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Amidst
COVID-
19, a park district develops an equitable, modern organizational vision

Client Description

Metro Parks Tacoma (MPT) is a municipal corporation that oversees the parks and recreation services in and around the city of Tacoma, Washington, which is home to over 215,000 residents.

Challenge

MPT’s organizational structure and leadership has undergone changes and faced challenges typically seen in matrix organizations. As a result, MPT needed both a strategic technology plan and recommendations for improved operational and organizational efficiency. 

Solution

BerryDunn’s parks and recreation consultants approached MPT’s organizational assessment with a focus on the organization’s culture and leadership.

BerryDunn facilitated executive- and manager-level meetings and collected input via a web survey. A particular feature of the assessment was engaging a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) expert to gather data that aligned with one of MPT’s three strategic pillars.

Like many organizations across the country, MPT was faced with abrupt and significant challenges as a result of COVID-19. BerryDunn conducted national research on how the industry is responding to COVID-19 and identified best practices and new approaches for the district’s park and recreation system.

Outcome

BerryDunn provided MPT with three categories of recommendations: organizational structure, operations and systems, and organizational culture. 

A key recommendation was to consolidate and realign administrative functions to create a common administrative structure in direct service delivery departments and centralized enterprise functions.
Another recommendation was to change the operations of some of the district’s community centers to create alternate methods of generating revenue and off-set operational costs through partnerships.  

MPT asked BerryDunn to facilitate work groups tasked with implementing the recovery recommendations. The BerryDunn team is supporting the work groups in implementing the recommendations and developing action plans. BerryDunn is also helping MPT lay the foundation for a revolutionary new entity called the Innovative Co-Governmental Cooperative or ICC—this “intermediary” is a new way of forming partnerships between government agencies and not-for-profit organizations.

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