Locust Council presented with Parks and Recreation survey results regarding Master Plan

Published 2:25 pm Monday, May 15, 2023

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The Locust City Council was presented with results from a Parks and Recreation survey sent to households at its meeting Thursday night.

People were given the opportunity to provide input on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan that is being developed in consultation with Benesch, a professional services firm based in Charlotte.

The plan — which will help guide the city’s actions over the next decade, including which projects to prioritize — will focus on parks and programs, but may also include greenways and bicycle and pedestrian routes depending upon citizen input.

Jon Wood, a Benesch senior project manager, told Council that 153 completed surveys had been received. The goal was to collect a minimum of 100 surveys.

Here are some of the key highlights:

  • A majority of respondents (57%) rated the city’s parks as good, while 23% said they were excellent.
  • The most popular amenities/facilities that people wanted the city to invest in were a walking path around the athletic complex, playgrounds, community building with space for indoor gatherings, a dog park and park shelters. When looking at new facilities, Wood highlighted the “10-minute rule,” which states that any city should have quality parks within a 10-minute walk from their home.
  • The most popular programs for investment were those involving walking/jogging/biking, general fitness, general visitation of parks and special events.
  • The most visited facilities at Locust City Park were the walkway around the athletic complex (60%), followed by Officer Jeff Shelton Memorial Park (57%) and the playgrounds (49%).
  • The most commonly attended special events were Christmas parade (50%), end-of-summer concert celebration (36%) and family movie nights (36%).
  • When it came to amenities people were willing to support with tax dollars, nature walking trails (52%) was the top choice, followed by splash pads (34%) and the community building (24%).
  • The most desired new programs people wanted to see are senior activities (41%), arts and crafts classes (41%) and fitness classes (39%).

Benesch and the Parks and Recreation department held two community drop-in events for people to learn more about the survey results and offer input. At least 90 people attended the events.

“This is your first plan, so this is your first toolkit for the means of Parks and Recreation,” Wood said.

The goal is to finalize the Master Plan in the coming weeks and present it to Council for approval during the July meeting.


About Chris Miller

Chris Miller has been with the SNAP since January 2019. He is a graduate of NC State and received his Master's in Journalism from the University of Maryland. He previously wrote for the Capital News Service in Annapolis, where many of his stories on immigration and culture were published in national papers via the AP wire.

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