Once the parks and recreation needs have been analyzed, key findings should be summarized. These findings will be the basis of developing a vision statement that charts the general course of the plan, identifies assets that need to be maintained, what needs to be changed, and how the plan will be accomplished. A prioritized action plan can then be developed that sets forth a series of goals, objectives, and recommendations to implement the vision.
The prioritized action plan should describe and rank-order priorities related to new or upgrades to existing:
- Facilities – including parks, open space system, greenways, recreation and community special-use facilities, or active transportation infrastructure (e.g., trail systems, bikeways, or shared-use paths)
- Recreation programs – such as recreation activities, classes, fitness and wellness programs, special events, and/or community festivals
- Management and operations – including implications for staffing levels, service levels, budgeting, capital improvements, maintenance and risk management plans, marketing plans, and technology improvements.
The action plan should include a matrix that describes the programs/projects, location, cost estimates, funding strategies and potential sources of funding, and year(s) of implementation. In addition, the action plan should provide a timeline, assigned responsibility for implementation, and evaluation metrics to guide development, capital improvements, and strategic initiatives for the next five years. Best management practices should be described such as partnering with other recreation providers, using volunteers to promote stewardship, adopting conservation and “green” environmental practices, outreaching to special needs populations, and instituting performance measurement programs.
If there is joint or shared ownership for a recreation facility, agencies should prepare a memorandum of agreement regarding ownership, operations, and maintenance. Opportunities for partnerships, volunteerism, and stewardship should be considered to provide support for ongoing maintenance and/or recreation programming.