Idaho Falls, ID – The City of Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Department is seeking public input for a major effort to plan for the future of Idaho Falls parks and recreation facilities and programs.
On Tuesday, October 30, at 7 p.m., the department will hold the first of several community meetings for public involvement to help create a master plan for the development and management of the city’s parks, recreation facilities, open space and programming for the next five to 20 years. The meeting will be held at the Marriott Residence Inn, located at 635 West Broadway.
“Many of our youth and adult athletic complexes are in poor shape and over scheduled,” said Idaho Falls Parks and Recreation Director Greg A. Weitzel. “There have been increasing requests for additional programs and facilities including spray parks, additional ice skating facilities, and swimming space. We need the community to get involved and help identify solutions to address these types of issues.”
Weitzel pointed out throughout the city there are fences, bleachers, lighting systems, restrooms, scoreboards and playgrounds that all need attention or replacement. In addition he says that facilities like the 80 year old recreation center and the 32 year old aquatic center are essential for the community, but are facing serious issues that the community will need to address in order for those facilities to remain open.
The Tuesday, October 30 meeting is the first in a six month series of community meetings and public outreach to develop the new Parks and Recreation master plan, entitled RECreate IF – A Plan for the Future. National facilitator Pros Consulting will lead the effort and assist the Parks and Recreation department in conducting the outreach and developing the short and long term plan.
Previous outreach efforts have seen more than 2,000 residents give input on plans for areas such as Tautphaus Park, Heritage Park and with the Connecting Our Communities plan to expand bicycle and pedestrian paths throughout the city.
“Now more than ever, the next generation of Idaho Falls residents need our solutions and leadership to address these issues,” said Weitzel. “We need the community to come together to help identify what types of facilities we want, where we want them, and how we fund them.”
Healthy and vibrant parks and recreation facilities and programs are essential parts of a successful community. They help residents and families lead healthy lifestyles, increase property values, attract new business and stimulate economic development and growth.
RECreate IF will guide development and management of the City’s parks, recreation programming, open space and facilities over the next five to 20 years. The plan will serve as a roadmap to reach community goals through public input and data driven recommendations to provide policy makers a solidly approach to guide the future of Idaho Falls’ parks and recreation programs and infrastructure.
“The parks and recreation system in Idaho Falls represents a significant investment in our community that will continue to produce benefits for residents and visitors of all ages,” said Weitzel. “We hope the entire community will make plans to join with us next Tuesday or make their voices heard in the many other ways they’ll have to give input over the next six months.”
Residents who are unable to attend the public meetings can also submit ideas and follow the progress of the planning process at www.ifparkplans.com.
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What: RECreate IF - Parks and Recreation Master Planning Process
Where: The Marriott Residence Inn, 635 West Broadway, Idaho Falls
When: Tuesday, October 30, 2018 at 7 p.m.