Help Parks and Recreation plan for the futureThe city of Duluth has begun work on a city-wide parks and recreation master plan and organizers want to hear your thoughts and ideas during the next few months.
The city of Duluth has begun work on a city-wide parks and recreation master plan and organizers want to hear your thoughts and ideas during the next few months.
Over the past several years, the Parks and Recreation Division, along with Park Maintenance, has been challenged to maintain services in our parks, community centers and green spaces due to reduced resources and manpower and increased community demands.
While staffers continue to strive to provide an environment where all children and adults involved in programs and activities conducted at our facilities and grounds feel safe and welcome, we are feeling the constraints of manpower and budget and feel our efforts would be better served by redefining our goals, objectives and mission statement. Staffers recognize our parks, playgrounds and community centers play an important role in promoting a sustainable and livable community.
In conjunction with the park planning consultant, the Hoisington Koegler Group Inc., volunteer groups and non-profit organizations as well as other agencies and citizens are invited to participate.
Community participation will help efforts to coordinate plans for parks, trails, recreation facilities and programs and will help identify priorities and partnership opportunities.
This vital assessment will analyze our Parks and Recreation Division, inclusive of Park Maintenance; forecast current, short-term and long-term facility needs and conditions; and recommend improvements with estimated costs associated with assembled results.
Surveys have been mailed to randomly selected community members to determine park use, satisfaction, needs and preferences regarding park financing, park-bond referendums, consolidation/improvements, communications, etc. In addition, an online questionnaire is posted on the city’s Web site to obtain additional feedback. Simply go to www.duluthmn.gov/parks/master_plan.cfm and click the online survey button.
Four community open-house sessions will be held to obtain input and ideas on park and recreation needs, issues, opportunities and actions. Attend one of these meetings to share your thoughts and ideas:
• Wednesday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Central Hillside Community Center, 12 E. 4th St.
• Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Depot Great Hall, 506 West Michigan St.
• Thursday from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Portman Community Center, 4601 McCulloch St.
• Dec. 8 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at City Center West, 5830 Grand Ave.
In early spring, the draft report, inclusive of the needs assessment and survey results, will be presented to the commission for discussion and refinement.
Following city staff review and any subsequent refinements, the master plan will be reviewed with the community through a community open house and a subsequent public hearing. The open house will allow those interested in the plan to review the work at their own pace and to engage in direct conversation with the consultants, city staff and the Parks Commission.
It is anticipated that city staff and park commissioners will be active in the open house, representing their role in the creation of the plan and establishing a sense of ownership of the plan.
The parks master plan will be presented to the City Council for final approval.
This Community Extra column by the Parks and Recreation department appears monthly.
Bayfront area public meeting Wednesday
The city of Duluth’s planning division invites the public to participate in the development of a small area plan for the Bayfront district at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Great Hall of the Depot.
The purpose of the Bayfront District Small Area Plan is to study the area just west of Bayfront Festival Park and determine the appropriate mix of land uses.
The study area, which has been the focus of numerous planning efforts to date, includes property owned by the Duluth Economic Development Authority as well as the LaFarge cement property that is currently for sale.
The public will be asked to work in small groups to review and discuss the recommendations from those previous plans and to offer additional insights reflecting current opportunities for the site.