‘Planning Our Parks’ Master Plan Update Given During Recent City Council Meeting

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An update was given in regards to the ongoing Planning Our Parks Master Plan Initiative, which was headed by BerryDunn Parks Master Plan consultant Art Thatcher and Palm Coast Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Brittany McDermott, during the City Council meeting held on August 8th.

The master plan takes a look at the existing parks, recreational facilities and services in Palm Coast and Flagler County. It is used to determine the current and future needs of the community based on public input. Upgrading, improving, and/or adding additional parks, recreational facilities, programs, amenities, and services are on the list of potential improvements.

The Planing Our Parks Master Plan Initiative began in December 2022, with various phases taking place throughout 2023. During the City Council meeting, it was explained that the plan is nearing the end of stage four of its five phase plan. The goal of the initiative is to create a roadmap for the future of parks and recreation on a countywide level.

Focus groups, surveys, and even an interactive social media website were used to gather data from the public during the process. Art Thatcher highlighted the public’s concerns during the recent meeting and are as follows:

  • Sustaining existing parks, beaches, amenities, and infrastructure such as shade structures, additional water features, etc.
  • Revamping the golf course clubhouse.
  • Upgrading the Aquatic Center.
  • Expanding fairground facilities, incorporating covered areas.
  • Enhancing the Bull Creek Fish Camp Restaurant at Dead Lake.
  • Establishing supplementary water access points, such as kayak launches and fishing piers.
  • Pioneering a modern athletic complex.
  • Amplifying restroom facilities along trails, athletic fields, and playgrounds.
  • Augmenting rectangular and diamond fields for diverse sports.
  • Safeguarding open spaces, beaches, conservation lands, wildlife, and heritage sites.
  • Developing novel amenities such as disc golf courses, bike parks, lighting, and shaded zones.
  • Fortifying collaborations with the county, municipalities, and schools.
  • Extending trail connectivity and the existing network.
  • Enhancing communication regarding available facilities, activities, and offerings.
  • Introducing additional programs for seniors, adults, teens, after-school activities, and outdoor recreation.

The four goals that BerryDunn and Parks and Recreation have announced as they move forward in the process are as follows:

  1. Invest in Current Infrastructure and Address Aging Facilities: Focus on rejuvenating and maintaining existing parks and facilities.
  2. Improve and Enhance Programming and Outreach: Introduce innovative programs for diverse age groups while increasing engagement with the community.
  3. Improve Organizational Operations: Enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of operations within the Parks and Recreation department.
  4. Increase Financial Investment: Secure funding sources and financial support to ensure the realization of proposed improvements.

“We’re so grateful to the residents and community members who actively participated and are continuing to participate in the ‘Planning Our Parks’ initiative. Your input and engagement have been instrumental in shaping the future of our recreational spaces,” said Parks and Recreation Deputy Director Brittany McDermott. “I also want to thank our dedicated county partners for their partnership throughout this process, exemplifying the power of collaboration. Together, we’re forging a legacy where residents and visitors can create memories with their loved ones, building connections that will span future generations.”

Creating the Parks and Recreation Facilities System Plan is the next step in the initiative. The plan will outline the physical development of parks, facilities, and recreational areas throughout Palm Coast. A draft of the plan will be presented at the Board of County Commissioners meeting on September 18th and the City Council meeting on September 19th.

For more information on the “Planning Our Parks” Master Plan Initiative and the full presentation on the Goals & Objectives, click here.

By Kim Hunt

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