Response to PARCS survey over the top

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A surprisingly enthusiastic response to a recent parks and recreational needs survey in Malibu has prompted leaders of the community-wide assessment to extend its deadline.

Pat Greenwood, treasurer of PARCS (People Achieving Recreation and Community Service), said, “We’re getting some great responses in numbers and content to the actual survey.” Explaining why the deadline for returning the questionnaire has been extended to mid March, she said, “What’s happened is that as it (the survey) has gotten out into the community, we are receiving input of more groups who would like to fill out the survey. We’re getting calls from people who are so pleased we’re taking an interest in their needs.”

Nearly a month ago, PARCS distributed its needs assessment survey to some200 organizations and parks and recreation interest groups in the Malibu area, including church and community centers, sports organizations and homeowners groups.

“Our plan is to take the results to the city,” said PARCS member Kristin Reynolds. “As we go to these meetings of the City Council and recreation commission, we will have a better pulse on what the users want and need.”

Because of the strong community response, PARCS has sent out another 50 to 100 questionnaires in the last week, according to Greenwood. What do the returns indicate so far? Greenwood said, “In short, the most frequent comments are requesting meeting facilities and playing fields for sporting events.”

The PARCS survey addresses recreational needs of all age groups from toddlers to seniors and requests a profile of each group’s current recreational activities. Organizations are asked to describe whether their present faciities are adequate or lacking, and to provide a projection of future needs.

Questions are aimed at getting an idea of how city government should design future playing fields, senior and teen centers, and how to make them accessible to all residents. A perspective of how the city should work with the community to fund and supplement current facilities is also in the assessment, along with a space for comments on priority needs not covered in the survey.