Nassau County announced the kick-off of a long-range parks, recreation, and open space master plan for the entire county on Jan. 2, with the goal of the plan to be completed by the fall of 2020. Dr. David Barth will present the findings from the Existing Conditions and Needs Assessment phase of the project to the Board of County Commissioners at 5 p.m. Monday, June 8, according to a news release.
The workshop meeting will be held in Commission Chambers, located at 96135 Nassau Place in Yulee.
The county government encourages all Nassau County residents and organizations to participate in the meeting to hear Barth’s presentation to the board regarding his team’s effort to create a world-class parks and recreation system master plan for the citizens of Nassau County.
To develop the plan, the county secured the services of the parks planning firm Barth Associates LLC to evaluate the existing parks and recreation system; conduct a county-wide needs and priorities assessment; develop a long-range parks and recreation vision; and work with the county to develop a fiscally sustainable implementation strategy for capital improvements, operations, and maintenance.
The recently completed Needs Assessment Phase of the project incorporated a number of public involvement forums to make sure that the planning process was citizen-driven and that every resident who so desired had an opportunity to participate. These included:
• Two public outreach events, one in eastern Nassau County and one in western Nassau County. The events were interactive and open to all residents, groups, and corporate entities to attend.
• A statistically representative survey of residents’ needs and priorities. To ensure the integrity and validity of the data collection process, ETC Institute, an independent research firm, conducted the survey and compiled the data for utilization in the plan creation process.
• An online survey to provide opportunities for all residents to participate in the survey.
• A working session with a diverse group of individuals representing organizations across a wide spectrum of focus and backgrounds. This included representatives from education, social services, organized athletics, outdoor enthusiasts, the arts community, park operations, public and mental health, environmental stewards, and many others.
• A series of roundtable discussions with individuals and organizations who share common interests around particular aspects of recreation, i.e. cyclists, conservation, youth athletics, etc.
• One-on-one interviews with elected officials and key county staff members including budget and operations staff.
The information received provided the data necessary for Barth Associates to project the parks and recreation needs and priorities of County residents. This approach ensures the parks, recreation, and open space Master Plan is truly representative of all the citizens of
Nassau County and not just a select few.
The meeting is open to the public with limited seating, however residents can also participate remotely by watching the meeting live at www.nassauclerk.com/watch-meetings and submitting comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or calling (904) 530-6009 and leaving a message. Residents can also use these two methods to request a call during the meeting.