Archived Story

Input sought on recreation master plan

Published 10:34pm Saturday, August 17, 2013


Want a say in the future of Washington’s parks and recreation programs?
If so, plan on attending public meetings concerning development of the city’s comprehensive parks and recreation master plan. The first meeting runs from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday at the Grace Martin Harwell Senior Center (nest to the Civic Center). A second meeting runs the same day and same location from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.
During the meetings, topics for discussion include project overview, goals and objectives, recreational needs and concerns and identifying potential recreational programs and facilities. Attendees will be asked to fill out survey questionnaires.
Earlier this year, the City Council authorized the Parks and Recreation Department to apply for a $50,000 grant, which would be used to update the city’s recreation master plan.
The funding would come from the Community Transformation Grant Project.
The recreation master plan was adopted in 2008. A memorandum from Kristi H. Roberson, the city’s parks and recreation manager, to the council and mayor notes that such plans should be updated every four to five years. Roberson has said the updated master plan is needed because of increasing demands on city parks and recreational facilities. Earlier this year, the council learned that participation in sports such as baseball, softball, basketball and soccer is increasing at such a pace that more and more demands are being placed on the city’s sports venues.
In January, the council made it clear it will address some concerns about recreational facilities with a three-pronged approach — immediate, short-term and long term.
That approach is being taken to address an expected increase in demands on those facilities by increased participation and hosting more tournaments. City officials expect the use of baseball/softball fields, soccer fields and basketball courts to increase in the next 12 months to the point where the facilities and city staff are taxed when it comes to meeting that demand.

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