Staff, consultant shaping town’s master plan for parks & recreation
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Friday, Apr. 25, 2014

Staff, consultant shaping town’s master plan for parks & recreation

On any given day in Davidson, you’re likely to see residents walking along the Greenway or enjoying the vast beauty of Fisher Farm Park.

Davidson has long been heralded as a place where residents value open parks and wellness, fitness and green space. The residents who love this town are now encouraged to attend a Parks & Recreation Master Plan public information session at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 1, at Davidson Town Hall.

The Parks and Rec department, along with master plan consultant LandDesign, will present recommendations on how to devise a master plan for parks that will meet the needs of all residents.

They’ll be using information from stakeholder meetings, research, a public forum that was held in January and an online survey that residents are encouraged to complete ( www.surveymonkey.com/s/Davidson_Parks_Rec; the survey should be completed by May 8).

According to Davidson’s Parks and Rec manager Kathryn Spatz, a resident steering committee began working with LandDesign, consultants and staff, through focus groups, public forums and an ongoing online survey in December 2013.

“We want to ensure the services our parks provide are equitable to all and service the full community. To understand the needs of our community, it is vital we hear from all residents,” said Spatz.

Much like the town itself, this master plan will be different from others. “One unique feature of our current master plan process is that we are looking at traditional parks and recreation through the lens of the seven dimensions of wellness – emotional, environmental, intellectual, occupational, physical, spiritual and social,” Spatz said.

“We have been through several exercises, both in large citizen forums and smaller focus groups, where individuals are encouraged to explore the various dimensions of health and activity or facility encompasses for him/her.”

According to Spatz, the last master plan was finished in 1999, and many things have changed within the community since then. “For instance, key in the last master plan was the community center that was to be built in conjunction with the IB Middle School. Mecklenburg County 2008 park bonds included $1.5 million for that facility. When the public school was closed in 2011, the community center was scrapped,” she said.

“Also since the last plan, the town has worked with the county to preserve almost 600 contiguous acres, including Fisher Farm and the Allison and Abersham properties. A key component of the current master plan will undoubtedly feature those parcels.”

All Davidson residents are encouraged to attend the meeting, which will also address expected growth and how that will affect green space, parks and trails.

Amy Reiss is a freelance writer. Have a story idea for Amy? Email her at amysalvatorereiss@gmail.com.

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