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City of Tampa Parks & Recreation wants your input on master plan

Posted at 5:03 AM, Dec 27, 2019

You have a couple days left to weigh in on the long-term plan for Tampa's parks. One group of runners say they've already put in for what the city should prioritize.

“My tax dollars built that track and it used to be open, now it’s locked," Debbie Voiles said.

Voiles is an avid runner and brings thousands of runners across the Bay Area together with her Run Tampa Facebook group. Voiles says tracks are safe and well lit but there are only two public ones she knows about.

“One of the first things they say are, 'Where are the tracks for us to train on?'” Voiles said.

Voiles says she noticed public tracks dwindle in numbers in the last 10 years or so, but she may get her wish for more. Tampa's Parks and Recreation department is looking for input on projects they need to prioritize.

“We’ve probably had somewhere in the range of 4 to 500 people but that’s a combination between the meetings and filling out the surveys," Parks and Recreation Executive Director Paul Dial said.

They’ve had eight public meetings for the Parks & Recreation Master Plan. Voiles rallied some of her running group to go to some.

“Nobody was speaking up for the runners," Voiles said.

The meetings received input outlining how people would like to spruce up the city’s 194 parks within the next 10 to 15 years. Some of the responses have been just improving neighborhood parks, while some were a bit more unique.

“One person mentioned a jai-alai," Dial said.

The online survey is still up until the end of the year, and the director encourages people to share their opinions.

“Parks and recreation is a part of having community. It’s a way of having people come together and enjoying the place they live," Dial said.

If you'd like to weigh in on what should go into the Master Plan, you can fill out the survey here.