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Monday, September 15, 2014 - Contact: 225-273-6439

BREC to Present Draft of New Strategic Plan at Community Meeting

Imagine Your Parks 2: Better Parks – Better Living

After many months of planning and gathering information through public meetings, focus group meetings, scientific surveys and online input from the community, the Recreation and Park Commission for the Parish of East Baton Rouge (BREC) will unveil for public comment a draft of its new 10-year strategic plan. When complete, this document will guide the future direction of the park system. A public meeting to introduce the draft document will be held Wednesday, September 24 at 6 p.m. at Independence Park Theater.

 

To understand what the community wanted in its park system, BREC held a series of 34 public forums which began in mid-January. These meetings gave residents a chance to learn about the progress BREC has made through the first Imagine Your Parks strategic plan, vote on ideas to move the system forward over the next ten years and weigh in on the types of improvements they’d like to see made in their area parks and help set priorities for those initiatives. BREC also held focus group meetings, conducted two scientific studies, commissioned outside studies of various areas of the recreation agency’s operations and utilized an online tool to solicit suggestions and feedback.

 

The Imagine Your Parks 2 strategic plan will take effect in January 2015 as the original Imagine Your Parks Strategic Plan comes to an end in December. The comments generated from the public review of the draft plan will be used to develop the final version of the new plan titled “Imagine Your Parks 2; Better Parks, Better Living”. This plan will guide BREC through the year 2024.

 

The first Imagine Your Parks strategic plan, adopted in 2004, resulted in many improvements in the park system including the creation of 12 community parks that offer a higher level of service and amenities than BREC had in the past. Use at these parks has increased dramatically. BREC also added specific special use amenities such as dog parks, Liberty Lagoon Water Park, skate parks, splash pads, fishing ponds, a new conservation area for hikers and nature lovers, improved playgrounds, trails and a mobile playground unit. The plan also funded renovations to neighborhood parks and special use facilities and created programs that utilize the new park amenities.

 

“As we have worked to gather suggestions from the entire community about what they would like to see in their parks over the next decade, the feedback we have received is that the Imagine Your Parks Strategic Plan is widely considered a success by the public,” said BREC Superintendent Carolyn McKnight. “However, we have also received the clear message that there is still a lot of work to be done to take the park system to the next level. That is our goal and we can only succeed with meaningful input from as much of the community as possible. I urge everyone to watch the presentation and then provide feedback so we can better finalize this plan.”  

 

The presentation will be posted on the home page of the BREC website at www.brec.org. Residents who can’t attend the meeting are asked to watch the presentation online and email their suggestions to planning@brec.org or make comments through MindMixer at the following link: http://iyp2.mindmixer.com/. Draft documents will be available for review on the BREC website at: http://brec.org/IYP2

 

BREC will accept feedback regarding the draft plan for three weeks up to October 15.   Then, staff and the consultants will compile all of the information and use it to create the final strategic plan document. The final plan is expected to go to the BREC Commission for approval at its November meeting which will be held on Wednesday, November 19.

 

It is the BREC mission to provide parks and recreational opportunities for all the citizens of East Baton Rouge Parish.

 

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