Dane County Parks and Zoo Access and Equity Program Evaluation

In fall 2021, the Office of the Dane County Board, in collaboration with Dane County Parks and the Henry Vilas Zoo, engaged Keen Independent Research to conduct an evaluation using a racial and social equity lens and provide recommendations for strategies and actions to advance racial and social equity and access at Dane County Parks and the Henry Vilas Zoo.

As part of this study, Keen Independent will perform in-depth qualitative and quantitative research to assist the County in forming a better understanding of the demographics of who is and is not utilizing its public spaces, as well as the reasons behind such behavior. Keen Independent will ask local community members and stakeholders to provide input and comments through interviews, surveys, focus groups and other means.

The goal of this assignment is to develop informed recommendations to guide the County towards improving access to its facilities, lands, properties and programs, and ultimately become a more inclusive, equitable and racially just place for all.

The Study Team

Keen Independent Research is a national equity consulting firm. Principals David Keen and
Annette Humm Keen are leading this assignment. Keen Independent has extensive experience conducting market research, program development and implementation regarding methods to ensure equity and inclusion for parks, zoos and other recreation providers. The firm’s portfolio includes equity studies and market assessments for the City of Madison, Wisconsin, Maryland-National Capital Parks and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), the Parks and Recreation Commission for East Baton Rouge Parish, Smithsonian National Zoo and the Association of Zoos and Aquariums.


The study will be completed in summer 2022.

How to Get Involved

Take Our Survey

  • Use hot buttons to the right to respond by smartphone
    or use direct survey links below:
  • Link to English/Spanish survey: English/Spanish survey
  • Link to Hmong survey: Hmong survey