, Muskogee, OK

February 17, 2014

If selected, participate in parks study

Associated Press

— Muskogee’s citizens care tremendously about our parks.

We have a parks system of which to be proud, and it appears our citizens don’t take it for granted and are anxious to see how much better they can become.

Dozens attended two public hearings last week conducted by University of Arkansas graduate students as part of a class project.

The hearings provided a forum for brainstorming, from which researchers gathered information from stakeholders about what they would like to see in their parks and recreation facilities and programming. Participants then got a chance to place values on the importance of those ideas for future reference.

Merry Moiseichik, the professor who, along with two parks professionals, will oversee the students’ work, said information gleaned from the hearings will establish “the baseline” for a questionnaire that will be sent to 1,000 randomly selected households in Muskogee.

This is a unique opportunity that barely costs the city any money.

Moiseichik said the study, the results of which will be presented in May to city councilors, is valued between $85,000 and $135,000. Muskogee taxpayers will be charged only for the “direct costs” of the study, such as travel expenses incurred to conduct the hearings, she said.

We urge you, if you are randomly selected for the survey, to participate in it or pass it along to someone who does care about our parks. It will help with these students’ education and our parks system.

It is a worthy endeavor.