Lethbridge residents are being asked what they would like to see prioritized in a new parks master plan. The city has launched an online survey to help inform its direction for recreational land, amenities and services for the next 15-20 years.
“Our current master plan was done in 2007 so it’s 15 years old. A lot of the recommendations in that plan have been accomplished already so as we look to the next 15 years for our park system, we really want to know what’s working and what’s not for the public,” said Chris Witkowski, parks planning manager. “We don’t build the parks for us and administration, we build them for community use, so to understand what the community is looking for, what they are happy with, what things they want to see, really builds the format of the master plans and all the recommendations going forward.”
The survey opened on Nov. 21 and will be available until Dec. 16. Witkowski said it will take about 20 minutes to complete and focuses on five broad ideas, with questions specific to each one. There will also be chances for in-person public engagement in the new year. He noted the old plan focused a lot on park space allocation, while this one is more centered around services and amenities.
“Since our last master plan we have seen the completion of many additional park spaces including Legacy Regional Park,” said Blair Richter, parks and cemeteries general manager. “A master plan is important to help guide and provide direction of the management of parks over the next 10–15 years.”
Parks could be getting an increased budget after members of council deliberated the new four year operating budget last week. It still has to go through a meeting later this month for final approval.
Witkowski said an increased budget would help improve maintenance of parks, but denied to comment on specifics.