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Denison begins work on parks, trails master plan

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
The city of Denison is looking to form a steering committee to advise on an upcoming Park Trails and Master Plan.

Denison recently started work on a new guiding document for its park and trail resources. City officials spoke last week about the initial steps toward drafting a Park Trails and Master Plan.

During a recent city council meeting city staff talked about one of the steps toward drafting the document — forming a steering committee to oversee and give guidance for the plan.

“A system-wide park master plan is a comprehensive document and process that include an internal assessment, community engagement and data collection, and development of an implementation plan,” Denison Parks and Recreation Director Justin Eastwood said.

Eastwood compared the plan to the city’s comprehensive plan, which was last drafted in 2018. The plan gives an overall view of the city and a preferred direction for development, among other features.

As such, Eastwood said the document would need to work alongside other planning documents to ensure there are no discrepancies. Likewise, the document will need to consider the city’s extraterritorial jurisdiction — areas that are outside, but adjacent to the city.

The full scope of the document still remains uncertain. In previous park plans, the city set aside its larger parks, including Waterloo Lake Park, which was given its own master plan.

In drafting the document, Eastwood said common considerations and goals for current and future park projects would focus on several key components, including health, economic impact, and transportation, among other goals.

Eastwood said the committee would be compromised of between 12 and 15 members and include citizens, representatives for Parks and Recreation, the city council, the planning and zoning commission and other community partners.

“The committee should represent different perspectives of the community and should communicate many interests in the community so there are many good ideas that are brought to the table,” he said.

Eastwood said he would likely spend much of September forming the committee. From there, staff would begin a request for proposals and choose a consultant. Under the current timeline, Eastwood said he hopes top have the document in planning at the beginning of next year.