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Parks & Recreation

Healthy Parks, Healthy Portland

Phone: 503-823-PLAY (7529)

Fax: 503-823-6007

1120 SW Fifth Ave., Suite 1302, Portland, OR 97204

2. Recreation Programs

The way in which recreation programs are planned and supported has a profound effect on the capacity of the organization to deliver services. Improving recreation program development and delivery through a focused service delivery strategy is integral to the strategic plan. Below are Key Performance Measures we are using to measure our progress in achieving goals within this area. A summary table is provided along with more detailed interactive charts below.

Recreation Theme Goals

  • Connect more youth to the outdoors, physical activity, and their communities.
  • Improve the recreation service delivery model through coordinated programming, integrated marketing, and supporting services. 

The following table provides a summary of progress towards Recreation goals.

Cost Recovery
PP&R’s cost recovery policy was approved by City Council in 2005 and establishes a cost recovery target of 39% for all fee-supported programs.  Every two years PP&R completes a cost of service study showing how much of PP&R’s costs are paid for by taxpayer dollars versus how much are paid by other resources, such as program and rental fees, grant and donations. In 2014 (latest year available) cost recovery was at 41%, above the defined target of 39%. Within specific age categories, PP&R is exceeding its goal for youth programs and below the target established for adult programs.      

The percentage of Portland residents satisfied or very satisfied with the affordability of Recreation programs has remained steady in recent years at 68%. Because of expected pressures to raise revenue through price increases, the bureau’s target forecasts an expected decline in the satisfaction with affordability. It is possible that the data presented here from the City Auditor’s survey does not accurately capture perceptions of the City’s most vulnerable and underserved populations. Recent focus group research with Portland’s Latino population suggest that the cost of programs is a barrier to participation.

Quality of Recreation Programs
75% of Portland residents rate the overall quality of recreation centers and activities as good or very good. With improvements made as part of the bureau’s Recreation Revolution efforts it is expected that quality perceptions will continue to increase. 

Scholarships are a tool used by PP&R to ensure access to program for those that are not able to pay full price. In FY 2015 the total value of scholarship awarded increased to $630,574. The demand for scholarships continues to increase and the bureau is continuing efforts to find outside funding options to support the program.

Quality of Instruction
63% of Portland residents rate the overall quality of instruction, coaching and leadership within recreation programs as good or very good. With improvements made as part of the bureau’s Recreation Revolution effort it is expected that quality perceptions will continue to increase. 

Participation in Recreation Programs
The percentage of residents participating in a Portland Parks and Recreation activity has remained virtually unchanged over the past four years. The bureau has made it a goal to increase participation to 35% of the City’s population. Based on the latest City Auditor’s survey 31% of Portlanders indicate participation in a City recreation program.

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