County Park Board logoThursday evening, members of the Marshall County Parks and Recreation Board decided to move forward with creating a 5-year master plan with the assistance of the Michiana Area Council Of Governments (MACOG).

James Turnwald, Executive Director of MACOG told the board his staff could assist the county with creating a 5-year plan at no cost to the county.

Turnwald explained the process by describing the seven chapters they will work through together in creating the master plan.  The first portion will be creating a Mission Statement, detailing their vision and set out goals.    Next they will look at the county as a whole by looking at other quality-of-life opportunities in the county.  They will also take an in depth look at the current parks, Mill Pond and the Memorial Forest and the existing conditions before they work on the ADA accessibility.  Finally the County Park Board and MACOG will create a needs analysis and finally create action strategies to move the projects forward.

Public input and support will be keen in creating the 5-year Master Plan.  Turnwald said there will be several opportunities to meet with and hear from the public as well as other stakeholders such as the County Health Department, hospital, Highway Department.

It was estimated it would take six months to create the 5-year Master Plan.  Turnwald said there is an opportunity to apply for a Land and Water Conservation Grant but the deadline is April 15th and it would be a push to have the master plan created by that point.

MACOG will put a contract together to spell out the scope of the project and have it prepared for the Marshall County Park and Recreation Board meeting in December.