Opinions wanted about park facilities

Candy Neal/The Herald
The 5-Year Master Plan for parks like Birdseye Park is being updated. People can fill out a survey to share their ideas and opinions about local park and recreation facilities.

By CANDY NEAL
cneal@dcherald.com

Residents throughout Dubois County are invited to give their opinion about the parks located in the county.

The master plan for parks is in the process of being updated. With that, an online survey is available for residents to share their opinions.

“It’s updated every five years,”’ said Lisa Gehlhausen, executive director of Indiana 15 Regional Planning Commission. Indiana 15 is helping the Dubois County Park Board compile the plan. “We are trying to get public input to help with updating the plan.”

The electronic survey is now available to residents and to other users of the parks at www.surveymonkey.com/r/duboiscoparks. There is also a QR code available that can be used to access the survey. The QR code will be on yard signs at the different parks in the county.

The 11-question survey asks what community a responder lives and the number of people living in the household under different age ranges. But no personal identifying questions are asked. The survey responses are anonymous.

Survey takers are asked how often their household visits a park or recreation facility and the barriers that keep them from participating in recreational programs. They are also asked the kind of activities they do at different local parks as well as facilities like Ferdinand State Forest, Patoka Lake and Hoosier National Forest. People have an opportunity to suggest new park and recreation amenities they feel should be created, as well as maintenance improvements that should be done.

The survey will be available through Oct. 15. Gehlhausen hopes most responders will complete their survey within the next month.

When completed, the plan will have future goals listed for the county park and park facilities in unincorporated communities. The Birdseye, Ferdinand, Holland, Huntingburg and Jasper park boards will also have their master plans listed in the document. Survey response will help boards determine those goals, Gehlhausen said.

The new master plan will cover 2022 to 2026. It is important for the plan to be updated and stay current, Gehlhausen explained.

“This assists the park boards in planning out their priorities and future needs,” she said. “It also helps them with applying for different resources outside of their park board budget.” Communities that have an updated master plan in place have a better chance of receiving grant funding for different projects.

The 5-Year Master Plan will be turned into the Indiana Department of Natural Resources by Jan. 15. A draft of the plan will be presented at a Dubois County Park Board meeting this fall, before the plan is due to DNR.

For more information or to ask questions, contact Gehlhausen at 812-367-8455.




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