‘Every voice counts’; city seeks public input on future of arts, parks and recreation

ST. GEORGE — Every 10 years the city of St. George updates its parks and recreation master plan and likes to get the public involved in shaping the future of the city’s parks, trails, arts, recreational facilities and programs.

Vernon Worthen Park, St. George, Utah, Aug. 31, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“It’s especially critical right now with the immense growth St. George is seeing,” said Shane MacAffee, the city’s leisure services director.

The master plan will be a year-by-year outline and guideline for city planners and elected officials over the next decade that will determine where new parks, trails and related infrastructure may go. It will also help establish what future facilities the public may want and what projects may warrant priority funding as time passes, McAffee said.

The public is invited to attend an open house Sept. 11 at 6 p.m. on the third floor of Dixie Academy, better known as the St. George Children’s Museum, at 86 S. Main St. by the Town Square.

The stage at the Electric Theater, one of the arts facilities maintained by the city of St. George’s Leisure Services department, St. George, Utah, Aug. 31, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Community members can learn about the planning process and weigh in on what they’d like to see from the city’s parks and recreation system.

“We’re calling it ‘Envision St. George’ because we’d like to envision what the public would like to see happen in the next eight to 10 years,” McAffee said. “Every voice counts because we take that into consideration, especially if there’s something unique and new we haven’t considered.”

Public input has helped shape parks and recreation projects in the past, including recently the Thunder Junction All-Abilities Park. The public was able to give input on the theme and design of the park prior to its construction.

Another example is the St. George Bike Skills Park located in the Sand Hollow Wash that is anticipated to open late this year.

A map detailing the 2017 parks and trail master plan hanging in the office of Shane McAffee, the city’s leisure services director, St. George, Utah, Aug. 31, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

In addition to the community input meeting, the city will be mailing surveys to random homes for additional feedback on the future of the parks and recreation master plan.

An online survey is also being created to supply additional opportunities for public input that McAffee said he hopes garners at least 10,000 respondents.

“Anyone who wants to have a say in the master plan will have an opportunity,” he said.

Overall, gathering insights from the community will help city parks and recreation planners and elected officials gauge what projects and programs are important to the public, as well as potentially benefit from an infusion of new ideas.

Additional information about the updates to the parks and recreation master plan can be found on the city’s website.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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