Examples of Parks and Recreation Master Planning in Delaware

State of Delaware SCORP

Every five years, the State of Delaware’s Division of Parks and Recreation, within the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC), is required prepare a Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) in order to assess the public demand for, and supply of, outdoor recreation resources. A master plan itself, the SCORP analyzes the desires of residents of Delaware in regards to parks and other recreation facilities.

Delaware’s 2013-2018 SCORP summarizes the outdoor recreation preferences and anticipated facility needs generated by the recreating public. SCORP findings are essential in directing public outdoor facility investments that most closely match the public’s stated needs. Furthermore, SCORP findings are helpful in guiding planning decisions related to parkland placement, outdoor recreation issues, and planning for the public’s preferred recreation facilities.

State Park Master Plans

Produced by DNREC, The First State Trails & Pathways Initiative: Making Connections video highlights the First State Trails and Pathways Initiative that sets forth a plan to create an interconnected network of shared-use trails and pathways that will support safe and affordable, non-motorized travel and recreation opportunities.  The planned trail network is designed to expand connections between neighborhoods, towns, and cities to create more vibrant, active, and healthy communities.

Using information generated from SCORP, the state of Delaware and DNREC have used master planning techniques for state park facilities. The 325-acre Fort DuPont State Park master plan focuses on reuse and redevelopment strategies for its historic facilities and planners are currently seeking input and ideas based on the completed draft plan.

The master planning process for the Brandywine Zoo, which has been open since 1905, is still underway and taking feedback via online public comment form.

In addition, DelDOT prepared a Delaware Rail-to-Trail & Rail-with-Trail Facility Master Plan, with public input, in response to public interest in developing off-road facilities for bicyclists and pedestrians for both transportation and recreational uses. The Plan used SCORP data and reviewed select railroad corridors to identify segments that could be potentially suitable for re-use as shared-use Rail-to-Trail (RTT) and/or Rail-with-Trail (RWT) facilities. The Plan considered the interconnectivity of these potential rail-trail corridors with the existing and proposed statewide trail systems, greenways, and pedestrian/bicycle networks.

Local Government Parks and Recreation Master Plans

Delaware local governments may use outcomes of Delaware’s SCORP to inform parks and recreation planning processes at the local level. Information on recreation preferences within each of Delaware’s five SCORP regions may be used to guide master planning and local investments in open space, parkland acquisition, trails, and active passive recreation facilities and programs.

Because Delaware local governments provide services, programs, and facilities that meet the needs of citizens, it is important that parks and recreation master planning be conducted at the local level and reflect needs of community members. For example, in the City of Newark neighborhood parks have been established on small plots of land existing in established communities. They serve small segments of the population and have been developed with considerable input from neighboring residents who will use the facilities. Citizens can provide input as to whether the space will be used for active or passive recreation. Active recreation refers to structured recreational activities—such as sports leagues—that require specialized parkland development and management. Passive park use refers to non-organized recreational activities—such as hiking—that require no specialized parkland development, facilities, or management.

Examples of Delaware local government parks and recreation master plans include:

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