Information Seeking by Under-Represented Communities


Prince George's County Parks and Recreation offers recreation programs, facilities, and services throughout the entire county to its residents and visitors. The county operates and maintains more than 27,000 acres of parkland for parks, picnic areas, athletic fields, historic sites, community centers, and recreation facilities. The county also seeks to preserve parts of this parkland as buffers and natural open space. Parks and Recreation services include art and nature programs, fitness and sports programs, live performances, more than 90 miles of hiker/biker/equestrian trails, outdoor festivals, self-improvement classes, summer camps, teen and senior activities, and trips. While the county offers these various services and programs, more initiatives are needed to understand how Prince George's County residents are using these programs and services, or even if they are using them. Understanding how members of underrepresented communities use these services will allow the Department to better tailor what they offer for the benefit of all its residents. Through this project, the Parks and Recreation Department seeks to better understand how its residents, in particular how underrepresented communities, use its services and programs. The Department wants to know their information seeking behavior, whether different groups use the parks differently, and if certain parks features are being used more or less. To gather this information, an online and in-person survey, developed by the team member authors, was administered at various events, beginning in September 2019 and finishing in December 2019. The main point of contact throughout this project was Edith Michel, a certified Parks and Recreation Professional with more than 20 years of experience in local government within the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission. Other key Parks and Recreation staff who we worked with are Alex Teaff, the Community Outreach Manager and Kira Lewis, the Acting Chief of the Public Affairs & Marketing Division.


Final project for INST490: Integrative Capstone (Fall 2019). University of Maryland, College Park.