ontario parks association

Protecting Tomorrow Today®


06 Jan 2020 12:09 PM | Keely Powley (Administrator)

How many playgrounds do you provide per 1000 children? What does it cost you to maintain each playground? What do your park visitors value about your parks? How many hectares of parkland do you provide per 1000 residents? 

Can you answer those questions? If not, don’t worry - you are not alone. Most new members of the Yardstick program had the same problem… until they started benchmarking! Now they can provide quantifiable data to their council, employees and communities about parks and open spaces. 

Yardstick is a benchmarking tool that delivers “need to know” information for your community to inform your decision-making and improve your service delivery. Yardstick Parks comprises of two projects: Yardstick Benchmarks and Yardstick User Surveys. 

Yardstick Benchmarks provides a system to collect and analyze data, to identify total park provision and annual operating and capital expenditure. It is also designed to identify and promote industry best practice in areas such as service delivery, asset management and strategic planning. When you join this program, you complete an online questionnaire annually to collect financial and usage data for the current year. 

Yardstick User Surveys are a system to survey users of your parks to collect information relating to services and facilities provided and their level of satisfaction. The results can provide powerful information to assess your performance against others in the industry.

By taking part in these programs you can: 

  • Identify, plan and improve your strategic goals and direction

  • Record your operation costs against a variety of criteria

  • Develop parks strategies and levels of service

  • Compare locally, nationally and internationally

  • Better understand your customers 

  • Prioritize improvements and development programs

  • And so much more!

Over 120 organizations worldwide are already part of Yardstick. Interested in learning more or signing up your organization? Contact Chris Rutherford at Yardstick (chris@xyst.biz).