In an effort to meet the changing needs of the community with the city’s open spaces, The City of Great Bend and the Great Bend Recreation Commission have partnered to develop a survey aimed at garnering community feedback on what the future direction and improvements at the park.
The GBRC board discussed the partnership and development of the survey at its monthly meeting Monday. GBRC Executive Director Diann Henderson said the Rec Commission shares the city’s goals of creating better open spaces which meet changing community needs.
“Some of these parks have not had major improvements (since) they were originally created,” Henderson said. “There’s always update needed; always things we need to modernize a little bit.”
This was the impetus for the Heizer Park survey project. In collaboration with the city, the Rec Commission developed a 10-question survey, available online, which Henderson said takes about three minutes to complete. It offers community members an opportunity to provide input on how they use the park and what changes they would like to see moving forward. The survey will be open until Aug. 28.
The park currently offers a playground area, a basketball court, one covered picnic area, a sand volleyball pit, a soccer field and a baseball field.
The city has already added a swing for individuals with physical disabilities and has looked at adding additional picnic areas, as well as changes to the baseball field and sand volleyball courts, but Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis said community input through the survey will be crucial to which direction the city moves going forward.
“We don’t want to do something that may not be the best for that area,” Francis said. “(We want to know) what people who utilize that park the most would like to see.”
Henderson indicated this is especially important with families utilizing outdoor spaces closer to home more often.
“I think we see some higher usage in those park areas right now because of our environment,” Henderson said. “With everyone being home with the COVID and with school starting, everybody’s engaging their neighborhood parks and recreation spaces, (albeit) very carefully and safely.”
Both Henderson and Francis indicated initial response to the Heizer Park survey had been positive, with over 340 responses being reported as of Thursday afternoon.
“It’s exciting, it’s a first step in seeing what we need to plan for the future,” Henderson said.
Francis said the city’s partnership with GBRC has been instrumental in helping both organizations facilitate shared goals for providing top-notch outdoor spaces for the entire community of Great Bend.
“They’ve been tremendous and always have been, we value our partnership with them,” he said.
Individuals wanting to take the survey can go to: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/heizerpark.