UPDATED: Rockford Park District holds meeting to discuss master plan

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DEVELOPING…

The Rockford Park District is holding a meeting Tuesday evening

A master plan will provide a series of recommendations that will help guide investment in District assets, along with decisions regarding obsolete, underutilized, or non-trending parks, facilities, and amenities.  

The District’s first Community Engagement Session takes place Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at Atwood Educational Center, 2685 New Milford School Rd, Rockford from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Community Engagement Sessions will provide an opportunity for the District to inform the community about the history of the organization, financial realities, and community impact.
For 109 years, the Rockford Park District has helped improve the quality of life for citizens by providing a vibrant park system that increases property values, stimulates economic development, decreases juvenile crime, and improves our communities’ health. The Rockford Park District also protects the environment, employs thousands of area youth for the first time, and brings the community together to enjoy life. 

Community Involved Master Plan Process Begins Today
To make sure your Rockford Park District is meeting the recreational needs of this and succeeding generations, the District launched efforts today to begin a community involved master plan.  A master plan will provide a series of recommendations that will help guide investment in District assets, along with decisions regarding obsolete, underutilized, or non-trending parks, facilities, and amenities.  With declining revenue both through fees and a declining tax base, along with population and demographic shifts, it is becoming extremely difficult to provide the same level of service without an increase in new revenue or a decrease in the Park District’s footprint.  Currently, the District maintains 4,962 acres of land, and has 179 different parks and facilities.  
A master plan will provide an opportunity for the District to engage and inform the community on the true value of parks and recreation, receive critical feedback to determine priorities of park services, and ensure the District’s plan connects with other community leaders and organizations.  Feedback regarding recreational needs will be used to develop a five-year master plan to determine areas to reinvest in, eliminate, or strategically add. “For 109 years, the success of the Rockford Park District has had everything to do with our amazing community, volunteers, partners, and our dedicated team members. We are asking our community to get involved and take their park district to the next level.  Our end goal is to make sure we are meeting the needs of this and succeeding generations. The Board of Commissioners has been firm on holding the line on taxes over the last four years, saving taxpayers $1.7 million, so not only do we look to meet the communities’ recreational needs, but we also need to make sure our park system matches the economic realities of our community.  This is a critical step for us,” said Rockford Park District Executive Director Jay Sandine. 

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