UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Community organization process in a recreation survey : a study in the city of Bellingham, Washington Bunn, John Arthur


As welfare services expand in developing communities, the provision of attractive recreational services becomes increasingly important. Such provision of leisure-time activities is highly dependent on a community's ability, interest, and past experiences in the area of recreation. A survey is a valuable means whereby conditions in a community can be studied and evaluated, to the end that steps can be taken to implement appropriate recommendations. This thesis is a review of some of the significant conditions influencing the provision of recreational services in Bellingham, and of the approach taken to bring about an effective community programme of leisure-time services in the city. The survey "approach" consisted of elements of four main methods that were suggested by survey committee members during the study. As the survey progressed, and the members' understanding and appreciation of it increased, the study passed through four phases of development. These phases, or stages were related to the progress of the study and the development of the Central Survey Committee. Community organization and social group work methods were used to some advantage; their use assisted with the evolving of "a good report and citizen participation" that were required. Most of the material for the thesis was gathered by the writer, during a second year field work placement from the School of Social Work, University of British Columbia. Although recreation is one type of service, it needs to be closely related to other kinds of welfare services existing in communities. To see how recreational services fit in, to view the parts that leisure-time agencies play in the total picture, or to gain an understanding of the community's programme of recreational services, presents a challenge to any city. Thinking on a community level requires intellectual and emotional maturity of a high degree. How this occurred in Bellingham, is presented in this study. It is felt that this account of the Bellingham Recreational Survey, can be used to help clarify the "community organization process" that often seems to be referred to vaguely. As an example of a community study, it can be of reference value.

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