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Orion Township gets input on parks through Master Plan



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October 23, 2013 - On October 16 community members were providing a visual frame for what they would like to see in the Orion Township parks and recreation over the next five years.

Each Orion Township resident that attended the Master Park Survey community input session at the Orion Center on Joslyn received 10 stickers to place on Orion park maps set up around the room. The goal was to prioritize different places in the parks where they would like to see improvements and additions. They could also write their own comments about what they would like to see in regards to activities, facilities, classes or programs for the parks and recreation community programs.

About 419 people responded to the Master Park online survey, and about 100 people utilized the mapping tool to make suggestions. From those numbers and from the input received from the Safety Path advisory committee, the Park and Rec advisory council and the senior advisory council, plus the citizen input, a five-year master park survey plan will start to be prioritized.

Then advisory committees will do an analysis of all the parks and recreation programs, different activities and properties and compare it to other communities and see what are some of the gaps they need to look at or some of new programs they need to add. They will also look at some of the facilities and analyze what they need to maintain or improve upon. At this point dollar amounts will be researched for improvements and additions.

"From that point we actually go into a process of making final recommendations, with final dollar amounts for the board to consider adopting as the Master Plan for the next five years," Lisa Sokol said, community programs director. "Once that happens the company that we are working with Carlisle Wortman Associates is going to help us write grants to the Department of Natural Resources to actually try and fund some of those top priorities."

Community members still have time to give input for what they would like to see prioritized in the parks over the next five years. Any time the Master Park survey comes before the board as an agenda item that will be a public opportunity to come and comment, so watch for those agenda items, there will be at least two more opportunities.

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