Updated May 16th, 2016

Five Rivers MetroParks Adopts 10-Year Master Plan

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DAYTON, OH (April 15, 2016) — Five Rivers MetroParks’ Board of Park Commissioners approved the agency’s 10-year comprehensive master plan during its monthly meeting on Friday, April 15.

The plan serves as a guide for the future of Five Rivers MetroParks and provides direction for implementing short- and long-term strategies and actions to best meet the community’s needs and priorities. 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.

Throughout the process, residents and leaders consistently stated they value MetroParks and the benefits it provides. This support mirrors a recent study conducted by the National Recreation and Park Association that found that 83 percent of Americans personally benefit from local parks.

“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.

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Indianapolis-based PROS Consulting worked with Five Rivers MetroParks to develop the comprehensive 10-year master plan.

The consultant’s top 10 recommendations were:

Stewardship

  • Maintain what Five Rivers MetroParks owns
  • Preserve land to protect air and water quality
  • Protect the value of fish and wildlife habitat

Programming

  • 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

“The master plan will guide MetroParks for the next decade and beyond,” Benná said. “It’s a long-term vision created by the community, for the community. It ensures MetroParks operates as efficiently as possible and is positioned for the future. It ensures the community’s first priority — to take care of the land and facilities we already protect and manage — is MetroParks’ first priority, too.”

The complete master plan and the results of surveys, focus groups and other research are available at www.metroparks.org/plan.

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