Provo Parks and Recreation creates a master plan

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Officials, consultants and citizens gathered to discuss potential improvements to the current parks and recreational facilities at the Provo library Thursday night.

Provo recently hired a consulting firm to help the city and its citizens create a master plan to refresh the current public facilities.

Roger Thomas, director of parks and recreation, said the last time parks were evaluated was in 1994. The city tries to address this issue every 20 years.

“We want the plans to be driven by the citizens of the community,” Thomas said.

Before the public meeting the city conducted focus groups and an evaluation of the existing facilities helped define the current situation.

Brian Trusty from PROS Consulting, the organization leading the development of the master plan, said the purpose of the meeting was to share information about the project and provide an update on the progress. The city wants to meet the need of citizens.

“We want to know how can the city move forward to meet those needs,” Trusty said.

PROS Consulting would like to align facilities and services to the needs of citizens as a result of the planning process, according to Trusty. The extent of refreshing the current system could be large or small depending on feedback from the community.

“If it is not broken,” Trusty said, ” we do not want to fix it.”

Doug Robins, parks director, said over time needs of the community change. Since Provo is one of the fastest-growing cities in the area, an assessment of current trends is necessary.

“Residents help the city go through the process by providing feedback,” Robins said.

Public input, an assessment of what exists and a comprehensive survey are three elements in creating a good program for the future, according to Robins.

After Trusty provided a brief presentation, the discussion was open to those who were in attendance.

Two members from BYU’s water kayaking club, Mark Bryson and Jonathan Cheney, were in attendance to comment on developing Provo river.

They explained their hope for whitewater improvements and even a whitewater park on the river.

The development of a master plan will take nine months and the updates to parks, depending on the projects, could require a few years to complete.

Two more public meetings will be available for those who want to become involved. PROS Consulting will conduct focus groups and a survey to gain more insight from the public.

“Students play an important role,” Thomas said. “They are welcome in our community.”

The city will continue to collect information, opinions and ideas about possible improvements to Provo parks. The officials strongly encourage citizen input. For more information email Roger Thomas at .

 

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