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Buncombe County Parks & Recreation Announces Systemwide Plan, Community Invited to Provide Input on Development

Buncombe County Parks and Recreation’s first systemwide plan is on the horizon, and in February and March, community members can help guide the future for parks, recreational opportunities, greenways, trails, and open space.  

As our community grows and diversifies, our desires for recreation, outdoor activities, trails, and open space grows and requires a plan to define how the County will continue to provide high-quality options to its residents. This comprehensive planning effort will result in three plans: a Systemwide Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Greenways and Trails Master Plan, and an Open Space Plan.  

The foundation of the systemwide plan will be built using public guidance and recommendations with extensive opportunities for the community, especially underserved and under-represented groups, to identify needs and priorities. Community members will be invited to interactive meetings, stakeholder interviews, focus groups, pop-up events throughout the County, and an online survey. The County also will conduct a statistically valid survey via mail and telephone.  

“With the Systemwide Parks & Recreation Plan, we are creating a roadmap for our future while ensuring that every resident feels valued and connected through our parks, recreational programming, greenways, trails, and open space. This plan signifies our commitment to crafting spaces that are tailored to the diverse needs of our community,” said Allison Dains, Buncombe County Parks & Recreation Director. 

Community Engagement Opportunities: 

Community Meeting 1: The first public community meeting will be taking place on February 1, 2024 at East Asheville Library (3 Avon Rd) from 5-7:00 p.m. 

Community Meeting 2: The second public community meeting will be taking place on March 21, 2024 at Enka High School in Enka Village (475 Enka Lake Road) from 5-7:00 p.m. 

These community meetings will be interactive, so participants should come prepared to participate in various community parks and recreation, greenways, trails, and open space planning exercises. Additional community workshops will be held to gather public input. To get up-to-date information about these workshops, sign up to receive updates here.

Two surveys will be administered during the systemwide Parks & Recreation plan. There will be one online survey, and one statistically valid survey that will be mailed. The online survey is expected to go live in spring and will be available on the Systemwide Plan’s website.  

What’s Next:  

The Parks & Recreation Systemwide Planning process will be approximately 14-16 months in duration, but the schedule may be extended if additional public opportunities for feedback are needed. The project includes two main phases:  

Phase 1: Needs and Priorities Assessment (July 2023-July 2024): Establishes community needs and priorities for the County’s parks, recreation, greenway, trails, and open spaces system in relation to community input and best practices. The bulk of public input opportunities will take place in the first half of 2024. 

Phase 2: Long-Range Vision and Strategic Plan (July-Dec. 2024): Focuses on the development of a long-range vision for the County’s parks, recreation, greenway, trails, and open spaces system in relation to community needs. This step includes development of a plan that outlines a roadmap for future action items through a phased implementation approach, cost estimates, and other recommendations.  

Plan Adoption (Nov. 2024): The final drafts of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, updated Greenway and Trails Master Plan, and an Open Space Plan will be posted online for public review and comment prior to being presented to the County’s Board of Commissioners.  

Key Takeaways: 

  • This comprehensive planning effort will result in three plans: A Parks and Recreation Master Plan, Greenways and Trails Master Plan, and an Open Space Plan. 
  • Buncombe County Parks & Recreation’s Systemwide Plan will begin its process of seeking public input to shape the future of parks, recreation, greenways, trails, and open space in February 2024.  
  • The first public community meeting will be taking place on February 1, 2024 at East Asheville Library (3 Avon Rd) from 5-7:00 p.m. 
  • The second public community meeting will be taking place on March 21, 2024 at Enka High School in Enka Village (475 Enka Lake Road) from 5-7:00 p.m. 
  • To learn more information and to get updates on additional community workshops, sign up here. 

For questions or for more information, please call (828) 250-4260 or email parks@buncombecounty.org. 

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Updated Jan 22, 2024 10:45 AM
Published Jan 09, 2024 09:00 AM


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