On November 19th the Bloomington Board of Parks Commissioners heard reports from IU students who studied four different parks programs. The students, from the university’s school of public health, conducted surveys with residents who use the city’s softball leagues, arts events, senior citizens activities, and the B-Line Trail. Paula McDevitt, recreation services director for the Parks Department, said the information could help the department as it does long-term planning.
The group that studied the B-Line Trail found that slightly more people used the trail for biking than for walking. They also found that ninety percent of trail users were white. Michaela Sisney, who presented for the group, said they also considered users’ perceptions of safety on the trail, although they didn’t actually survey anyone about that issue.
Another group surveyed participants and spectators in the city’s softball leagues. Hillel Sapir, who presented for that group, said more people use softball for socialization than for exercise.
The softball group surveyed one hundred and eighty-seven participants and spectators at softball games. Forty-eight percent of participants cited social benefits as the main reason for playing.