Why Do a Parks & Facilities Master Plan?
Manchester has many parks and recreational assets
Manchester has twenty-five town-owned parks totaling approximately 685 acres. When you include jointly owned and/or managed properties including Manchester public schools, the Community Y Recreation Center and the Manchester Country Club, this increases to approximately 876 acres. There is also roughly 109 miles of formal and informal trails lying within or directly adjacent to Town.
Maintaining this number of assets to a high standard involves trade-offs
Many of these assets are towards the end of their useful life. The Town needs to decide on how to best spend limited resources – what to invest in and where. To ensure these decisions are made fairly and efficiently for all Manchester residents, we need a parks and facilities masterplan to serve as a blueprint for future Town decision makers.
What About the Schools?
Many residents have questions about the future of the former schools impacted by recent consolidation efforts – Robertson, Washington, and Nathan Hale. These buildings will not be the primary focus of the parks and facilities masterplan, but they will certainly be discussed and studied as part of the process. The masterplan team and consultant will work closely with the School Repurposing Committee to take their perspectives into account and see if there are opportunities to align visions for the buildings.
How Can I Get Involved?
The Town and its consultant partner Berry Dunn will be holding a variety public engagement sessions, including focus groups, a phone survey, online participation and other formats. Social distancing guidelines make gathering in large groups inadvisable, so we will likely do a combination of small in-person group sessions, virtual meetings and other formats to safely gather community input.
The decisions made during this masterplan process will influence investments in Manchester’s parks and facilities for many years to come. Your input and engagement will help make this a successful process and ensure that the voices of all interested residents are heard.