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Improving leisure experiences in Stillwater

Monday, June 5, 2006

Leisure Studies faculty members at Oklahoma State University will survey Stillwater this month to determine residents’ preferences for specific leisure activities and the locations of those activities.

The survey, contracted by the Stillwater Parks, Events and Recreation Department, will use the final report to help determine the future of Stillwater recreation, said John McClenny, director of Parks and Recreation.

Drs. Lowell Caneday and Deb Jordan, professors in the Leisure Studies program at OSU College of Education, will be the project's principal investigators.

To develop partnerships with other recreation providers in the city, the Parks and Recreation Department wants to learn what people in Stillwater do for their preferred leisure activities and where they prefer to participate in various recreation activities.

“We already know that some people recreate or work out in a fitness center of some type, while others take art classes or swimming lessons,” Jordan said. “People use a variety of facilities in town to do a variety of activities.”

For example, the Parks and Recreation Department knows that people use Boomer Lake Park in different ways—for fishing, walking, cycling, picnicking, playing on the playground, and watching nature, to name a few everyday activities.

“We also know that some people prefer to go to the YMCA, others use city facilities, and others recreate as a part of their church or through private organizations,” Caneday said. “What we want to learn are the best ways for agencies to work together to provide recreation opportunities to Stillwater citizens.”

In achieving that goal, Stillwater can understand where duplication exists, whether that duplication is desirable, whether gaps in service exist, and who may be overlooked in service, he said.      

To learn about what Stillwater residents do for fun and where they do it, a short survey will be placed on randomly selected utility bills beginning May 31 and continuing through June 21. Residents can drop off the survey in drop boxes located around the city or send it in with their utility bill.        

“Our goal is to get responses from every person who receives a survey,” said Jordan. “Since we have a relatively small sample, we need everyone to participate—every person’s input is valuable.”

If you are interested in participating in this survey but have yet to receive a survey in your utility bill, you can go online to the City of Stillwater webpage and click on the link there. You may also pick up a copy of the survey at City Hall, the City Library, or the Parks and Recreation office at 315 East 9th. This project will continue through June.

For more information, contact Caneday at 744-5503 or

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