PRSA Recreational Needs Assessment Findings
The Upper Valley Park & Recreation Service Area (PRSA) is excited to share findings from its needs assessment, which highlights community priorities for recreational investments and improvements in the Upper Valley.
Click here to read the Press Release, or read below for a recap of the report:
Key needs assessment recommendations include:
- Expanding a network of shared-use (walking/hiking/biking) paths to connect Upper Valley communities
- Expanding access to the community pool for year-round, more inclusive access
Needs assessment outreach began in June 2021 and concluded in September 2021, and included public outreach at the Leavenworth Community Farmers Market, an open house meeting, stakeholder interviews with a variety of community representatives, and a statistically valid survey administered to randomly selected households in the Upper Valley.
Key priorities for investing in facilities that emerged from the statistically valid survey include:
- An indoor swimming pool/year-round pool access
- Shared-use paths
- Natural parks and preserves
Key priorities for investing in programming from the survey include:
- Outdoor concerts and movies
- Fitness, wellness, arts, and cultural programs for adults
- Exercise classes
- Farmers markets
Key priorities that emerged from stakeholder interviews with community members representing the Cascade School District, community pool management, sports and recreation organizations in the Upper Valley, and community recreation enthusiasts include:
- Trails and shared-use paths available for use year-round
- Year-round pool access
- A community center
- Improving existing facilities and adding amenities such as restrooms and waste receptacles
- Increasing the number of sports fields and courts available for use in the Upper Valley
- Giving more focus to areas outside of the City of Leavenworth
- Access to sports and recreation equipment, especially for youth
Key priorities that emerged from conversations with community members at Leavenworth Community Farmers Markets and a public house include:
- Year-round pool facilities
- Shared-use paths available for use year-round
- Increased shade at existing facilities
- Increased recreational programming for youth
- More mountain bike facilities
- An ice skating rink
- A community center
- More pickleball facilities
Key priorities voiced by members of the Peshastin Community Council include:
- Shared-use paths connecting Upper Valley communities
- More sports fields in Peshastin
- Additional off-leash dog parks in the Upper Valley
- Increased access to the Wenatchee River in Peshastin
According to the survey, the recreation improvements community members voiced the most support for funding include:
- Adding shared-use trails connecting Upper Valley communities
- Extending pool usage by enclosing the facility for year-round use
Full survey findings are available here for review.
What happens next? Findings from this needs assessment will help guide the PRSA in how best to continue to serve the recreational needs of the Upper Valley community. The PRSA will continue to examine needs assessment findings and survey data, and intends to develop conceptual projects for some of the high-priority recommendations that emerged from the needs assessment process, including scope of cost and forecast benefits to the community.
About the PRSA
The Upper Valley Park and Recreation Service Area (PRSA) was formed in 1997 with the primary purpose of funding the reconstruction and maintenance of the community pool. PRSA residents continue to support the majority of the pool’s maintenance and operational costs through a levy on property tax assessments. The current six-year levy, approved by voters in 2018 to collect revenue from 2019-2024, collects $0.11 per $1,000 of assessed property value to fund maintenance and operations of the pool. For instance, a property assessed at $500,000 contributes $55 per year to the PRSA.
The Upper Valley PRSA is a voter-approved Special Purpose District (a legal entity separate from the City of Leavenworth) formed by an Interlocal Agreement and is governed by a volunteer board with representatives from Chelan County, the City of Leavenworth, Peshastin Community Council, the Chumstick community, and Cascade School District #228. The current PRSA boundaries include the City of Leavenworth and extend out a portion of the Chumstick Highway, Icicle Road and East Leavenworth Road, and a portion of Peshastin, with most properties located just west of Highway 97.
The Board meets quarterly each year to review and assist the City of Leavenworth in passing the budget for pool operations, and reviews recommendations for future expansion of recreational opportunities.
The PRSA budget is now separate from the City’s budget; however, the PRSA budget only includes collected property tax revenues from the Chelan County Treasurer’s Office that are transferred to the City. The City of Leavenworth in turn utilizes these funds for pool operations and maintenance.
For questions regarding the Upper Valley Park and Recreation Service Area please contact Kiah Patzkowsky, PRSA Coordinator.
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