Welcome to the Monroe County Parks & Recreation Master Plan website!
This website is designed to provide residents and other interested parties an opportunity to stay up to date with the Master Plan process. Monroe County, IN, offers residents many unique recreation opportunities. From enjoying a multitude of activities at Karst Farm Park to exploring the new Will Detmer Park, residents have choices when it comes to their recreation pursuits. To ensure that recreation opportunities are readily available and attractive to residents, Monroe County and its future will be guided by a new Master Plan.
The quality of the new Master Plan depends on community engagement and input from many different people. To ensure that residents’ voices are heard, the Master Plan process will include a variety of different ways community members can become involved in and inform decision-making.
Your input is vital to the success of the Master Plan. Please take the time to tour this website to learn about upcoming community engagement opportunities, find ways to comment on the overall process, and stay current on the Master Plan process.
What is a Master Plan?
Purpose of the Master Plan
The complexity of park planning requires a thoughtful, rational, and participative process. The Monroe County Parks & Recreation Master Plan will be a long-range plan that provides for future community needs while maintaining wise use of public funds and fulfilling legal mandates. The success of the Master Plan depends on the efforts of a number of individuals working together to meet the needs of the entire community. The public will have opportunities to provide meaningful input and express their opinions during the planning process. The Monroe County Parks & Recreation Master Plan’s overarching purpose is to identify the needs of the community and address them with actions that create inclusive, cost-effective, and publicly supported park and recreation areas. By using a balanced approach, Monroe County will continue to develop and maintain its strong parks, open spaces, and recreation areas.
Why do we bother with a Master Plan?
- It is a guide for the development of the parks and recreation system within a community.
- It is the first step toward accurate capital finance planning.
- It is a tool for rational decision-making.
- It allows for an inclusive public engagement process.
- It allows for park department coordination and cooperation within the department itself and with the public.
- It is essential for the public health, welfare, and safety of the community.
Monroe County’s vision for this Master Plan will affect the community and its residents in several ways
Listed below are three ways the new Master Plan will contribute to the overall quality of life in Monroe County and the surrounding area:
- Community Building: First and foremost, parks and recreation help build better people. In turn, parks are one of the most effective ways to build a sense of community and improve quality of life. Parks channel positive community participation by facilitating group interaction to achieve a shared vision.
- Economic Enhancement: Parks improve real property values, attract workers to live and work in the community, and persuade retirees to stay in the area. Investing in parks revitalizes neighborhoods and town centers and attracts private investors and businesses. Parks and trails are not only enjoyed by residents but also encourage visitors to extend their stay and contribute to the local tourism markets.
- Environmental Stewardship: Natural resource areas are vital to the preservation and conservation of valuable resources. A sustainable approach to resource management allows continued recreation opportunities for residents while protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
Project Startup Meeting
Inventory of Parks and Assets
Development of Community Survey
Community Input Opportunities
Strong community input is key to developing a master plan that truly meets the needs of residents. Monroe County officials want to hear thoughts and ideas from community members, about both how the parks currently operate and the resources that will better serve residents in the future. To facilitate the highest level of community input practical for the master plan, the following opportunities have been made available for citizens to contribute to the future vision of Monroe County Parks & Recreation:
August: Stakeholder Meetings (COMPLETE)
In July, Eppley Institute staff met with representatives of many community organizations, service clubs, schools, law enforcement, and not-for-profit organizations to gather input regarding how the parks department can best complement the efforts of other organizations in the community.
October: Random Survey
A survey will be conducted across a random sample of Monroe County residents. Should you receive a survey request by mail, please complete and return the survey at your earliest convenience.
October: Community Survey
The community survey is an exact duplicate of the random survey. While the random survey allows project leaders to determine statistical validity of survey results, the community survey is a valued opportunity to hear from all county residents. Please take 10-15 minutes to complete the Community Survey online:
October – November: Community Comments via Project Website
Community members are welcome to leave comments and ask questions via the Monroe County Parks & Recreation Master Plan project website. All comments will be reviewed during the planning process.
January 2018 – TBD: Community Meeting
County officials will schedule a community meeting, tentatively in January 2018, to share what project leaders have learned as well as a draft of an action plan for moving forward. Community feedback at the meeting is encouraged. Social media posts and news releases will announce the date and location of the meeting.
You can also contact the planning team at:
Attn: Monroe Master Plan
501 N. Morton St., Suite 101
Bloomington, IN 47404
Phone: (812) 855-3095