Parks and Rec urges public to take part in survey

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     In January, it was announced that Monticello Parks and Recreation was starting to look to the future and work on updating its master plan.

   P&R oversees about 10-12 parks and greenspaces throughout the community. But, how many of these areas do people know about or utilize?

   At the end of May, P&R released a survey; it was available to the public via an online link, as well as paper copies at any city building (City Hall, library, Berndes Center). (Visit “City of Monticello – IA Parks & Recreation” on Facebook for a link to the survey.)

   Parks and Rec Director Jacob Oswald offered that the public has five weeks left in which to complete the survey by early August.

   “What do you want to see in our growing community?” notes the Facebook post. “Trail expansion? A state park? A wellness center? A splash pad? More playgrounds? Hiking trails? Is there something else in mind? Now is your chance to share with us!”

   Since the survey went out, 275 individuals have either started or completed it. (NOTE: It does take approximately 15 minutes to fill out the entire survey.)

   “We encourage everyone to fill it out,” urged Oswald.

   Members of each household can fill out more than one survey.

   “Spouses might have different interests and opinions,” added Oswald.

   The P&R survey isn’t just for city or county residents, but for anyone who’s ever visited or plans to visit Monticello, whose kids attend school here, those who work in Monticello but live elsewhere.

   “Any feedback is important; the good, bad, and ugly.”

   The results from the survey will be compiled over the winter months and brought to the public’s attention after the first of the year.

   “I hope to have the plan done before Jan. 1 to we can start some things around budget time,” Oswald said.

   Twenty years ago, the P&R departmental plan was part of the city’s overall master/strategic plan.

   “That makes it old,” said Oswald of needing an update. “Ten years is long-term.”

   While some of the ideas contained within the survey might be long-term projects, there could be some suggestions for low-hanging fruit.

   “We’ve had a lot of good feedback already,” noted Oswald of a quick glance at the completed surveys. “Trails are important to people, and that shows in the surveys.”

   Before P&R implements any projects, Oswald said he wants to numbers and data to back it up, proving that the public wants it done.

   “If 100 people say they want something, we’ll look into to further.”

   Those who fully complete the survey will have their names entered into a drawing. On Saturday, Aug. 20, a random drawing will take place during Monti Days at the Willow Shelter. Several prizes will be given away, all donated by local businesses.


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