Analysis of Westside Park

Analysis of the Survey Data

Analysis Written by: Mason Miller

Throughout the course of my semester research, I was able to examine the park and ask visitors a few questions about Westside Park and other parks in Muncie. During my research I spoke with 37 people who I asked to do a survey on Westside Park. I came up with four separate open answer questions and one multiple choice answer for them to respond to. The three questions were: 1) What kind of changes would you want to see at Westside Park? 2) What are your favorite aspects of the park? 3) How often do you come to this park?, and 4) What other Muncie parks do you visit other than Westside? To my surprise, there was a wide variety of answers to my open-ended questions, but 73% of people said they wanted to see changes made to the built environment of the parks. For example, they mentioned pavement issues, equipment issues, and trash control. As we were able to tell from the answers on the question regarding their favorite aspects, we can clearly see that people still enjoy their time at the Westside Park, but they are not completely satisfied with the overall quality of it with more than 50% of the people listing their satisfactory level with the equipment at 5 or below on a 1-10 scale. 

The last two questions were how often they visited the Muncie parks, and which parks they visit. I wanted to ask these questions because I thought it would be important for us to understand how many of the people I talked to are reoccurring visitors. Only 13% of the people that were surveyed said that they visit the Muncie Parks more than 5 times a year, I realize that in perspective that 37 is a small sample size but still that percentage is way too low for a city like Muncie. Something that I was able to get from this data is there was that 48% of the people interviewed at Westside chose Tuhey as the other park that they would visit. My first thought was because of the pool and that is such an attraction that they have that most other parks don’t, so if we were able to individualize certain activities to the parks, we might see an increase of people visiting and visiting more often. Two of the biggest attractions to Westside Park are the baseball diamond and the three full court basketball courts. These are the types of physical activities that draw crowds together, so why isn’t Westside seeing the usage it should? Simple, the quality and the safety of these recreational spaces. They have been neglected for many years and are in a poor condition now. With help from the community, donors, and the Muncie Parks and Rec board and staff these areas could see an increase in traffic if the money, time, and energy is spent to allow them to 

By collecting this data of specific changes wanted and park goers favorite aspects we can see that even though there are still several people going to the park and using the space and equipment, there are multiple problems. If we were able to meet the request of the park goers and see to the changes that they want to see there is reason to assume that more people would come and use the parks. I say this because we still have groups of people who are at the parks every day, but then there is the other group of people who don’t go to the parks at all anymore because they don’t enjoy the current state that the parks are in. Regarding Westside, if the three basketball courts were properly refinished, that would increase the flow of people into Westside drastically. By increasing the number of people coming to the park, we increase the community’s overall health.