More walking and biking trails, dog park rank high on the needs list for Mission residents

I am happy about this new park - one of the official dogs takes a spin through the new Leawood off-leash park.
The most recent dog park to open in northeast Johnson County is in Leawood. A dog park ranked high on the list of unmet needs for Mission residents.

A recent survey of Mission residents shows that walking and biking trails and dog parks are the two areas with both the highest importance and highest unmet needs when it comes to parks and recreation facilities in the community.

The trails ranked high across the board in the survey with 81 percent of the households that indicated a need for parks and recreation facilities saying they need walking and biking trails. Many of the needs that followed, including indoor gyms and fitness equipment, are already provided by Mission, which also has some trails but no dog park.

When residents said which facilities are the most important to them, 64 percent said the walking and biking trails are the most important to their household. That was followed by dog parks at 27 percent and large playgrounds (20 percent) and indoor fitness (19 percent).

The survey, which had a sample size high enough to make it statistically valid and was representative of the population mix, was part of a comprehensive planning initiative. A second survey will focus on satisfaction with city services and ask followup questions from the first sample.

The second survey will include more questions about the trails and other improvements. The city council has turned down both construction grant funding and a design grant for a section of the Turkey Creek Trail that would have run through the northwest corner of the city and connected to a larger trail system.

In other responses on the survey, residents said:
• The future should include continued infrastructure investment, crime prevention, sustainability, affordable tax rate, improved appearance in commercial areas and long-range planning.
• The future should include more retail, entertainment and cultural activities.
• A good location in the Kansas City area is an important reason to live in Mission along with quality of housing, low crime, and retail.
• The quality of schools has the most impact on attracting new residents.
• Almost 80 percent said the condition of parks and recreation facilities is good or excellent.
• Most residents (57 percent) said the condition of neighborhoods is staying about the same while 26 percent said they are getting better and nine percent said getting worse.