Clearwater wants residents to play a role in the future of Parks & Recreation direction

Feedback sought through suvey and public meetings

Bill Gillette has lived in Clearwater a long time.  He enjoys his daily walks; some through city parks.

"I think Clearwater does a reasonably good job," said Gillette, referring to the parks.

But the city wants to do an even better job of satisfying what its residents want when it comes to parks, recreation and leisure services over the next decade.

"There's only so much that we can do by looking at the analytical perspective on parks and recreation.  We really want to listen to our community; and because of that we've put together a very robust, comprehensive engagement plan," said Felicia Leonard with the City of Clearwater.

In August, the city will begin mailing surveys to about 3,000 of its residents. In addition, an online survey will be made available through the city's website. People can also let their opinions be heard at five different public meetings. (LISTED BELOW)

"We really want to provide access to every person that lives in Clearwater for this plan," explained Leonard.

Kim Mieder lives in Clearwater and enjoys the Ream Wilson east-west trail. She supports the city's attempt to have its residents help mold the future.

"I think it's a great idea.  I think it's important to get the input from the community; many of us have different needs," said Mieder

And those needs change. Maintaining what's popular today may not be in demand in a few years.  For example, park needs seem to keep evolving.  Do people want smaller neighborhood parks they walk to, or larger community parks with greater amenities?   Local community centers are always a topic of concern.

"People that are on the lower end of the socioeconomic scale, their only recreation is the beach, parks, things like that.  They pay taxes, they deserve to have a place to go," Gillette said.

Feedback is also sought on two large parks of interest, Crest Lake Park and Coachman Park.

The community open house meetings will be from 4:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. on the dates and locations listed below.

August 21, 2013-Ross Norton Rec Center
August 22, 2013-North Greenwood Rec Center
August 28, 2013-Clearwater Beach Rec Center
September 3, 2013-Countryside Rec Center
September 4, 2013-The Long Center


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