By Jeff Gallatin
BAY VILLAGE – Officials at the Lake Erie Nature and Science Center are planning informal roundtable discussions about what the public perceives as the needs of the facility.
Center Spokeswoman Shawn Salamone said Friday the roundtable participants will largely come from participants in the online survey being conducted by the center this month. Survey participants were asked if they would be willing to participate in a roundtable discussion.
“Right now we’ve got about 60 people ready to participate,” she said. “It’s not going to be like a market research roundtable, this will be more informal with more talk about what people see as our needs.”
Center Executive Director Catherine Timko said the roundtables and the year-end survey are great ways to get public feedback.
“A nonprofit like Lake Erie Nature and Science Center exists because of broad community support,” Timko said. “We believe it’s important to make regular feedback from the community an integral part of our planning process. We are here to serve the needs of our region. ”
Salamone said preliminary results show a wide range of respondents to the survey.
“We’ve got them from as far away as Vermilion and Brecksville in the region,” she said. “We’ve gotten a lot from the Bay Village and Westlake areas.”
Center officials posted the online survey link at www.lensc.org, set up a lobby survey station with a laptop, has paper surveys available and also sent thousands of emails seeking opinions.
“We just sent another E-mail out about the survey,” Salamone said. “We’re trying to get a wide range of opinions.”
Timko said they want to remain in close touch with their community.
“We’re trying to make it as easy as possible for a wide range of voices to have input into our planning process for the coming year and beyond,” she said. “A nonprofit organization like ours, which relies on community support to carry out our mission, should keep a finger on the pulse of the region as we plan for the future.”
The anonymous survey includes 15 questions with room for open-ended comment.
“We think it’s crucial for us to be a valued resource already, but we’re working to be even better.”
Salamone said the survey will be concluded at the end of November. The results will be compiled after that. She said the roundtables will take place after Center officials review the survey results.
“I would expect there to be more than one roundtable on a wide range of different topics brought out by the survey information,” she said.