St. Louis County residents have several opportunities this month to weigh in on the future of area parks.
The County’s Parks and Recreation Department is hosting a series of open houses to discuss a master plan to guide the development and maintenance of parks and park facilities.
Project manager Gerry Biedenstein said residents should take this opportunity to share what they think is important.
“We’re looking at this as a kind of a five, 10, 15 year snapshot for what we should be doing ... in the future and where our dollars and efforts should be focused,” Biedenstein told St. Louis Public Radio.
The county's Parks and Recreation Department covers 73 different destinations including 69 park properties, 12,700 acres and 140 trail miles.
Biedenstein says the plan will need to reflect the variety of spaces and what residents need from their parks.
“So we’ve got a lot of diversity out there and we’re trying to serve the needs of the citizens and all that and again, the way to verify all that is to ask the question and use that information," Bidenstein said. "So that’s where we’re at.”
The open houses are part of the project's first phase. The planning process began this summer and it’s estimated to last until the fall of 2017.
With locations spread throughout the county, the department hopes the feedback will be representative of the whole county.
Each open house will feature the same presentation with members of the project team leading walking tours of the meeting displays.
The first of the five meetings is today at the Greensfelder Recreation Complex in Queeny Park from 4 to 8 p.m.
More information about future open houses and the master plan can be found at the St. Louis County Parks and Recreation website.