Participation in Parks, Arts, and Recreational Activities

Community, Safety, & Health


How are we Doing?


Baseline: 244,570 in 2015

Most Recent: 245,065 in 2016

Goal: Maintain

Target: Maintain

Status: Green


Why is this indicator important?

Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation Department (OPARD) offers over 100 unique classes, programs and activities to help expand participant's horizons, hone an existing skill, discover hidden talents and meet personal wellness goals. Recreation programs build community, improve individual health, and support the local economy.

What influences this indicator?

There are positive and negative factors that influence this indicator. Those that OPARD controls include providing relevant recreation activities, high program quality and effective marketing strategies. Influences that we have less control of include the local economy, service competitors and public safety concerns.

What are we doing about this?

In 2015, the City of Olympia contracted with the Learning Resources Network (LERN) to conduct an audit of the Recreation Division. This data-driven program review analyzed participation trends, existing staff models, marketing strategies and the current revenue philosophy. Using national benchmarks, LERN also provided a series of recommendations to consider for implementation. These included an increased emphasis on marketing and new programs and minor staff re-structuring to centralize daily tasks and create efficiencies. Staff are already implementing many of these recommendations.

How do we measure progress on this?

Beyond participation hours, the department utilizes the following measures to identify progress: Percentage of new activity offerings each year; Participant repeat rate; Activity cancellation rate; Ratio of brochures distributed/actual program participants; Cost recovery percentage; Activity quality rating (survey); Customer survey rating (survey).