In 1999, the Indianapolis-Marion County Parks and Recreation department decided to complete an update of its master plan. Changing demographics in the city and county, a change in leadership and issues surrounding the previous mission and strategic approaches of the department necessitated that the present and future recreational needs of the county be re-evaluated.
The Eppley Institute took a leadership role in the planning process, which included:
- Community involvement through stakeholder interviews, surveyss and public meetings
- Inventory and assessment of existing parks, facilities, and participation in recreation programs
- Accessibility self-evaluation
- Analysis of parks and recreational needs
- Creation of a priorities and action schedule along with detailed priority setting
Adopted by the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Council in the spring of 2000, the Pathways to the Future plan served as the blue print for significant additions to the Indy Parks trail system, parks system and operational approach. It further professionalized the department’s leadership. which had recently been focused on political appointees, and continues to guide change and improvement in the Indianapolis parks and recreation system. The plan has recently served as the ‘launching platform’ for agency accreditation for Indy Parks.