A parks and recreation master plan is a comprehensive, long-range strategy for the creation, optimization, and maintenance of a community’s assets. It doesn’t focus on one particular park but instead offers a bird’s-eye view of a community’s parks and recreation landscape, both today and beyond. It examines the parks and recreation assets’ ability to meet the needs of the community and outlines steps for closing the gap between current capabilities and those needs. (from sportsfacilites.com)
Can’t put your finger on exactly what Valdese needs in recreation? Having a hard time prioritizing all that you want? The Town of Valdese needs a new Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan.
It is recommended that Local Governments have a Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan created every 10 years. The last plan for Town of Valdese was completed in April 2013. Some of the items a traditional comprehensive plan includes
- Input from the community (through public meetings, paper surveys, online surveys)
- Learning how the community uses existing facilities (which ones and how often) as well as what they would like to see added
- Taking an inventory of existing facilities and condition/life expectancy to help plan maintenance
- Looking at trends (pickleball, hiking, camping)
- Evaluating the community – (population – size and age, space available, goals of town)
- Looking at state, county and other local government assets to be complimentary
- Lists goals for 3, 5 and 10 years to help in short and long term planning
- Budget numbers for projects
- Grant funding sources list
The plan also helps when applying for grants to show the request for funds is part of a larger planning process – that thought has been put into the request, that it is what the community wants. Granting agencies give more “points” to local governments with recent plans. It shows a thoughtful path forward instead of incremental fixes that can be more costly and/or not the right answer.
Instead of McGalliard Falls needs a playground, a plan may look at – is a playground really needed and where in Valdese is a new playground best suited. A study may learn there is a big request for soccer fields, and can recommend the best placement. Some parks may need new shelters, safer restroom access – while doing that work, what additions go along the update?
Want more examples of what plans look like?
- Morganton Plan
- Rutherfordton Plan
- Mecklenburg County Plan
- NC Outdoor Recreation Plan (the state plan is done every 5 years)
A Master Park Plan is different than a broad Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan. The Valdese Lakeside Park Master Plan is very detailed on exact amenities, the style, what will go where.