BY KATIE BRUELL
Pajarito Environmental Education Center
Thanks to a grant from the Los Alamos Community Foundation, the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) was able to hire the University of New Mexico’s Bureau of Business and Economic Research (UNM BBER) to conduct a market research project about the Los Alamos Nature Center. The project surveyed people who had and had not visited the nature center, and the final report provides insights into what people enjoy about visiting the nature center and what might make non-visitors give it a try.
It was no surprise to PEEC to learn that people in Los Alamos who have visited love the nature center. They enjoy bringing children and their out-of-town guests, they use the planetarium, say hello to the live animals, sit and look at the wildlife observation garden, and attend PEEC’s programs. 95% of visitors to the nature center are likely or very likely to recommend it to others. Most people who had visited were also frequent or repeat visitors to the nature center.
Among non-visitors, it was clear many did not know that PEEC offers programming for adults, though PEEC offers 2-3 programs for adults each week. There was also a mismatch between popular amenities at the nature center and non-visitors’ knowledge of them. For example, the wildlife observation garden was named by 39.4% of visitors as a draw to the nature center, but only 15.4% of non-visitors were familiar with it. These insights can help PEEC better target its marketing.
Some 394 people responded to the survey, with 72% having visited the nature center before and 28% never having visited. Three lucky survey-takers were awarded a $100 cash prize in a random drawing.
The full report may be viewed on PEEC’s website at: https://peecnature.org/market-research
PEEC is grateful to all the volunteers who helped to get survey responses at Starbucks, Metzger’s and events around town. Thank you, also, to the owners of businesses who let survey-takers set up outside. And thank you to community members who forwarded the survey link to their groups and lists. PEEC was also impressed by the hard work of the UNM BBER staff, and is grateful to the Los Alamos Community Foundation for funding. Thanks to your help, PEEC will be able to improve its offerings and target its marketing to serve even more of the community.