What is Parks and Recreation Planning?

News | jlbworks

Dec 11, 2018

Parks and recreation describe the resources and services that are offered for various leisure and entertainment activities. These resources and services include public parks, nature preserves, trails, indoor/outdoor sporting structures, art programs, environmental programs, etc. While the field of parks and recreation focuses on leisure activities and locations, it also includes resources that are offered by sector–health centers, fitness centers, YMCAs, resorts–for paying members. Most importantly, this unique specialty provides countless economic, social, environmental, and health benefits to communities and its residents. Having unlimited access to various parks and recreation services can help families and individuals adapt to a healthier lifestyle while encouraging environmental friendliness.

How to Complete a Master Park and Recreation Plan

While the end-goal of parks and recreation is simple, the planning and management that’s behind it is quite strategic. Associations like the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) work hard to ensure that residents have full access to these special facilities while protecting open spaces of land. Additionally, parks and recreation agencies strive to obtain various grants to further their work. To achieve this, the planning staff for these agencies will come together to create a master park and recreation plan that include site planning, operations and maintenance, and much more. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Public Involvement: To create a master park and recreation plan, public involvement is crucial. Associations want to keep stakeholders engaged in this process at all times to ensure maximum efficiency and most importantly, trust in the process. This also involves reviewing the needs of the public–what they want and what they need as a community.
  • Analyze Existing Conditions: This includes research on existing conditions, site inventories, permitted land use, map data and more. It’s essential that parks and recreation committees fully understand and properly assess the desired planning area, it’s environmental factors, and its conditions.
  • Creating a Plan of Actions: By completing the first two steps, committees should then have the tools to create a plan of action. This should include what the project is, its related costs, its location, strategies, funding, etc.

Once a parks and recreation committee has completed the above three steps, it’s time to implement the new master plan. Once completed, residents will have a brand new environmentally friendly facility to enjoy with their family and friends.