How happy were you with your national park visits this year? At Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore in Indiana, 97 percent of the visitors who were surveyed said they thought their experience was either "good" or "very good."
Of course, another question might be, "Were you surveyed after your visit to a park?" But that's for a future article.
At Indiana Dunes, 97 pecent of the respondents thought the quality of facilities, services, and recreational opportunities were either "very good" or "good" at the park. This level of visitor satisfaction ties the highest ever recorded at the national lakeshore since the yearly surveys began in 1998, according to park staff.
"There are few institutions that can receive a 97 percent favorable rating from their customers," noted Superintendent Constantine Dillon. "Providing a high quality of services and facilities for the 2 million people who visit Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore is a hallmark of the National Park Service and a testament to the outstanding work of park employees, partners, and volunteers."
Visitors were given survey forms at seven locations within the national park between July 14 and August 11. The survey locations were at Dunewood Campground, Pinhook Bog, Portage Lakefront and Riverwalk, the Douglas Center, Chellberg Farm, Mount Baldy, and West Beach. Completed surveys were placed by the visitors in sealed collection boxes or mailed directly to the University of Idaho, where the university's Park Studies Unit reviewed the surveys.
Visitors were asked to comment on the, "overall quality of facilities, services, and recreational opportunities" and were given five choices ranging from very good, good, average, poor, or very poor. Respondents marking either very good or good were counted as being satisfied with the park.
According to the University of Idaho's Park Studies Unit this survey is consistent with accepted social science practices, the Office of Management and Budget guidelines, and customer service evaluations in the private sector.