The Office of the Dane County Board of Supervisors recently launched an independent evaluation of equity and access at Dane County Parks and the Henry Vilas Zoo.
The evaluation, which is being conducted by Keen Independent Research in collaboration with the County Board Office, Dane County Parks, and the Henry Vilas Zoo, is bringing in-depth qualitative and quantitative research to form a better understanding of the demographics of who is and is not utilizing Dane County parks and the zoo, as well as the reasons behind such behavior, particularly as they relate to equity and access.
As part of this study, Keen Independent Research is gathering input from visitors and non-visitors of Dane County Parks and Henry Vilas Zoo and seeks all residents’ input and comments.
Survey results will help inform recommendations to guide Dane County toward improving access to its facilities, lands, properties and programs, and ultimately become a more inclusive, equitable and racially just place for all.
“We are excited to hear from Dane County residents about whether and how they access and use Dane County’s parks, trails, recreational spaces, and the Henry Vilas Zoo. This brief survey is one tool that residents can use right now to share their ideas and experiences and help us ensure that Dane County’s natural, cultural, and educational resources are accessible to all members of the Dane County community in ways that are positive and meaningful,” said County Board Chair and District 3 Supervisor Analiese Eicher, who represents a portion of Sun Prairie on the county board.
Goals of the evaluation include:
• Gaining a better understanding of the demographics of who is currently using Dane County Parks and Zoo and how they are using these places.
• Gaining a better understanding of who is not visiting Dane County Parks and Zoo and what the barriers are, or if there are other reasons why they are not visiting our Parks and Zoo.
• Providing specific recommendations to the county board office that will remove identified barriers to racial and social equity and access, including access to people of all abilities, at Dane County Parks and Henry Vilas Zoo and strengthen racial and social equity and access to people of all abilities at Dane County Parks and Zoo facilities, lands, properties, and programming.
For more information about the project, contact Lisa MacKinnon, Sustainability and Program Evaluation Coordinator, by email at MacKinnon@countyofdane.com.