The Carol Stream Park District conducted a Community Needs Assessment Survey in 2008 that initiated the 2010 referendum, and ultimately brought us the Fountain View Recreation and Fitness Center, McCaslin Park Sports Complex, the Bark Park, and numerous improvements and updates to Carol Stream Park District facilities, playgrounds, parks, and trails. From that needs assessment, the findings helped in the development and implementation of a comprehensive master plan (community-driven) and strategic plan (Board and staff driven). Carol Stream Park District Board and staff used those plans to develop a roadmap that has served the community over the last seven years. With most, if not all, projects complete, we enter a new era of vision, organization, operations, partnerships, and community.
Almost ten years ago since the last survey, we reached out to residents again in 2017. Operating within our current theme of “Take care of what we have,” the Carol Stream Park District worked with the Office of Recreation and Park Resources (ORPR) of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to conduct a community needs assessment. ORPR studied the population, developed a questionnaire (survey), conducted meetings and stakeholder interviews, and collected and reported resultant data. Individual focus groups and interviews were conducted in March 2017 with commissioners, staff, and stakeholders (community leaders). Interviews focused on current issues, anticipated needs, and future trends impacting the Carol Stream Park District community. The survey was mailed to a random selection of residents in May 2017. Recipients of the survey were able to tell us how we did, where can we improve, and what else residents would like to see. View the results here.
The strategic plan process starts with the mission statement of the organization:
The mission of the Carol Stream Park District is to enrich our community by fulfilling our residents’ needs for healthy, accessible, quality recreation activities, parks, and facilities, and to be responsible stewards of our community resources.
Using the mission statement to define strategy or direction and recognizing what residents shared in the needs assessment, the Carol Stream Park District has developed a strategic plan to guide us through the years 2018 to 2022. The plan identifies key priorities, focuses energy and resources, and ensures employees are working toward the intended outcomes. Implementation covers a five-year period and establishes the organization’s goals and actions needed to achieve those goals. The plan is designed to adjust to a changing environment.
The Carol Stream Park District Board of Commissioners and staff met to identify goals to accomplish in the next 5-10 years, particularly with facilities and parks. Having a long-range vision for the development and maintenance of facilities and parks provides specific direction and is key in the evaluation of future capital improvements. It also creates standards for ongoing park maintenance. Thematic concepts weave through the goals, objectives, and tasks. The Master Plan lays out the groundwork for the District’s future to start in 2018.