Parks Make Long Beach: Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine Strategic Plan
On January 18, 2022, the Long Beach City Council approved the adoption of a Strategic Plan (Plan) for Long Beach Parks, Recreation and Marine (PRM) which will guide operational, staffing and budget decisions for a 10-year period from 2022 to 2032 and serve as a tool to adapt park services as the community’s needs evolve. Community members are invited to review the Strategic Plan.
In 2019, the Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation, and Marine launched the effort to update the 2003 Parks, Recreation and Marine Department Strategic Plan, made possible by funding from the City Council.
What is the Strategic Plan and What Does It Do?
A strategic plan is a document that a City department uses to guide how they will prioritize work, organize staff, and decide how to best budget their money. It is essential for the Long Beach Department of Parks, Recreation, and Marine to adapt as the city continues to evolve. Responding to the needs of residents and visitors remains vital to the success of our community.
The Parks Make Long Beach: Department of Parks, Recreation and Marine Strategic Plan engages everyone who makes our parks, beaches, and marinas special—our staff, our partners, and our visitors—and creates a roadmap that meets their goals for our Parks, Recreation, and Marine Department.
The City has worked very closely with community members, stakeholders, and staff members to identify the opportunities, strengths, obstacles, and needs of PRM to provide a framework for the next 10 years with the Department. The new PRM Strategic Plan is a community-driven effort that presents existing conditions, community voice, and community-identified goals, values, and actions.
The aim of the Strategic Plan community outreach methodology was to create a process in which residents’ and park users’ voices were centered. The Department used a multi-faceted approach, based on the City’s Equity Toolkit that included multiple rounds of community and stakeholder surveys, public workshops and events, stakeholder interviews, newsletters, emails, and meetings with PRM Department staff, key stakeholders, and the public.
The development of the Draft Strategic Plan was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, which impacted staff’s ability to maximize in-person outreach. While we are proud of the amount of outreach staff were able to accomplish and the creative outreach methods staff were able to employ to connect with our users and stakeholders under very difficult circumstances, we acknowledge this has had an impact on the community’s ability to engage. The outreach process intentionally engaged with Black, Khmer, Latinx, youth, and other communities through stakeholder meetings, translated materials, and support from community organizations. As a result of the awareness of the engagement process, there are elements of the Plan’s goals and actions that are focused on establishing strong community engagement policies and the development of intentional and equitable engagement procedures that maximize inclusion, accessibility and transparency.
You can see a selection of Outreach Photos HERE and a listing of Outreach Locations HERE.
Community Survey #1
The first stakeholder survey was released in May and was available for community input through the end of August 2019. The survey was created in the City’s four languages (Spanish, Khmer, Tagalog, and English) and made available online as well as on paper at 26 community centers. The Department also brought paper surveys to 28 community events over the summer at a variety of City parks and open space.
Link to Survey #1 [English] [Spanish] [Khmer] [Tagalog]
Survey #1 Results
Staff Survey & Department SWOT Analysis
A staff survey was released in May 2019 and was available for staff input through the end of June 2019. The survey asked staff about their feedback on Department operations, programs and spaces and about the mission and values of the Department. Surveys were available online and on paper at the annual staff recognition picnic in June 2019. Subsequently, each Bureau was asked to engage their staff in a SWOT exercise, identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats. Information from both exercises was used to inform the draft Strategic Plan, along with the community feedback.
Community Survey #2
After a year of being on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the second community survey was released in January 2021 and was available for community input through the beginning of May 2021. The survey was created in the City’s four languages (Spanish, Khmer, Tagalog, and English) and made available online as well as on paper at the following six pop-up survey locations:
Due to the pandemic restrictions, the promotion of the second survey was done through lawn signs and posters installed at more than 40 parks throughout Long Beach, and advertisement online via the City’s social media accounts and through the social media accounts of trusted community partners.
Survey #2 [English] [Spanish] [Khmer] [Tagalog]
Stakeholder Survey & Listening Sessions
A stakeholder survey was also distributed to over 200 partner groups to learn more about how they interact with the Department, it’s programs, services and spaces. Along with surveys, 13 stakeholder meetings were held to discuss how the Department will prioritize work, organize staff, and decide where to invest. 74 organizations participated in the survey, and 75 stakeholder organizations participated in virtual stakeholder sessions.
Parks Make Long Beach Video Series
Parks Make Long Beach is a video series highlighting the people, places, programs, and partnerships that make Long Beach parks. The video series was recorded over 2020 and these stories are an effort to preserve and share stories about individuals connection to Long Beach’s parks, beaches, and programs. Park stories are captured through recording a video where our community members talk about their cherished memories and stories at our PRM facilities. You can view them here:
Draft Strategic Plan Presentations
The Draft Strategic Plan was presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission on June 17, 2021 and presented to the Long Beach City Council on January 18, 2022.
City Council Meetings: Meeting Link