Park and Recreation Master Plan Reflects Citizen's Desire For More Parks Recreaion And Nture Preserves
Charlotte, NC -- Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department this week begins briefing officials of the County and its Towns on the findings and recommendations in the proposed
10 Year Master Plan
for parks and recreation. These specifics fill-out the general findings of the Master Plan released at a series of public meetings in February. The plan's recommendations are based on intense efforts to involve Mecklenburg residents, to determine their needs and wants for parks, greenspace and recreation. These efforts included:
- Public workshops all over the County for citizens to express their views
- A formal survey of more than a thousand households
- Focus groups with citizens from all over the County
- Interviews with community leaders
Drawing heavily on results of this public process, the Master Plan also incorporates the best advice of the professional staff and a team of nationally-known consultants on how to meet the needs of Mecklenburg's rapidly increasing population. Park and Recreation Director Jim Garges says the needs are critical, especially to assemble land for future parks and nature preserves. He notes open space and the most significant natural areas are rapidly continuing to disappear.
Among recommendations in the Master Plan are:
- Assigning top facility priorities in the next decade for walking and biking trails (including greenways), small neighborhood parks, nature centers and trails, large community parks, and fitness/exercise facilities.
- A Greenway Action Plan to develop 42 miles of new greenways on land the County owns over the next 5 years.
- Trying to preserve by various techniques more than 6,000 acres of the natural environment and creating five new nature centers.
- New park needs over the next decade total more than 6,000 acres. Continued development of large athletic field complexes and greater use of synthetic turf fields.
- Building four new "super sized" regional recreation centers across the County.
- Expansion of Marion Diehl Pool and the Mecklenburg County Aquatic Center, plus new swimming pools at Mallard Creek and Tuckaseegee Recreation Centers.
To meet priorities expressed by citizens, the Master Plan assembled a list of capital needs for parks and recreation totaling $1,450,485,602 (that's $1.45 Billion). This list includes all projects in the next decade for new development and improvement of existing facilities. It also includes cost of land, now estimated at $576 million for these projects. Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation Department will work with the County Administration and County Commissioners to recommend a funding strategy to meet the needs and recommendations in the Master Plan.
Review the Plan