ST. GEORGE — A 10-year master plan proposal that will improve the City of St. George’s Parks, Recreation, Arts and Trails (PRAT) spans almost 300 pages and is nearly complete; the public has until July 17 to offer last-minute ideas for consideration.
So far an estimated 12,000-plus locals have submitted suggestions for the 10-year plan, according to city officials. About 84% of them covet more biking and walking trails; roughly 73% expressed interest in a performing arts center.
“It is crucial for the public to provide input because they will benefit when the plan is put into motion,” said St. George Mayor Jon Pike. “The plan we adopt will guide the city’s efforts in planning for the future. As a council, the more information we can obtain about the public’s wants and needs, the more informed decision we can make.”
Once the public commenting period closes, officials will give the master plan document a final edit, then present it to the City Council for adoption in late July.
At stake are a wide range of projects for a population that is passionate about Southern Utah’s outdoor offerings. One example: officials must decide where to place new parks, the size of those new parks, and the appropriate distance between one park and another. Officials might deeply ponder questions such as, “Which concerts, festivals and events should we host for the community?”and “Which sports and recreation programs should we add?”
The new plan will reflect community interests and establish long-term standards, goals and priorities for land acquisition, facility development, programming and park system management, officials said. It will provide a short- and long-term blueprint for how St. George parks and recreation are built and maintained.
Once a final draft of the master plan is approved, it will launch the greatest parks and recreation upgrades the city has seen in 13 years. City officials say it will also serve as a springboard to engage potential partners and ensure enough land is set aside to build needed facilities in the future.
“Early in the process we asked for the community’s ideas and many great thoughts came forward and we put many of them into our draft of this master plan,” said Shane McAffee, the city’s Director of Leisure Services. “We have adopted many of our citizen’s suggestions and integrated them into our latest draft. Their comments and ideas are vital and additional input is still sought as the finishing touches are made on the master plan.”
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