Jefferson County Open Space is in the process of hiring a company to generate and conduct a statistically valid opinion survey of a random sample of county residents.
The invitation to bid on the job went out in mid-February, and responses are due March 1. Vendors' questions are due by Feb. 23. The projected cost is $25,000 to $30,000.
Data collection probably will be done in the spring, with the results available in the fall or before the end of the year.
Administrators are looking for answers to questions such as: What is the reputation and brand image of Jeffco Open Space? What are the differences between users and non-users? What changes or program focus would constituents like to see?
The division has over the years collected reams of information about park users with onsite questionnaires, but it has never before done a survey of a cross-section of all the citizens of Jefferson County.
"By conducting a random-sample, scientific research survey, we hope to complement our existing data collection of park users with broader county-wide opinion. …We hope to define the needs and desires of citizens as they relate to outdoor recreation and open space preservation," said spokeswoman Thea Rock.
It has not been decided whether or not the survey will be administered by telephone, e-mail or by mail. Approximately 1,000 to 1,500 people are to be queried.
Some of the goals of the study are to assess:
• Awareness and support for the open space program.
• How people use the outdoors.
• Desires and possible obstacles to visiting Open Space parks or attending programs.
• How people use their spare time and the value placed on open space.
• Whether or not Open Space master-plan values align with respondents’ values for parks, recreation, preservation and programming.
• Preferences in getting information from Open Space.
Contact Vicky Gits at 303-350-1042 or Vicky@evergreenco.com.