March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48

PARKS BUILD COMMUNITY
was determined in 2018 to anchor
the Parks Build Community evaluation
on the use of systematic observations
of the parks. The System
for Observing Play and Recreation
in Communities (SOPARC) has
been used in park and recreation
evaluation and research since 2006
(tinyurl.com/mr4898r3).
Systematic
observations, and specifically
SOPARC, rely on trained evaluators
(who can be researchers, students,
community members, and park
and recreation staff) to observe predetermined
park spaces intermittently
and through brief scans. The
scans of these park spaces are meant
to be very brief snapshots of who is
using the space and how, such as an
adult female walking on a track or
a 4-year-old boy playing on a slide.
SOPARC also works by breaking up
parks into distinct user spaces and
observing, or scanning, each one
every quarter hour (see Figure 1).
An added benefit of using systematic
observations during COVID-19
is the measure does not necessitate
direct interactions with park users,
further limiting any exposure, while
providing the evaluation with detailed
park-use data.
Due to the timing of the closure
of Catherine Street Park for renovations,
the pre-renovation systematic
observations occurred during the
first two weeks of December 2018.
FIGURE 1: Park-User Spaces
FIGURE 2: Percentage of Children Park Users
All Children Under 10
Girls Under 10
Catherine
St. Park
December
2018
December
2019
May 2021
33.7
49.5
51.1
Harlem Sq.
Park
35.8
29
12.8
This effort was repeated in December
2019. December 2020 was
missed due to COVID-19 travel and
research restrictions, but systematic
observations were able to continue
in May 2021, and we have recently
returned from observations the first
two weeks of December 2021 (data
and evaluation forthcoming).
Mid-Stream Findings
During the three years of systematic
observations
approximately
50
Catherine
St. Park
3.4
17.2
25.5
Harlem Sq.
Park
20.4
20
1.1
(December 2018,
December 2019 and May 2021), we
observed more than 1,000 people
across
hours
spent in each park. Per park area
scan, there was, on average, 1.8
park users at Catherine Street Park
and one park user at Harlem Square
Park. In setting up the systematic
observations, we specifically tried
to identify children under the age
of 10 - those most likely to use
the
new playground equipment
and swings. Overall, at Catherine
Street Park, children were 48.6
percent of those observed using the
park, compared to 27.2 percent at
Harlem Square Park.
Looking at the yearly difference
Street Park, there
in
Catherine
were 0.4, 0.5 and 1.3 children per
scan in December 2018, December
2019 and May 2021, respectively.
By comparison, Harlem Square
Park had averages of 0.6, 0.4 and
0.1 children per area across those
same dates. Of note is the average
48 Parks & Recreation | MARCH 2 0 22 | PARK S ANDRECRE AT ION . OR G
number of children per scan at
Catherine Street Park is increasing
following the Parks Build Community
renovation, and unsurprisingly,
was highest in May 2021.
The opposite is true for the comparison
park, Harlem Square. We
believe this may be due to Harlem
Square Park being situated near a
school and recreation center, both
of which were mostly closed to inperson
use due to the pandemic
during the 2020/2021 school year.
Another way of looking at systematic
observation data is to ask:
What proportion of park users were
children? In 2018, 33.7
percent
of park users at Catherine Street
Park were observed to be under
the age of 10. In December 2019,
post-Parks Build Community renovation,
this was 49.5 percent. This
means the proportion of park users
observed to be children increased
by 46.9 percent. In May 2021,
more than 51 percent of observed
users were children (see Figure
2). The opposite trend continued at
the comparison park.
From here, we were curious about
playground and swing-set space use
specifically. Catherine Street Park
improved from three distinct play
areas prior to the Parks Build Community
renovation
to
four
areas
after the renovation (see areas 3,
4, 5 and 8 in Figure 1). Looking at
the average number of children per
scan in these spaces, the difference
MAP COURTESY OF NRPA AND CLAUDIA ALBERICO
CHART BY J. AARON HIPP
http://www.tinyurl.com/mr4898r3

March 2022 - Parks & Recreation

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

March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Intro
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover1
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover2
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 1
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 2
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 3
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 4
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 5
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 6
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 7
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 8
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 9
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 10
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 11
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 12
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 13
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 14
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 15
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 16
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 17
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 18
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 19
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 20
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 21
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 22
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 23
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 24
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 25
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 26
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 27
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 28
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 29
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 30
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 31
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 32
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 33
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 34
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 35
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 36
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 37
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 38
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 39
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 40
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 41
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 42
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 43
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 44
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 45
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 46
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 47
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 48
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 49
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 50
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 51
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 52
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 53
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 54
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 55
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - 56
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover3
March 2022 - Parks & Recreation - Cover4
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/february-2023
https://ezine.nrpa.org/nrpa/ParksRecreationMagazine/january-2023
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
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com