Strategic Plan & Master Plans
The future of Five Rivers MetroParks relies on an engaged, active community.
For more than 50 years, Five Rivers MetroParks has provided the region with high-quality parks, programs, outdoor experiences and facilities. Five Rivers MetroParks appreciates all of the citizens of Montgomery County, who support us with the property tax levy that constitutes the bulk of our funding, and we are committed to being a responsible steward of these funds.
Park Site Plans
As the next step in implementing its 10-year comprehensive master plan, Five Rivers MetroParks is developing concept plans for each of its parks and facilities.
Five Rivers MetroParks invited the community to review and comment on park concept plans for its park locations during open houses in October. You can review the feedback from each meeting below:
Spring Run MetroPark
What You Said:
- Provide a top quality birding experience: Continue to develop the wetland and grassland habitats to improve the high quality bird watching experience
- Continue to allow fishing: Improve fishing habitats and provide better access to the ponds for fishing
- Provide connection and exposure to nature: Provide trails that will meet the needs of a variety of ages, interests, and abilities
What You Said:
- Preserve the quiet and natural flavor of the park: Focus on nature trails and education opportunities to maintain a natural and quiet experience and flavor for the park
- Enhance the existing bird watching experience at the west end of the park: Enhance the grasslands and other habitats throughout the park to develop improved bird watching and other wildlife observation opportunities
- Enhance the fitness opportunities of the bike trail: Add nature play and fitness stations along the bike trail to enhance the trail experience.
Possum Creek MetroPark
What You Said:
- Enhance the ponds: Improve access to the Argonne Lake for better paddling and fishing
- Document the history of the park: Improve interpretation and access at the Argonne Forest and the Caylor family cemetery to reveal the park’s past.
- Enhance the camping experience: provide additional camping and amenities for group, family and beginner campers
What You Said:
- Strengthen the unique garden-style of this park: grow and enhance the demonstration gardens and the community garden
- Improve the trail experience: Improve the overall trail system in the park to create a variety of experiences and provide links to the neighborhoods around the park. Expand the bikeway at the northeast area of the park.
What You Said:
- Expand paddling and rowing opportunities in the park: Develop Eastwood MetroPark as MetroParks’ primary paddling center to facilitate paddling opportunities and instruction in the park for all skill levels.
- Enhance the trail and bike trail in the park: Create an overall trail system in the park with provides a series of loops and a variety of experiences and fitness opportunities. Develop a loop trail around Eastwood Lake for fitness and 5k events. Provide through camping opportunities for cycling and the Buckeye Trail.
- Replace and improve the picnicking and play experience in the park: Enhance the main use area for picnicking including new restrooms and a new nature playground.
Englewood and Aullwood Garden MetroParks
What You Said:
- Provide trail connections to all the parts of the parks for bigger and better experiences: Build a new pedestrian bridge connecting the east and west sides of the park and create a trail loop throughout the main park.
- Improve access and basic amenities at Aullwood Garden: Extend the garden experience along the trail between the parking lot to the garden and provide rest rooms.
- Birdwatching and wildlife experiences: Maintain and enhance the river, lake, prairie and woodland habitats for bird watching and wildlife observation.
2016-2026 Comprehensive Master Plan
Five Rivers MetroParks has developed a 10-year comprehensive master plan to guide the future of its parks, facilities and services and will ensure its resources are aligned with current and future trends, community values and Montgomery County’s changing demographics. Development of the plan began in early 2015 and involved extensive research and community input, including a statistically valid survey, public meetings, interviews, focus groups, intercept surveys and online comments.
“The comprehensive master plan provides direction to Five Rivers MetroParks in serving as the region’s conservation leader, connecting people to nature and active lifestyles, and ensuring Five Rivers MetroParks remains a major source of pride, vehicle for placemaking and an economic catalyst for the region,” said Becky Benná, Five Rivers MetroParks executive director.
“World-class communities have world-class parks, trails, natural areas and park-related attractions,” Benná added. “People who live in world-class communities have a high quality of life, along with diverse opportunities to connect with nature and enjoy active, healthy outdoor lifestyles. World-class communities also understand these outdoor amenities are key to creating the type of vibrant place where people want to live, work and play. Five Rivers MetroParks’ comprehensive master plan ensures Montgomery County is just that type of community.”
Five Rivers MetroParks is also in the process of becoming accredited by the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). This commission oversees a systematic evaluation of a park agency’s management and operation practices in 10 major categories of best practice standards. It is a quality assurance and improvement process that demonstrates Five Rivers MetroParks’ commitment of excellence to the community and its volunteers, partners and staff. The completion of the comprehensive master plan is a key part of this accreditation, which Five Rivers MetroParks is on track to achieve this year. Indianapolis-based PROS Consulting worked with Five Rivers MetroParks to develop the comprehensive 10-year master plan.
The consultant’s top 10 recommendations were:
- Maintain what Five Rivers MetroParks owns
- Preserve land to protect air and water quality
- Protect the value of fish and wildlife habitat
- Maximize use of parks and facilities through dynamic programming
- Create health and wellness opportunities within parks
Parks and Connections
- Enhance the connections between parks and the urban core
- Link the inner ring of community parks
- Connect urban and community parks to the rest of the region
Finance and Economy
- Position Five Rivers MetroParks as a driver of economic development
- Develop a financially sustainable system that can achieve the vision
2014-2018 Strategic Plan
In response to the changing economic times, our staff has become more creative and resourceful in diversifying our income stream and conducting business in new, more-sustainable ways. Five Rivers MetroParks also developed a five-year strategic plan to focus our work and priorities. Together, this allows us to continue our commitment to maintaining the high-quality parks, programs and services that the community deserves. The intent of the plan is to accomplish the following:
1. Establish clear direction for the next five years.
2. Align the organization’s resources with its strategic direction.
3. Focus on community engagement to guide the plan.
4. Drive innovation, leadership and teamwork as part of the organization’s culture.