December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43

Renovations are inviting people to the
park more often, which is the desired
result.
section. The removal of the two oak
trees appears to have had some costs
(shade and relaxation/picnic areas)
and some benefits (sightlines, safety
within and just exterior to park).
Secondary Data
The secondary data used in this
evaluation continually supports
this story. Through the Baltimore
Police Department's website, we
can download every reported crime
within a half mile of Catherine
Street Park, and the matched or control
park for comparison. This data
is available back to 2018. It should
be noted these only include reported
crimes; not unreported crimes, nor
reported crimes that end up not being
classified as crimes (e.g., charges
not pressed, court acquittals).
Comparing the number of
annual crimes in 2018-2019, prior
to renovation,
to 2020-2022, and
accounting for changes in crime
around the matched park show the
renovation of Catherine Street Park
is associated with 10 fewer personal
or violent crimes per year and 30
fewer property crimes per year within
one-half mile of the park. In total,
both parks and neighborhoods saw
reductions in crimes, but the reduction
was greater around Catherine Street
Park. Being able to compare the
reduction at Catherine Street Park to
the matched park and neighborhood
is important, as it can take into
account city-wide crime reduction
efforts, along with pandemicrelated
crime trends. Personal or
violent crimes are between persons
(e.g., assault). Property crimes involve
only one person directly (e.g., theft).
Both types of crimes also showed
annual trends decreasing with the
exception of personal crimes rising
during 2019 - the same year the
park was closed for renovations. It is
key to note that both perceptions of
crime and safety and actual reported
crimes have moved in positive
directions for the Catherine Street
Park neighborhood since 2018-2019.
Finally, during the pandemic, several
companies have allowed broader
use of their data due to restrictions
in the collection of other, in-person
evaluation data. One example of restrictions
was our inability to travel
to Baltimore and survey park users
between March and December 2020
due to travel and physical distancing
restrictions. To overcome this barrier,
we worked with a company providing
the number of monthly, unique
mobile phone visits to points of interest
in the United States. Both Catherine
Street Park and our matched
park are in this dataset. Thus, we
have monthly visits of unique mobile
phones (not the phone numbers, just
the total number of phones that were
in the park) to each park between
January 2018 and July 2022.
We have only used summer month
data (June to August) as the matched
park was adjacent to a school and
shows significant increase in mobile
phone presence during the academic
year (i.e., parents waiting in the park
for kids to be released from school,
or families traversing park at school
release). Looking at the difference
between
2018-2019
compared
to
2020-2022, and taking into account
increases at the matched park, Catherine
Street Park had 13 additional
unique park visitors per month following
the renovation. This increase
does not take into account repeat
visits, but the above survey data supports
that there is also a significant
increase in the frequency of repeat
visits. Mobile phone data is limited
to those with phones on their person
while in the park, and thus, is generally
limited to teenagers and older
park users, though inclusive of parents
and older siblings.
Overall, our evaluation continues
to find positive associations with the
improvements in Catherine Street
Park, especially as associated with the
actual play spaces. There is indeed
continued room for improvement,
specifically related to programming,
shade, restrooms and water fountain
facilities. There are noted and
important increases in use and satisfaction
with the park and play spaces.
This, in turn, increases the need
for restrooms and opportunities to
further engage families in recreation
and activities through associated
programs and events. The combination
of survey data, with open-ended
comments at the end, and the use of
secondary data, help provide further
context and reliability to our findings.
We believe our evaluation findings
support the renovations to Catherine
Street Park, as well as highlight
opportunities for continued improvements
to increase park use and support
community wellness.
J. Aaron Hipp, Ph.D. (jahipp@ncsu.edu), Kat Deutsch
(kdeutsc@ncsu.edu), Christopher Dunstan (cdunsta@ncsu.
edu), and Jared Jones (jajone25@ncsu.edu) are with the North
Carolina State University Department of Parks, Recreation and
Tourism Management and Center for Geospatial Analytics.
Scott Ogletree is with the University of Edinburgh (scott.
ogletree@ed.ac.uk).
PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G | DECEMBER 2 0 22 | Parks & Recreation
43
PHOTO COURTESY OF J. AARON HIPP, PH.D.

December 2022 - Parks & Recreation

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of December 2022 - Parks & Recreation

December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
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December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
December 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2022
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/december-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/november-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/october-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/september-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/august-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/july-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/june-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/may-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/april-2021
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/march-2021
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