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Public input on parks plan sought

By Staff | Jan 22, 2016

Drawing up the city’s Parks Master Plan is a lengthy process that enters a new phase next week when it brings residents into the decision making with the first two public workshops.

“These are the first public workshops,” said Parks & Recreation marketing coordinator Michelle Dean. “The purpose is to help the planning team identify what people think are the most important programs for the community.”

The first workshop is Tuesday at the Cape Coral Yacht Club, 5819 Driftwood Parkway. The second is Thursday at Christa McAuliffe Elementary School, 2817 SW 3rd Lane. Both workshops are open to the public from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. Project consultant Barth Associates representatives will moderate the proceedings.

“We want to get feedback from the community,” said acting Parks & Recreation director Keith Locklin. “We want people to tell us what they want and then we can go find ways to fulfill those needs and wants.”

The public is encouraged to attend and participate in next week’s workshops as well as future workshops to be scheduled in the coming months.

The city had been following a 10-year parks plan that went into effect in 2002.

“This Parks Master Plan will cover us for the next 10 or so years,” said Dean. “This project is just getting started and we hope to have it finished by the end of 2016.”

Anyone unable to attend the workshops can still contribute to the process of forming the plan by taking an online survey posted on the city’s website. Dean said a mail survey also is planned to go out soon to a sampling of residents.

“We are in the very early stages of the process,” said Locklin. “There are no preconceived ideas, plans or drawings.”

Consultants conducting the workshop will present attendees a brief overview.

“Boards will be set up around the room for people to make suggestions on what programs, services or facilities they want. If the people want more football fields, that’s where we will go. If they want more senior centers, programs or services, that’s what we will do. It’s totally up to the people to tell us what they think is important to the community.”

The Parks Master Plan is the same process being used in the Bimini Basin project and the Northwest/Seven Islands Vision Plan where the public plays a role in the concept.

Locklin had no prediction on what the attendance might be at the workshops, but said, “We would love to see a great turnout from the community.”

To participate in the online survey visit www.capecoral.net. The Parks Master Plan tab is accessed in the Parks & Recreation area under Departments.

For more information call 239-573-3128.