Summary for Feb. 21 board of directors meeting

February 22, 2023

At the Feb. 21 meeting, the BPRD board of directors approved an agreement with the City of Bend to improve Riverfront Street that connects Miller’s Landing and Drake parks. A recording of the meeting is available.

Riverfront Street project

The Deschutes River Trail downtown is the most heavily used trail in Bend, with more than 1,200 trail users per day, it is an important transportation and recreation facility. The district has sought to improve the pedestrian and bicycle connectivity of Riverfront Street and began developing designs in 2015. During the development of designs, it became apparent that the project was more complex and costlier than anticipated, and that the city of Bend would be better positioned to lead the project due to the need to address extensive utility issues and to fully reconstruct the street. The approved agreement defines roles for BPRD and the city for the project to begin design work before a construction timeline is established.

Work session

In work session, the board of directors met several new employees on the Natural Resources team and received a recreation seasonal report for fall 2022. Highlights from the recreation report include:

  • Program visits for the fall season were 5% higher than in 2019 compared to a 14% increase in registrations as we offered more shorter duration programs.
  • Overall capacity in recreation programs increased 11% compared to 2019 while demand is up 16% from pre-pandemic numbers.
  • Scholarship use continued to be much higher than pre-pandemic levels and is trending higher than last year’s record high. Currently 15% of Kids INC participants receive scholarship support.
  • Visitation to The Pavilion grew by 14% compared to 2019 due to increases in roller activities.

Survey results

The board members also received a report on the findings of a community survey. Every few years, BPRD conducts surveys to gauge awareness, perceptions and priorities of Bend residents in regards to parks and recreation services. These results directly inform district communications and services and identify community priorities for future programs and projects.

  • More than eight in 10 residents rate quality of life in Bend positively. While marks are high, this is a reduction from the all-time high of 98% reported in 2019.
  • Eighty-one percent of residents have visited a park or trail in the past year and 53% have visited a recreational facility or participated in a recreational program. These results are reductions from 2019, following pandemic operational changes.
  • A vast majority of residents agree that they feel welcome and safe at parks, trails and recreation facilities.

More details are available in the meeting agenda packet (beginning on page 6).

The March 7 meeting is canceled; therefore, the next meeting is March 21.