The Dolores Parks Advisory Committee will begin distributing a community survey on a new playground for Joe Rowell Park.
Next week, the 18-question survey will be available on the town website and at various locations in town, including the Dolores Public Library, Town Hall, Dolores River Brewery, Ponderosa Restaurant and the Dolores Market.
It also will be included in the May water bill mailing and will be handed out at meetings and events. The survey will be taken to classes in schools for students as well.
Surveys must be dropped off at Town Hall by June 2. Only one per person will be allowed.
At Monday’s meeting, board member Izzy Boyce asked why the survey was open to non-Dolores residents. Committee member Mike Riley said they decided to include the wider community because the previous playground attracted more than just town residents.
An attractive playground draws people to town, said audience member Deanna Truelsen, owner of the Ponderosa Restaurant. She said visitors might stop into a shop or restaurant, whereas locals may “just go home” after visiting the park.
About 1,200 surveys were printed by the town. Interim town manager David Stahl had the surveys printed in batches of different colors that will correlate with where they came from in order to better track results. For example, the 550 surveys included in the water bill mailing will be one color, and those distributed at meetings will be a different one.
The survey’s purpose is to gauge public preferences on a new playground, officials said. During the recent election, candidates overwhelmingly supported building a new playground, and there were several suggestions that it be designed for kids and adults.
The previous playground was closed and removed in 2017 after the Town Board concluded it was a public safety hazard. The Town Board has shown support for building a new one, and wants public input.
Questions focus one what people liked about the old playground, specific play features they would like to see, preferred colors, ground surface type, and if they want the equipment to be a traditional, modern, or natural style.
“Once we get the type of playground the community prefers, then we can recommend a plan to the town board, and begin work on obtaining the funding,” said parks committee member Kalin Grigg.