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Needs and Priorities Assessment


needs and priorities assessment

65% of the 2014 acreage. Community parks provide

a surplus of acreage, but will experience a deficit as the

population grows towards the 2035 estimate. Based on the

park sizes of these three categories, it is estimated that the

city will need 2,055.45 additional acres in 71 new parks by

2035, based on this one level of service analysis technique.

While the Acreage LOS helps ensure a commitment

to park land as the city develops, it has shortcomings.

Comparison to other cities may be difficult as some cities

operate golf courses, conservation areas, and other non-

recreation facilities which are high in acreage but low in

available capacity. Acreage LOS also does not consider

amenities that are accessible to residents but owned and

operated by entities other than the city or consolidated

city/county park systems. Examples include school ball

fields and playgrounds, county and state parks located

near the city border, and privately operated programs such

as YMCAs, church after-school programs, community

meeting facilities, and non-profit senior programs.

For these reasons,

this System Plan explores additional


such as Existing Facility LOS and Access LOS

to better determine the extent to which parks, recreation

and cultural resource facilities and programs are able

to meet the needs of City of Raleigh residents. This

methodology assumes the following principles:

• Facilities

(Capacity of Facilities)

– Every resident

should have similar opportunities to use recreation

facilities; and

• Access

(Distance or Travel Time)

– Every resident

should be able to access specific park facilities

within similar walking, bicycling, public transit and/

or driving distances.

Another way to measure existing LOS is by the number of

facilities per population. Like acreage, there are no strict

standards for the number of facilities that a community


Demand for Outdoor Recreation

The 2002-2007 National Survey on Recreation and the

Environment (NSRE) is the eighth survey in a series

started in 1960 by the Outdoor Recreation Resources

Review Commission and now coordinated by the US

Forest Service. This survey interviewed approximately

90,000 Americans aged 16 and older through random

telephone samples. In North Carolina, the NRSE produced

almost 3,000 survey results.

The survey identifies the top 20 most popular outdoor

recreation activities with responses from North Carolina

highlighted in

Table 74

. Walking for pleasure is the most

popular activity, with 82% of state residents participating.

Approximately 75% of the population enjoys outdoor

gatherings, and almost two-thirds participate in gardening

or landscaping. These numbers are helpful in determining

the kind of recreational activities that citizens wish to

engage in, and identifying what types of facilities can best

serve these demands.

Table 74.

2002-2007 Percentage of State Residents

Participating in Outdoor Recreation Activities (NSRE)



Walking for Pleasure

82 %

Family Gathering

74.6 %

Gardening or Landscaping

65.4 %

Driving for Pleasure

58.2 %

View/Photo Natural Scenery

57 %

Visit Nature Centers

52.9 %


52.9 %


50 %

Attend Sports Events

48.6 %

Visit a Beach

44.2 %

Visit Historic Sites

43.1 %

View/Photo Wildlife

43 %

View/Photo Wildflowers, Trees

41 %

Swimming in an Outdoor Pool

39.9 %

Swimming in Lakes, Streams, Etc.

39.7 %

Yard Games, e.g., Horseshoes, Cornhole

38.5 %

View/Photograph Birds

34 %


31 %

Boating (Any Type)

31 %

Freshwater Fishing

30.9 %

3.7.2 Existing Facilities LOS Analysis