Goal: More visitors!

January 2016 Posted in Other

By Steve Ritchie 

Even as the number of visitors to Oregon state parks swells, the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) is finding new ways to reach out to the public.

The latest example of this outreach is a partnership between OPRD and KUNP, a Spanish language television channel affiliated with Univision which is carried on Portland, Vancouver, Salem and Bend metro area cable systems.

In collaboration with Oregon State Parks staff, KUNP is producing a series of four 60-second spots it will air in the spring and summer of 2016. The goal of the public service spots is to increase awareness in the Latino and Spanish-speaking communities of the recreation possibilities offered by Oregon’s parks.

The second of the four spots was recently filmed at Silver Falls Park, and featured a Tigard family of four hiking. An earlier spot filmed at Champoeg highlighted day use recreation; the final two spots will highlight water recreation and camping.

Tammy Baumann, OPRD Visitor Experience Coordinator for the Valley Region, helped establish the partnership with KUNP. She said the purpose of the spots is really about education.

“It’s really about building awareness of the state parks as an option for outdoor recreation and… (encouraging viewers) to get outdoors and explore the special places that are a part of the Northwest.”

Baumann says the OPRD plans gather more feedback. She wants to get answers to questions like, “Are we providing acceptable, enjoyable, world-class experiences for all Oregonians and those visiting our state?”

The most recent survey at Silver Falls Park was conducted in 2013. OPRD statistics show that from January to August 2015 the total of day use visitors at all state parks was 843,444, an increase of 23 percent over the previous year.

The Silver Falls survey provides evidence that there are a lot of visitors having very good experiences.

The satisfaction rate among nearly 1,000 Silver Falls survey respondents was 97 percent, with people citing park cleanliness, personal safety, the number and condition of park trails, a good value for the fees they paid and the courteousness of park staff as reasons for their good ratings.

No less than 99 percent of survey respondents said they would feel good about recommending Silver Falls Park.

Over half – 57 percent – of all visitors indicated that their level of physical activity during their visit to Silver Falls State Park was more than their usual daily level of activity. They also reported their visit helped to reduce stress (86 percent), improve mental health (85 percent), reduce anxiety (76 percent), and improve physical fitness and health (75 percent).

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