South Suburban Board Approves the District's 2017 Strategic Plan

South Suburban Board Approves the District's 2017 Strategic Plan

Jun 22 2017

On June 14, 2017, the South Suburban Board of Directors formally adopted the District’s 2017 Strategic Plan.

The 2017 Strategic Plan is an internally-focused document that will help SSPRD identify and address its vision and goals for the next five to ten years. It compares where SSPRD is currently at with these goals and vision and develops a strategy for bridging the gap.

It has been developed as a companion document to the 2017 Master Plan. Like the Master Plan, the Strategic Plan supports a critical opportunity for SSPRD to build off the energy of new leadership, respond to the needs of SSPRD’s diverse communities and envision how the award-winning SSPRD system can find fresh ways to implement its mission and serve the community.

Document Framework

The Strategic Plan identifies our mission, vision, and values and analyzes the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the organization. This information, collected from public outreach meetings and interviews with staff, will be the basis of our path to excellence as an organization and to what is possible for us to become in the future.

The Strategic Plan supports the four guiding principles identified in the Master Plan through the strategic goals and provides recommendations to help implement them.

Together with the strategic goals, the mission, vision, values and guiding principles chart a course toward ensuring SSPRD’s long-term sustainability and ability to contribute to the community’s physical, emotional and social welfare.


South Suburban Park and Recreation District is a citizen-founded organization with a mission to foster healthy living through stewardship of the environment, parks, trails and open space and by providing recreational services and programs.


South Suburban Park and Recreation District will seek to foster a culture of quality facilities, professional staff, and exemplary services that enhance the quality of life in the communities they serve, now and into the future.


The following values guide how South Suburban Park and Recreation District works:

  • Professional
  • Active
  • Innovative
  • Inclusive

SSPRD strives to live these values while carrying out our mission to foster healthy living for the community.

Guiding Principles

The Master and Strategic Plans share the SSPRD Mission and four guiding principles:

Quality First Quality First

Enrich Wellness Enrich Wellness

Connect to Nature Connect to Nature

Lead Sustainablity Lead Sustainability


SWOT Analysis

SSPRD has many strengths that have made it a successful organization since 1959. However, aging equipment and facilities, deferred maintenance, and a potential loss of some funding sources all threaten the organization’s continued success and the community’s perception of SSPRD. With many facilities already at capacity, SSPRD is also at risk of being overwhelmed as the population grows and more people use the facilities.

Fortunately, SSPRD has several opportunities for strengthening funding sources, partnering with other organizations, and implementing new strategies.

The full SWOT analysis can be found in the appendix of the Strategic Plan.

Strategic Goals & Recommendations

The Strategic Plan identifies three overarching goals for SSPRD that reflect the mission, vision, and values, built off of the SWOT analysis, and can be used to implement the guiding principles.

Each goal is meant to focus SSPRD on achieving a specific outcome within the next 5 to 10 years.


Become a recognized leader in the parks and recreation industry

Recommended Objectives

  • Become and remain a Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA)-accredited organization
  • Deliver new projects and improvements that support our guiding principles
  • Drive net revenue through improving/ maintaining the quality and value of our facilities and services
  • Address capacity needs and facility improvements to meet the needs and desires of the community
  • Provide opportunities for the community to engage with and celebrate nature
  • Continue sustainability improvements to reduce spending on resources and help fulfill our mission as stewards of the environment

Become a responsive, well-respected, and desired employer for parks and recreation professionals

Recommended Objectives

  • Uphold our mission, vision, and values through the daily work of our employees
  • Use our values as criteria for hiring decisions and career advancement
  • Improve communication between employees of different departments and staffing levels
  • Improve staff access to electronic communication  and processes
  • Find creative ways to attract and retain the best and brightest employees
  • Demonstrate a commitment to staff for retaining and expanding the growth of each employee

Increase the organizational sustainability of SSPRD to ensure we can serve our communities well into the future

Recommended Objectives

  • Improve organizational efficiencies to reduce operations costs
  • Increase our financial sustainability
  • Grow our customer base through opportunities for community engagement and marketing
  • Maintain, improve, and expand partnerships to benefit SSPRD and the surrounding region

Learn more

To review the Strategic Plan, visit bitly.com/ssprd-2017-strategic-plan and to see its Appendices, visit bitly.com/ssprd-2017-strategic-plan-appendices.