Parks are important for improving the quality of life in a community. But over time, the wants and needs of a community can change.
In order to keep people of all ages and backgrounds using the parks, community leaders must listen to what people are saying about them.
The Seymour Parks and Recreation Department is doing exactly that.
[sc:text-divider text-divider-title=”Story continues below gallery” ]
On June 25, the city will conduct the first of several community input sessions at 5:30 p.m. at the Westside Park shelter house, 920 Jackson St., to discuss the city’s five-year parks master plan with the public.
Parks Director Stacy Findley said she is hoping a good mix of people will show up to the meeting and share their thoughts and concerns and make recommendations and suggestions for how to improve the parks in Seymour.
Items to be discussed include programming needs, park-specific needs with a focused discussion on Westside Park and general facility upgrades.
Each park facility will be listed on large blank posters and people will write comments on colored post-it notes about projects/upgrades/improvements, programming/activities/events and overall needs/concerns/comments.
The meeting will be facilitated by Administrative Resources association in Columbus.
The parks department also is collecting input through a public survey at surveymonkey.com/r/SeymourPark.
Seymour is currently in the process of updating its parks master plan, which will help prioritize future projects. The last plan expired in 2015.
Other areas of focus in the plan include accessibility, the Shields Park Pool and the need for more green spaces and parks facilities.
Seymour has seven parks, a pool, a skate park and other public spaces, including a downtown pocket park, a community center and the new One Chamber Square, which is set to open next month as the renamed Burkhart Plaza in memory of former Mayor John Burkhart, who died in late 2019.
Potential future parks projects include upgrades to the city pool, such as an addition of a splash pad area and a new kiddie pool with more play features, an indoor recreational facility, additional basketball and volleyball courts, more shelter houses, public art, more trails and a sensory park.
Besides guiding the development of the city, having an up-to-date master plan also helps the city access state and federal funding opportunities for the parks, Findley said.
After the public meetings, the plan will be written and a draft will be submitted to the Indiana Department of Natural Resources Division of Outdoor Recreation no later than Jan. 15, 2021. After the city adopts the plan, a final version must be submitted to the state by April 15, 2021.
[sc:pullout-title pullout-title=”If you go” ][sc:pullout-text-begin]
What: Community input session for the Seymour Parks and Recreation Department’s five-year parks master plan
Where: Westside Park, 920 Jackson St., Seymour
When: 5:30 p.m. June 25
Can’t make it? Fill out a public survey at surveymonkey.com/r/SeymourPark.