Standard: The agency shall include community involvement in the planning process that includes ongoing and systematic outreach to include the entire community. It is critical that the diversity of individuals (i.e., all cultures, ages, and abilities) and local, regional, and national non-governmental community organizations, agencies, businesses, and service providers such as the Red Cross, Sierra Club, Trust for Public Land, YMCA/YWCA, Boys and Girls Club, and local foundations and employers are afforded opportunities for input.
Suggested Evidence of Compliance: Describe how the diverse interests (community organizations, businesses and individuals) of the community were involved in the planning process.
Informational reference in the Management of Park and Recreation Agencies, (2010), 3rd Ed., Chapter 11 – Physical Resource Planning, p. 220
Agency Evidence of Completion:
As evidenced by the Park District's mission which begins with "In partnership with the community...," involvement and participation with the local community is highly valued. Anytime that planning processes are undertaken, the Park District seeks community input. The Park District's Procedures for Master Planning Processes1 includes Community Involvement as an important part of the overall process. Recent examples of community input in planning processes include:
- The Park District 2015-2024 Comprehensive Master Plan process2 included a community needs assessment, as well as 8 community focus groups representing over 60 stakeholders, and one-on-one interviews with Park District Board of Commissioners and 4 other additional key community members.
- The Stevenson Park Master Plan process3 included community focus groups (including one specifically for youth that used the park although names are omitted because they are minors), meetings, and surveys.
- The Scoville Park Master Plan process4 included community focus groups, meetings, and surveys.
- The Pools Master Plan process5 included community meetings and surveys.
The Park District's continual willingness to include public input in its planning processes has also been noticed by local media. Regarding a planning process that did not ultimately result in moving forward, the local newspaper, the Wednesday Journal, noted in their editorial6 that the Park District that "...the board and administration have developed an uncanny ear for public input. Whether the issue was large or small, the parks have actively and effectively invited citizens to speak out and then astounded critic by actually listening and adjusting plan."
Documentation of Evidence:
Agency Self Assessment: MET