The Parks, Open Space, and Trails Survey was conducted in 2014 through a mailback survey sent to just over 2,000 households located in and around the Town of Silverthorne, with an option to securely complete the survey online using a password. The survey documented the community’s usage and perceptions of the current parks and trails in Silverthorne, as well as examining existing and potential outdoor amenities, special events, and financing options. Suggestions for future improvements was a key section of the survey, providing Town staff with a priority for moving forward with enhancements to the network of trails and facilities.
Gathering the correct sampling frame was critical to the accuracy of the research. The survey was mailed to both residents of the Town of Silverthorne and several adjacent neighborhoods and developments in the unincorporated area of Summit County. Additionally, some surveys were sent to second homeowners at their primary mailing address (rather than the property address). Renters were also included in the sampling process. Results were weighted to match known demographic characteristics of Silverthorne area residents (from the US Census).
Priorities identified through the statistically valid survey included more trail connections in town, mountain biking trails, a community gathering/festival space, and a dog park. Importantly, the results provided a set of representative feedback from a broad cross-section of area residents, not just the vocal minority that might have the time, interest, and opportunity to advocate for their own particular interest. Results were summarized in a written document, which was a component of the overall Town Parks, Open Space and Trails Master Plan.