A premier suburban Detroit community, the City of Farmington Hills enjoys an exceptional parks and recreation system, comprised of more than 630 acres of parks and facilities. But with its existing parks and recreation master plan due for an update and the 10-year parks and recreation millage scheduled for voter approval, City officials wanted to ensure resources were aligned with citizens’ priorities.
McKenna planners and designers devised a multi-tiered process to assess the needs of a wide spectrum of the community’s 80,000 residents. The process included nearly 20 focus group meetings with park and program users, a community visioning workshop, and 400 phone interviews to ensure statistically accurate feedback from park users and non-users alike.
The multi-tiered survey revealed citizens’ strong feelings about their parks, including widespread desire for a performing arts center, a splash park, and upgrades and expansion of existing facilities. The survey also showed a need for the City to acquire more park land and improve online services. Perhaps most important, the phone survey indicated public approval for renewal of the millage.
As a result of the update to the Parks and Recreation Plan, the City of Farmington Hills gained insight into citizen needs and was well positioned to align future resources to ensure its exceptional parks and recreation system would flourish for years to come.