Meaningful Measures for Quality Recreation Management


  • Allen Jaten
  • B. L. Driver


Recreation management, impacts, quality, and standards


Recreation resource planning and management systems are implemented by public parks and recreation agencies to meet specific managerial needs. This paper describes the Meaningful Measures for Quality Recreation Management System (MM) that is being implemented by the U.S. Forest Service. This system is easily adoptable by other public agencies that manage park and recreation resources.The paper first describes the managerial requirements that public park and recreation agencies are expected to meet. Then, managerial requirements that are and are not being met by other systems are described. This discussion provides a better understanding of how the MM system compares to these other systems. In brief, the following are the essential characteristics of the MM system.* The system uses predetermined and national standards to help ensure ( 1) cost-effective, responsive, and accountable delivery of high -quality recreation opportunities and (2) reasonably consistent, uniform, and similar types of opportunities (e.g., developed-site camping) across different locations.* The system is based on five broad indices of quality. Standards were written to ensure that each of these indices will be met for each type of recreation opportunity. The five indices of quality are health and cleanliness, general recreation setting, safety and security, responsiveness to users, and condition of the facilities.The six steps for implementing the MM system are to:l. identify the measurable recreation components (i.e., types of recreation resources and facilities that provide different recreation opportunities) for the management unit,2. establish standards of quality,3. determine and level the costs of meeting the standards,4. prioritize work to be accomplished,5. develop a budget and allocate the recreation program of work,6. monitor, measure, and report actual managerial attainment.Limitations of the MM system and its adaptability by other recreation agencies also are discussed.





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