STRASBURG — More recreational options might be coming to the area, and town officials are excited about the possibilities.
Discussing the town’s Master Park Plan at a recent meeting of the Recreation, Parks & Trails Committee, council members and town employees considered what new activities and amenities they might bring to the community. Ideas included a golf course, wilderness camping, and a way of providing kayaks that people could take out on the river.
“If they were there, people could use them,” said Vice Mayor Scott Terndrup. “Who’s speaking to that?”
Hoping to find a group of people who might speak for the needs of the community, Economic Development & Marketing Manager Michelle Bixler proposed a tentative timeline for the Master Park Plan that includes building a Project Management Team in time for an August kickoff meeting.
The Project Management Team will be made up of 10 or 12 stakeholders invested in building an active community and capable of helping guide the Master Park Plan process. Examples of proposed team members are local business owners, stewards of land or water, members of civic organizations and representatives from area government offices like the Planning Commission and Parks and Recreation Department, as well as individuals who use the town’s recreational facilities.
Team members should be representative of various demographics, Bixler said.
The Project Management Team, along with committee members and key town staff, would be in charge of developing a survey to garner community engagement.
Though they hope to get a lot of interest, Bixler said finding the right group of people will be key.
“It’s a tricky process,” she said. “It’s something that requires a lot of finesse.”
“The trick is to really try and get as diverse a group as possible,” she said.
Bixler said she has some potential team members in mind if they’re available, but said she would also like to hear from residents with an interest in building the recreational options around town. She recalled speaking with a mother of three whose schedule doesn’t allow her to attend her children’s swim lessons but who still wishes to be involved in community discussions.
“That’s the perfect person,” said committee member John Massoud.
Terndrup said potential team members should be those who can identify what’s lacking in the community and envision a brighter picture for Strasburg’s future.
“There’s a lot going on here already,” Terndrup said. “Who’s talking about what we don’t have? ... That to me is the point of planning.”
He said the team might also want to include new community members who came to Strasburg in hopes of finding activities that involve the river, mountains, forest or trails.
“They’re the ones who are gonna volunteer. They’re the ones who are going to be excited,” he said. “Because they’re new and this is why they came here… Nature has blessed us with all of this, and so now we need to be good stewards of this and manage it.”
The town is working with Lardner/Klein Landscape Architects on developing the Master Park Plan. A kickoff meeting will be scheduled for August. For information, contact the town office at 540-465-9197 or at 174 E. King St.
Attending the committee meeting were Chairman Ken Cherrix, members John Massoud and Emily Reynolds and Town Manager Wyatt Pearson. Absent was committee member Taralyn Nicholson.