll help you understand what our last study told us.



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