Council endorses parks and recreation master plan

Posted by Michelle Idzenga on Thursday, December 12th, 2019

Council endorsed the Parks and Recreation Master Plan at their meeting on Monday, Dec. 9, 2019, which will guide the City’s direction for parks, fields, trails, recreational facilities, events, recreation and leisure programming for the next 10 years.

In Jan. 2019, the City of Port Colborne underwent the process of developing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The City commissioned MacNaughton Hermsen Britton Clarkson Planning Limited (MHBC), to facilitate and draft the master plan, the first one for the municipality.

The purpose of the master plan is to guide and manage the direction of parks, open spaces, recreation and leisure services, programs, events, recreation and leisure programs, facilities and related amenities in a cost effective, proactive manner, consistent with leading industry standards and best practices.

Highlights from the Parks and Recreation Master Plan:

· Includes a comprehensive review and analysis of parks and recreation operational and service needs in the community in order to ensure services accommodate changes in growth and public demand;

· Five themes have emerged that have shaped the recommendations and action plans:

o Accessibility and inclusiveness

o Partnerships and collaboration

o Communication and engagement

o Innovation and building capacity

o Optimization of infrastructure

· Identifies physical improvements to existing parks and new park amenities (including facilities, sports fields, play structures, trails, picnic shelters, splash pad, etc.);

· Provides a clear action plan and strategy to guide the development of future parks and recreation facilities, operations and services; and

· Guides the development of parks and recreation for the City and the community over the next ten years (using a community profile and a trends analysis).

The Parks and Recreation Master Plan establishes a strategic framework for parks and recreation services, programs and facilities that will guide future decision making with regard to policy, operations, and capital improvements over the next ten years. Implementation of the plan’s various recommendations will include the development of departmental work plans, the use of evidence based assessment tools, ongoing progress reports to Council, capital and operating budget planning and forecasting, and public engagement.

“It is important for our residents to know that all items outlined in the report are a road map that will help guide us towards improvements over the next 10 years,” said Mayor Steele. “We’re bound to experience some detours, as this is a plan that will develop as our community continues to develop. That being said, any action plan or recommendation undertaken by staff will be presented to council for separate approval.”

“The preparation process for the master plan included significant input from the public, council, user groups, community organizations, staff and other stakeholders,” said Ashley Grigg, director of community and economic development. “The method and length of the consultation process resulted in the development of a master plan that is reflective of, and responds to, the diverse needs and interests of the city. We would like to thank all participants in the process for their time, input, support and assistance as it was a valuable part of the plan’s completion.”

To read the master plan, and for more information about the development process, visit www.portcolborne.ca/prmp.

Questions about the master plan? Call the Community and Economic Development Department at 905-835-2900 ext. 501, or email dcedadmin@portcolborne.ca.

 
 
 

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