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Erie County residents encouraged to add input on plans for county parks

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Wed, Apr 5th 2017 07:40 pm

Needs assessment survey on parks usage, priorities adds public input to parks master plan

The Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, in conjunction with the Department of Planning and Environment, has commissioned a parks, recreation, and forestry needs assessment survey as part of an effort to update the existing parks and recreation master plan.

Community input is an important part of this process and helps the county to best tailor the plan to reflect the community's desires and needs. The department has initiated the information-gathering process by mailing a survey to a random sampling of 5,000 households throughout Erie County, and also by providing a website that gives residents the opportunity to take the survey and voice their opinions on a number of issues affecting Erie County parks.

"The needs assessment survey will give us a much better idea of what people like and what their priorities would be at our parks, which is important information to have as we develop a new master plan," Commissioner of Parks, Recreation and Forestry Daniel J. Rizzo said. "There are many activities that people enjoy at our parks, so as we plan for the future it helps to know what residents like to do and how we can shape the parks around that."

Among other questions, the 24-question survey asks respondents which parks they use, what amenities and activities they enjoy there, and what top three values the county parks system should focus on. Participants can also rank their priorities in parks amenities and services, and express their opinions on areas they believe should see more investment.

The results of the survey will provide critical information in determining community values, satisfaction levels, needs and priorities, and demographics for the county's long-term planning efforts.

Commissioner of the Department of Environment and Planning Thomas Hersey added, "The survey can give us some very detailed information on who is using the parks, how often and what they like to do there. It also gives good insights into what park users want to see in the future, and will help us to plan park amenities and services that are better-tailored to what the public wants. Everyone who uses the parks at all should take a few moments and complete the survey."

For more information on the Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry, visit http://www2.erie.gov/parks/; and on the Erie County Department of Environment and Planning, visit http://www2.erie.gov/environment/.

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