Is Your Community’s Parks and Recreation Plan Up to Date?
By Andy Moore, AICP
Parks and recreation facilities and programs serve a key role in every community and governments at all levels have recognized the importance of recreation to the quality of life and the physical and mental health of their citizens. This recognition has been manifested in the development of National, State, and local park systems that include non-motorized trails, the preservation of natural areas, and the provision of open spaces for both active and passive recreational use.
Recreation planning is an exercise performed by local and state governments to anticipate change, promote needed change, and direct recreational development in a way that benefits the entire community. It has the aim of harmonizing the available recreational resources and activities with the social, environmental, aesthetic, cultural, political, and economic requirements of the jurisdiction. Therefore, every community that seeks to provide recreational opportunities to its residents should be engaged in some level of parks and recreation planning.