In February 2012, we engaged the services of a team of consultants with national and local recreation planning experience to assist in developing a master plan guided by a staff project team. The consultant team, led by Colorado-based GreenPlay LLC, made recommendations for our existing parks, trails, recently acquired undeveloped lands, recreation facilities and services. A comprehensive needs assessment gap and level of service analysis were performed to identify needs. New opportunities were identified through research, site assessments, and a comprehensive public engagement process. The consultant team also reviewed current recreation industry trends and demographic trends to identify opportunities for improving or expanding facilities and services.
Based on the public and stakeholder input received throughout the planning process, the following guiding principles were identified to provide a framework for parks and recreation within our agency:
Parks and recreation opportunities are provided to promote healthy active lifestyles and connect people to nature.
Management and protection of historically or culturally significant resources, land acquisition and environmental stewardship are core services.
Engage the community in planning decisions.
Environmental, social, and financial sustainability guides planning and operations.
Provide park facilities within a 15-minute drive time or less to every resident.
Priorities include providing recreation programs and services for all age groups; connectivity and development of hiking/biking trails and greenways; more water and beach access; improve or expand existing park facilities; and develop new parks on recently acquired lands.