Great parks and open spaces that contribute to a community’s quality of life and economic development don’t just happen; they are planned deliberately by both City staff and, more importantly, the citizens. Parks, Recreation & Open Space (PROS) plans serve as the guide for future developments and outline the recommendations for park and recreation capital improvement projects the City will work on implementing over the next six years. In addition, larger aspirational projects which require longer-term planning or “saving up for” are also outlined in the PROS plan.
These plans aren’t just eye-candy. They are a critical component to a city’s larger comprehensive plan which articulates a series of goals, objectives, policies, actions, and standards that are intended to guide the day-to-day decisions of elected officials and local government staff. Certified PROS plans are required by the State of Washington to maintain a city’s eligibility for major parks, recreation, and habitat grant programs – many of which are managed by Washington’s Recreation Conservation Office (RCO).
If there is one key metric RCO looks for when deciding which potential projects to fund, it is community involvement in the planning and decision-making process. More people means more demonstrated need and we need your input! Our consultant team, SCJ Alliance, is currently working with City staff and the Park Advisory Commission to implement a robust public involvement and planning process allowing as many voices to be heard as possible.
Tuesday night in the Gallery at City Hall, the first public open house was held to begin this process. If you missed it, do not worry. There will be several other opportunities over the next few months to describe what you love about our existing parks, what else is needed, and finally, have a voice in prioritizing the projects. So, keep an eye out for updates on the City Website, and Facebook!
If you want to get involved, please do not hesitate to contact either David Swindale at 253.460.2519, Chris Overdorf at firstname.lastname@example.org, or any of your Park Advisory Commission members.