The Beach and Recreation Department and the Beach and Recreation Commission would like to thank the nearly 500 residents who responded to our latest customer satisfaction survey. We’ve read through all the responses and have taken note of every suggestion. We’d like to present just a few highlights from the results.
As you might expect, our most frequently used facilities are our beaches: the Surf Club, East Wharf, and West Wharf. About a third of respondents said they visited Bauer Park most often. More than half of respondents use a Beach and Recreation facility weekly.
Most respondents said they used kids’ sports and summer camp programs. But a wide variety of programs were mentioned as being favorites, including nature programs, tennis, Pilates, Jazzercise, pickleball, basketball, and softball. Many of you enjoy summer concerts too.
When asked to rate the quality of programming provided by the Beach and Recreation Department on a 1-5 scale (with 5 the highest), nearly 64 percent of respondents gave a 4 or 5 rating. This is an improvement over responses to our survey two years ago, where nearly three quarters of responses to this question were 3 or 4. We thank the Department staff for their hard work in continuing to improve the programming available.
We received many great suggestions for new programs. In general, there is a desire for expanded hours of programming, including evenings and weekends, as well as a wider variety of classes like STEM, dance, baking, photography, or ceramics. The Department has already expanded hours at Town Campus Gym for Youth, Teen, and Adult Open Gym (see schedule on our website), and the Fitness Room has reopened. We will continue to offer new programs seasonally. It’s important to note that our ability to expand programs is limited by the number and types of rooms available to the Department.
Beach and Recreation Department staff work hard to provide quality customer service, and we are pleased to see responses showing improvement over the last survey. Overall satisfaction with services was rated a 4 or 5 by over 75% of those responding, and 73% rated customer service at 4 or 5. Thank you to those who appreciated the efforts of specific staff members! We hear your concerns about updating voicemail messages and responding to emails in a more timely manner and will work to improve in these areas. Please look for our new Beach and Recreation email newsletter in your inbox, providing information on upcoming programs and registration deadlines, we think you will like it!
After our last survey two years ago, the Beach and Recreation web interface was redesigned in order to improve the user experience. While nearly 40% of respondents rated the website a 4 or 5 in the current survey, there is still room for improvement, and staff will work to optimize the platform we use.
About 72% of respondents rated the quality and maintenance of our facilities at 4 or 5. Even so, many of those who took the survey expressed concerns about trash accumulation on busy days at our beaches. The Department will review the current protocols and work to better communicate expectations to patrons.
Finally, the Department and Commission are excited to share updates on facility improvements. The long-anticipated Dog Park is in the final planning stages. It is expected to open at Salt Meadow Park by mid-summer and is sure to be a popular gathering spot for pets and their owners. Also at Salt Meadow Park, look for the new pavilion to be complete by spring, and a permanent, waterless restroom building to be installed shortly thereafter. New bathrooms at Rockland Preserve and improved bathrooms at East and West Wharf beaches are scheduled in the Capital Improvement Plan; use of American Rescue Plan funding may help these projects be completed even sooner. Our grounds crew is rebuilding the gate guard huts at East and West Wharf and repairing the East Wharf beach gazebo. Grant money has been secured to replace the boardwalks at the Bauer Park, look for work to start soon.
Thank you again for responding to our survey. The Beach and Recreation Department and the Beach and Recreation Commission share the goal of continuing to provide quality facilities and programming and appreciate your feedback.