Proposed Park Questionnaire: Summary of Results
April 19 – June 1, 2012
On April 19, 2012, the Rendezvous Lands Conservancy initiated a questionnaire to gather public input on a proposed park located near the northeast corner of the intersection of Wyoming Hwy 22 and Hwy 390. Questions covered preferred features for the park, types of uses and information on when the community expected to use the park. Questionnaire responses were solicited from a wide variety of stakeholder groups and organizations.
Response was good with 465 community members completing the questionnaire. Almost all respondents were full time residents of Teton County, Wyoming who live in the town of Jackson, south of Jackson or west of the Snake River. The top two ranked features were pathways/nature trails and restrooms and the top five uses were walking, wildlife viewing, access to the boat launch, biking, cross country skiing and dog walking. There were few times that the community did not expect to use the park with high use expected on a weekly basis both on the weekends and weekdays and during the mornings, afternoons, and evenings. Year round use is expected with winter use slightly lower than summer, fall and spring. The majority of respondents will travel to the park via car and potentially limited parking will not deter use.
Uses & Features
Uses that are most important to those surveyed included walking, wildlife viewing, access to the boat launch, biking, xc skiing, dog walking and water related sports such as rafting, human powered watercraft, fishing and swimming. Comments varied with several desiring the park to be dog and kid friendly while others desired no dogs and no winter use to protect moose habitat. Public art was also suggested and there was some concern for controlling commercial boat access.
By far the most important park features were pathways or nature trails and restrooms. The desire for pathways lines up with the highest priority passive recreation being walking. Benches and picnic tables were the next most important feature with slight preference for these features being located near water and water activities. A designated dog park and shelters were considered somewhat important and large groups of picnic tables were not favored by many. Comments again included several revolving around being dog and family friendly and having access or enhancement of beach/river access. Other suggested features to consider included trash and recycling bins, information kiosks or interpretative signage, kids fishing area, composting toilets, horse trails, bike skills area and fire pits.
The majority of respondents felt it was important for the pathway connection from Emily Steven’s Park to the Moose-Wilson pathway pass through the RLC Park uninterrupted.
Projected Park Attendance
Over half of the respondents thought they would use the park on a weekly basis indicating that the park will be a popular attraction. Expected use during the afternoon (78%) was slightly higher than morning and evening times (55% and 59% respectively). Expected use during the weekends and week days was evenly split. Almost all respondents (97%) expected to use the park during the summer months and a large majority (79-89%) also expected to use the park in the fall and spring. Winter use was predicted to be the lowest although still significant at 57%.
Travel & Parking
The majority of respondents (85%) expected to travel to the Park via car with the next most popular mode of transport being via bike (65%). A small number expected to travel to the park via walking/running, bus, or boat. One person expected to come in via helicopter!
Since many expect to travel via car, parking is important and several comments were made in response to questions about parking. However, most people seem to be flexible and responded that they would still visit the park knowing that parking may be limited or that the availability of parking would not affect their decision to visit at all (85% total). Also, 49% were willing to walk up to 5 minutes from a parking site to the park and 33% were willing to walk up to 10 minutes. Several comments included a willingness to walk from the Stilson Parking lot located across the street though some were concerned about having a safe pedestrian crossing.
Many comments were made regarding general gratitude for the gift of the Park and for the opportunity to give input. The following comment sums up that sentiment well:
“This is an incredible gift to the community and I would like to express appreciation to all involved in purchasing this land and now planning for its use. The opportunity for the public to provide input to the design is also a thoughtful component to this gift.”
Other comments again focused on dogs, kids and river access. It seems the general sentiment was to allow dogs but enforce clean up and leashes and/or have a designed dog area. Others preferred that the park be closed to dogs and some asked that the park be closed during the winter in order to protect wildlife habitat. Kid and family friendly suggestions included a kid only fishing pond, play equipment, and a place for a lemonade stand. Several comments were made that the park should be natural and include limited hardscape, no outdoor lighting, park features designed by local artists and informal grassy gathering spaces.
Although it is out of the scope of the RLC Park, there were many comments related to river access. These generally revolved around improving boat ramps, creating a white water or kayak park, and concerns about commercial boat access.
The charts below show responses to select questions from our online survey. A PDF version of this executive summary is available here.