Parksville calls on masters students for another master plan

Parks and open spaces consultation begins with St. Patrick’s Day event

The students are back in Parksville.

The City of Parksville announced in February that it has renewed its partnership with Master of Community Planning Program students from Vancouver Island University.

In a written release, the city said the VIU students will work with the city on a consultation strategy to update the city’s Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Park Master Plan.

This new plan will update the 2005 Parks and Trails Master Plan.

In 2017, the master of planning students and faculty provided the consulation for the city’s Community Park Master Plan, including creation of a draft plan, appearances before council and public consultation, and writing of the final master plan.

The first public engagement event for the Parks, Trails and Open Spaces Park Master Plan project is set for this Saturday, March 17, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. During this time, VIU students will be located at Foster and Springwood parks. They will also be set up with a tent in downtown, along the Alberni Highway in Parksville, to deliver a questionnaire to residents about what they would like to see for the future of city parks, trails and open spaces.

“Parks on the Street Day” is the first of many opportunities for residents to provide input and suggestions on the future of parks, trails and open spaces throughout the city, the release stated. A similar event was held in 2017 to kick off the Community Park Master Plan, with students gathering information on the day from more than 200 residents. The city encourages residents to engage with the students, “who now expect this event to be even better.”

The students are planning an online survey and a “Mini-Spring” event and a parks open house at Foster Park in May. More information will be provided next month.

The current master plan project involves extensive analysis and asset inventory of all city park spaces, detailed GIS mapping, a qualitative assessment of park spaces, evaluation of parks and trails connectivity and a needs/gap analysis. The results of the information gathered during public engagement sessions will be presented to the community throughout events in 2018 and will be used to provide data and information to enhance city spaces. A draft plan will be presented to Council in early 2019.

— NEWS staff and City of Parksville release

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