The City of Kalamazoo’s Parks & Recreation Department will start working on a new Master Plan and Strategic Vision this summer. The planning process will begin in June and include community meetings as well as opportunities for community members to offer feedback at Parks & Recreation events.
The Parks & Recreation Department will host meetings at the following times and locations:
- Tuesday, June 12, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., LaCrone Park
- Saturday, June 23, 11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Southside Park
- Tuesday, July 10, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Woods Lake Park
- Thursday, July 26, 6:00 – 7:30 p.m., Rockwell Park
In addition to these meetings, Parks & Recreation staff will be available at Lunchtime Live! and Movies in the Parks events this summer to speak with community members about future planning. Lunchtime Live! takes place in Bronson Park every Friday between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. (from June 8 to September 28), and Movies in the Parks are held on select Fridays at City parks.
The Parks & Recreation Master Plan and Strategic Vision will guide park improvement projects and recreation programs over the next 5-10 years. It also identifies land that should be considered for future parks as well as current park space that is unused or not needed. This work will build upon the Imagine Kalamazoo 2025 Master Plan with a focus on more specific goals, including Inviting Public Places and Youth Development.
The process was last completed in 2013 and included improvements to Woods Lake Park, Hays Park, and several extensions of the Kalamazoo River Valley Trail, which have since been completed. The 2013 plan also examined recreation programs and led to the expansion of successful programs and changes to programs that weren’t thriving. The 2013 plan is available in the Parks & Recreation Office located at 251 Mills Street.
Parks & Recreation Departments are required to update their plans every five years to be eligible to apply for grants from the Department of Natural Resources. Plans are required to meet specific guidelines including the entire inventory of parks, amenities, and programs.
Parks & Recreation staff expect to have a draft prepared in the fall of 2018 and anticipate approval by the City Commission in early 2019.