Criteria for Successful Parks and Recreation Master Plans

Collaborative Process

According to a Project for Public Spaces’ report, good master plans “represent(s) a vision that brings together the concerns of different interest groups, and their recommendations create a ground swell of community and political support.” An effective master plan is the result of a collaborative effort that solicits and incorporates input from a diverse group of local government leaders, staff members, citizens, and stakeholders.

Key Aspects

According to the resource guide section of IPA’s Healthy Communities: A Resource Guide for Delaware Municipalities publication, successful master plans must be financially feasible, environmentally compatible, balanced, technically sound, responsive and flexible. The plan should describe how it is or will:

  • Be consistent with and/or advance the goals of local, county, regional, and state plans;
  • Be responsive to the interests of citizens and diverse groups of stakeholders;
  • Implementable, lead to a shared vision for community livability, and provide recommendations for land-use policy, parks development and rehabilitation, and natural resource conservation;
  • Be adaptable to future changes in conditions;
  • Lead to a shared vision for recreation and conservation among all stakeholders and guide future implementation;
  • Address needs based upon the demographics of the community/region, including low- income, minority, and special-needs populations;
  • Address the need for ADA accessibility (e.g., facilities, sites, and programs);
  • Create opportunities for citizens to connect to open space, greenways, parks, and conservation areas;
  • Strengthen connections between recreation, healthy lifestyles, and economic benefits in communities;
  • Reconnect people to the outdoors and foster environmental stewardship;
  • Leverage investment of resources, partnerships, and funding; and
  • Support environmental sustainability, conservation, and green practices

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