Local communities working on collaborative recreation plan

Five local communities are working on a collaborative parks and recreation plan and they want your opinion.
Marie Havenga
Aug 16, 2014

 

What are your favorite recreational activities? How often do you visit the dog park? Go for a swim at a community beach? What does this area need more of?

If you're a resident of Grand Haven, Ferrysburg, Spring Lake or Grand Haven or Spring Lake townships, you can answer these questions.

Local officials say the answers will help craft a comprehensive parks and recreation plan for the community.

Earlier this year, the communities hired Grand Haven-based consultant Pam Blough for $20,000 to facilitate a regional plan.

“This is a real landmark time for the community to be expanding their planning and visioning efforts to include the entire Tri-Cities area,” Blough said. “The survey is everyone's opportunity to participate in this planning process.”

Blough said she is not entering the process with any pre-conceived ideas. She's waiting for the public to provide input.

“That's who we plan for — the public,” she said. “That's who we want to provide recreation for. We want to hear from the people who are using the park or would use them more if facilities were there that they were looking for. This is the opportunity to have their voice heard.”

To find the survey, visit www.surveymonkey.com/s/ZZJD8J5.

To read more of this story, see Saturday's print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

Comments

Barry Soetoro

Twenty grand to tell five local communities what people want at the park. I'm in the wrong business.

BTW, this is another fine example of taxpayer money put to good use. /sarc//

polarize

I was thinking the same thing. LOL

cvocvo

There are a couple of items in the survey where they only allow one choice but they could likely gain more insight if participants were allowed multiple choices. Also, they could gain more insight if they provided conditional branching based on answers. For instance people who answer that they went to specific parks are then asked why they do not go to the parks.

Also, isn't Survey Monkey a free tool? With a 20,000 budget, it seems they would use a more advanced tool with better options and analytics.

cvocvo

I see the survey allows people to answer multiple times. Maybe that should be fixed soon before the answers become corrupted.

cvocvo

The survey also allows you to pick a choice as your most visited park one that was not one of the parks you said you visited.

cvocvo

Don't mean to be picky, but it is hard to see how you can get good results when the survey tool seems so very flawed. Oh well, maybe some people are not really concerned about the integrity of the numbers. But when public money is being spent you would think that usable and reliable data would be important.

Vast Right Wing...

Why would Pam worry, she's getting 20K of our money to develop the plan that she was told to prepare. Our concerns do not matter with the city

gordbzz231

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jlebrasseur

I could have come up with a plan, and got public input for the cost of a good dinner. I love doing stuff like this as a hobby (just look at the quickly growing crowds at the fountain once we started listening to input from the public).

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure this stuff out. The $20,000 just goes towards a presentation with fancy charts and graphs.

Believe it or not, I used to be heavily involved with the tourism/recreation industry back before I moved to GH. Organizing large events, creating brochures and literature, and seeing to the events from beginning to end to make sure our Guests enjoyed themselves and never walked away feeling short-changed. We did all our studies in-house, and I have put together several. Nowadays, you have consultants charging an arm and a leg to do the same thing.

zwesterhouse

Bass River Recreation Area - How about turning that into a dirt bike/atv park on Mondays, Wednesdays, every other Saturdays and A standard horse park on the other days?

RenegadeX

Never have so few known so little about so much...

Units of governments who wish to be apply for recreational grants with the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund must have recreation plans in place. These plans typically encompass a five year timeframe and are very detailed.

With Interest growing in a region-wide recreational complex, there will likely be a grant application to the MNRTF which could mean hundreds of thousands of dollars for the project.

The fee paid to Ms. Brought is simply an investment in the process that COULD mean significant state dollars pouring into this area to help support facilities that will serve families for generations in NW Ottawa County.

Your pithy comments aside, it's a good expenditure to insure no money is left on the table as these communities look to improve the quality of life attributes of our area.

Barry Soetoro

Which one of the five local governments do you work for or are you Pam?

RenegadeX

What difference does it make where I work or who I am? Address the substance of my response or keep your ill-informed, ill-meaning comments to yourself...

Barry Soetoro

OK Pam, will do.

gordbzz231

.

Lanivan

Ill-meaning? Barry - I've heard of "ill-fitting", which might describe you when running in spandex, shirtless; I've heard of "ill-conceived", which in deference to your mom and pop, we'll just move on.

But ill-meaning?! Maybe RenegadeX got it from some t-shirt..

RenegadeX

Your inability to address the issue at hand is duly, if not sadly, noted.

Lanivan

Oh no! It's not so much an inability to address the issue at hand, as the lack of interest in addressing the issue at hand, coupled with the questioning of your using the odd word of "ill-meaning" in a reply to Barry. Besides the fact that I don't see how you find Barry's statement "ill-meaning", I don't understand what you mean by "ill-meaning".

Apparently you don't either.

LessThanAmused

Are you turning into one of those dreaded 'Grammar Nuts'? :-S

Lanivan

Yes. You inspire me on so many levels!

LessThanAmused

Wow, thanks for calling me out...I've been trying to fly under the radar lately, in case you didn't notice. :-S

Lanivan

What? Who? Here? No - I hadn't noticed. Thanks for the warning!

gordbzz231

.

Lanivan

Thumbs up!

cvocvo

I do not think anyone disagrees with the need for a plan or the possibility of gaining outside funding. What I am concerned about is an apparently flawed survey tool if this information is supposed to provide the "voice" of the community.

RenegadeX

"cvocvo writes:

Sun, 08/17/2014 - 12:19pm

I do not think anyone disagrees with the need for a plan or the possibility of gaining outside funding. What I am concerned about is an apparently flawed survey tool if this information is supposed to provide the "voice" of the community."

The survey is not "the" voice it is "a" voice, or tool if you will. These recreation plans are much more detailed than a summary of a simple survey.

cvocvo

You are right ... but the quite says that the survey IS “The survey is everyone's opportunity to participate in this planning process.”

Again, it simply concerns me that if the survey IS the way the voice will be heard then it is a concern. I did not hear about any more elaborate tool being used and that this was just one of multiple tools being used. You may very well be right, but the article implied that this was the method of primary method of getting public input. I hope I am wrong, and I hope the Trib will help to clarify this and let us know how the public can participate in the other more scientific and sophisticated data collection processes.

cvocvo

Sorry ... meant to say "the quote says"

gordbzz231

.

gordbzz231

But, what else could we use in West Michigan, we have good clean beaches, fine dining, plenty of shopping, the Coast Guard Festival, the musical fountain, what else could you ask for ?

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