Coconino supervisors approve Parks & Recreation Master Plan

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. - Parks are of great interest to Coconino County citizens and visitors, so it is not surprising that 32 public meetings have been held to discuss a new organizational master plan for Coconino County's parks system.

The County Board of Supervisors (BOS) recently approved the Organizational Master Plan for Coconino County Parks and Recreation - a result of over two years of work with PROS Consulting LLC that includes 32 county-wide public meetings involving the Parks and Recreation Commission, citizens, stakeholders, the BOS, and a household survey.

The Master Plan establishes goals, policies, and strategies to reposition the department to provide a wider range of outdoor programs and services to a wider range of citizens. Goals to be addressed through 2019 relate to facility management, repair, and replacement; financial and budgetary management; strategic growth; and new programs and facilities.

The public's input shaped the Master Plan in three fundamental directions. In the public's view, the county should:

1. Maintain and improve existing facilities, including capital repair and replacement, and upgrades to expand capacity or generate additional revenues for parks;

2. Focus on large parks devoted to natural areas, open spaces, corridor trails, passive recreation, nature education/adventure camps, and special events; and

3. Develop additional county parks in local communities that agree to participate in fund raising, operation, and facility maintenance.

Based on these mandates, PROS refined recommendations to upgrade or develop facilities as well as improve communications, budgeting, finance, programs, services, strategic growth and future funding. PROS views the Parks and Recreation Organizational Master Plan as a sound and realistic approach to meeting residents' current and evolving needs for outdoor recreation. It expects the plan to improve departmental performance and generate more effective partnerships with private user groups, stakeholders, and public agencies.

Over time, the plan will reposition the department to contribute more outdoor recreation and education options for residents as well as social and economic development in their communities.

Parks and Recreation Director Todd Graeff stated, "The master plan is a major step forward for this department. It provides a very good, and now BOS-approved, strategic direction for the department to move us from what we used to be to what we need to become."

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