DirectionFinder® Parks and Recreation Survey

About the DirectionFinder® Survey

About the DirectionFinder® Parks and Recreation Survey

What Is ETC Institute’s DirectionFinder® Parks and Recreation Survey?

During the past two decades, ETC Institute has conducted more than 1,000 parks and recreation surveys for Federal, state, and local governmental agencies. In 2016, ETC Institute standardized a core set of questions that are now regularly included on most of the parks and recreation surveys that are administered by our firm. By standardizing the questions, ETC Institute has been able to develop benchmarks that allow parks and recreation officials to objectively assess their results compared to regional and national norms. DirectionFinder®: PR refers to the standardized set of questions that ETC Institute has developed for our parks and recreation surveys.

What Is the Source of the Data for This Dashboard?

The data presented in this dashboard comes from two sources:

A National Survey of U.S. Residents. The national and regional results in the dashboard come from a national survey that was administered by ETC Institute to a random sample of U.S. residents in all 50 states. The sample was managed to ensure that the demographic composition of the sample would be similar to the U.S. Census Bureau’s estimates for the U.S. population with regard to age, race, and gender. The sample was also designed to ensure that at least 400 surveys were completed from each of 10 geographic regions. The overall results of the national survey have an accuracy of at least +/-1.4% at the 95% level of confidence. The results for each of the 10 regions have an accuracy of at least +/-4.9% at the 95% level of confidence. This survey will be repeated on an annual basis and trends will be provided in future years.

Individual Community Surveys. The performance ranges that are shown in “Top Performers” section of the dashboard are derived from surveys that were administered by ETC Institute in 337 communities between 2017-2021. The results for the “Top 10% of Communities” and “Top 25% of Communities” reflect the rating needed to rank in the top 10% or top 25% of all communities that have been surveyed by ETC Institute during the past three years. The top 3 communities in each category are listed by name (in some cases more than three are listed if there was a tie). Communities that rank in the top 10% “overall” will receive ETC Institute’s prestigious “Leading the Way Award” for excellence in parks and recreation.

How Can I Get More Information?

For more information, please contact Ryan Murray, Assistant Director of Community Research, at or 913-829-1215.


Data within ETC Institute’s DirectionFinder Dashboard Series cannot be published without the written consent from ETC Institute

For consent to publish any data from ETC Institute’s DirectionFinder Dashboard Series, please contact Jason Morado, Vice President of Community Research, at or 913-829-1215.

Click to go back to the top of the page