Planning for the Future of Our Parks, Trails, and Facilities

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Welcome to the Parks & Facilities Master Plan project!

The Town of Manchester is embarking on an exciting project to make more effective and community-driven decisions around future investments in Manchester's parks and facilities. Your input and engagement will help make this a successful process and ensure that the voices of all interested residents are heard.

To the right, you'll find information on the project's team, timeline, and historical resources giving you an overview of what's in-store for this project.

Below you'll find three tabs. A Project Overview & Updates tab with up to date resources and info-graphics on why the Town is embarking on this process as well as important resources & reports to keep you up-to-date on the latest project findings. The Share Your Ideas Board tab asks residents to share their thoughts/perspectives/opinions on their favorite and least favorite parks and facilities. This interactive board lets you upload photos and like/comment on other's ideas. The Leave Your Mark tab asks residents to participate in giving their feedback and perspectives through an interactive map of Manchester's parks, trails, and facilities.

Continue to check back regularly as we will update this page with the progress of the project.

Welcome to the Parks & Facilities Master Plan project!

The Town of Manchester is embarking on an exciting project to make more effective and community-driven decisions around future investments in Manchester's parks and facilities. Your input and engagement will help make this a successful process and ensure that the voices of all interested residents are heard.

To the right, you'll find information on the project's team, timeline, and historical resources giving you an overview of what's in-store for this project.

Below you'll find three tabs. A Project Overview & Updates tab with up to date resources and info-graphics on why the Town is embarking on this process as well as important resources & reports to keep you up-to-date on the latest project findings. The Share Your Ideas Board tab asks residents to share their thoughts/perspectives/opinions on their favorite and least favorite parks and facilities. This interactive board lets you upload photos and like/comment on other's ideas. The Leave Your Mark tab asks residents to participate in giving their feedback and perspectives through an interactive map of Manchester's parks, trails, and facilities.

Continue to check back regularly as we will update this page with the progress of the project.

  • Town of Manchester Parks and Facility Master Plan

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    Find the final Parks and Facilities Master Plan here.

  • Executive Summary of Masterplan

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    Executive Summary


    This executive summary provides a high-level overview of the Town of Manchester’s Parks & Facilities Master Plan elements, including:

    • The demographic and income profile
    • Community engagement
    • The recreation program analysis
    • Recreation trends
    • Trails and connectivity analysis
    • Park and facility assessments
    • Level of service (LOS) analysis
    • Conceptual vision plans
    • Funding and revenue strategies
    • Strategic action plan
    • Implementation strategies


    Demographic and Income Profile

    Utilizing Esri data, BerryDunn reviewed several key socioeconomic indicators in relation to park and recreation services. All data was acquired in 2020, reflecting the actual numbers reported in the 2010 U.S. Census. In 2010, the median age of the 58,241 Town residents was 37 years. This was slightly lower than the U.S. median age of 38.8 years and also that of Connecticut (CT) at 40.8 years.

    The Town’s total population is projected to experience minor growth between 2010 and 2025 with an increase of 1% (or 337 residents). Minor shifts are expected in the youth age categories, with two increasing slightly and two decreasing slightly. Overall, the change is expected to be 568 fewer residents between the ages of 0 and 19 years. The predicted shift in the adult population (ages 25 to 64 years) is a decrease in every category ranging from a 1.8% decrease (ages 55 to 64 years) to a 19.2% decrease (ages 25 to 35 years). All of the age categories over 65 years are expected to increase significantly. Combined, the number of adults over 65 years of age is expected to increase by 3,746, or 120%.

    In terms of race, the data projects that the Town’s composition will shift by 2025 with a decrease of 11.6 percentage points (or 6,599 people) in the White Alone category. The increases include those who identify as Asian Alone, which is predicted to increase by 3.7 percentage points (or 2,139 people), and Black Alone, which is predicted to increase by 3.4 percentage points (or 2,054 people). The ethnicity of Hispanic Origin (a designation independent of race) is expected to experience an increase of 7.6 percentage points (or 4,464 people) by 2025.

    The predicted change in gender composition between 2010 and 2025 is fairly insignificant with a .01 percentage point increase in the male population and a .01 percentage point decrease in the female population.

    In 2020, the Town’s median household income was $70,645, which was 11.8% greater than the U.S. national median income of $68,400. A 6.4% increase is projected by 2025, which would bring the median household income to $75,167.


    Community Engagement

    Over the course of three months, nearly 1,600 people provided input regarding the Parks & Facilities Master Plan (the Plan) in a variety of ways. The engagement included 6 staff focus groups, 12 community focus groups, and 4 focus groups with local high school students. In-person engagement was held at four locations in October 2020, and a virtual town hall meeting was held in November 2020. A total of 405 statistically valid surveys were submitted to ETC Institute (ETC), 79 surveys were completed on Your Voice Matters, and 454 visits were made to Your Voice Matters between late July and mid-December 2020.

    The consulting team gleaned a great deal of information from all of the various engagement avenues resulting in the following top 10 themes:

    1. Charter Oak is visited frequently, and the recent upgrades are appreciated by residents—residents are looking for the same types of upgrades in other Town parks (completing the 2018 Center Springs Master Plan is a priority for many).
    2. The Town has a history of providing well-organized, well-run, and affordable recreation programs.
    3. The brand of the Department of Leisure, Families and Recreation (the Department) has greatly improved in the recent past.
    4. There is a concern about Town and Department finances following the COVID-19 pandemic.
    5. Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) are very important, and more attention is needed for some underserved groups.
    6. The aging indoor recreation facilities are not meeting the current needs, and therefore, they will not meet future needs.
    7. Safety and security are concerns in some parks after dark.
    8. Upgrading the existing pools and adding new spraygrounds is important.
    9. Park maintenance is a priority for investment.
    10. Completing the Town’s trail connections for hiking and biking is highly desired.

    Following the COVID-19 pandemic, there is also a strong desire for the Town to enhance current partnerships and seek out new ones in order to be more efficient with funding and reach new people.


    Recreation Program Analysis

    The Department offers a variety of opportunities for Town residents. The recreation analysis identified opportunities for recreation program and service expansion to meet community needs and desires in a comprehensive way. The following summary highlights the key points of the analysis; the full recreation analysis provides detailed insight into each core program and the individual analyses therein.

    Throughout all of the focus groups conducted as part of the community engagement, the importance of DEI were mentioned at nearly every meeting—from the teens through the seniors. Town residents view diversity as a cornerstone of the community and want to ensure that there are programs and services available to everyone.

    As part of the statistically valid survey administered by ETC, the following programs are slated as high priorities for investment in the Town:

    • Fitness and wellness
    • Outdoor and adventure recreation
    • Nature enjoyment
    • Senior adult activities
    • Boating, kayaking, and canoeing
    • Programs focusing on history

    When comparing the Town’s programs to the BerryDunn database of recreation assessments completed for agencies across the country, the consulting team determined that the Town offers 61.7% of common program offering types. Typically, park and recreation agencies offer just over 50% of the common programs, so the Department is doing very well with its variety of offerings.

    According to the Department staff, core recreation programs include:

    • Early childhood
    • Youth
    • Youth sports
    • Camps
    • Teens
    • Aquatics
    • Adults
    • Adult sports
    • Seniors
    • Family programs

    The consulting team analyzed the Department’s core program offerings by season (summer, fall, winter, spring) from 2019 – 2020 and found that the most programs of programs were offered in the summer, and the greatest number of programs offered were related to aquatics. In terms of ages, the greatest percentage of programs were offered for children ages 0 – 5 years, while the lowest percentage of programs offered were for teens ages 13 – 17 years.

    The consulting team compared Department programming from 2019 – 2020 to the Town’s demographics and found that the largest discrepancy is for the adult population with 48% of the population but only 16% of Department program offerings.

    As part of the recreation program analysis, Department staff completed program life cycles worksheets for all of the core program areas. The consulting team used the resulting data to determine the percentage of programs in the introduction, growth, mature, and decline stages. For the Department, the largest category is mature programs at 53%, and the smallest is introduction at 7%. A healthy balance between the stages is optimal, with a bulk of the programs in the growth and mature stages. The timing is ideal for the Department to provide an influx of new, innovative programs.

    The consulting team has also reviewed Department marketing efforts. This is an area where great strides have recently been made. The Department has a full-time position that includes marketing and communication in addition to some programming duties. The Department creates three seasonal program and event catalogs that are included in the Better Manchester Magazine that is mailed to residents. The results of the statistically valid survey indicate that 74% of respondents are very satisfied or satisfied with the availability of information about programs and services on the website. Just under 63% are very satisfied or satisfied with the ease of the online registration process.

    Based on the results of the community engagement, the statistically valid survey, and the review of current offerings, the consulting team identified several programming opportunities for the Department to consider, including the following:

    • Nature enjoyment
    • Outdoor and adventure recreation, such as boating, kayaking, and canoeing
    • Wellness programming
    • Birthday party service
    • Child care
    • Dance/music/performing arts
    • School break camps
    • Esports
    • Gymnastics/tumbling
    • Historical programs
    • Programs for children who are homeschooled
    • Science, technology, engineering, and math programs (STEM/STEAM)
    • Youth fitness

    The consulting team evaluated the current policy and procedure for pricing programs and services. Historically, the Town has operated within a policy of charging low fees to no fees for programs. Based on the review of the Town’s finances via the budget documents posted on the Town’s website, the annual subsidy to the Department is increasing, and conversely, the cost recovery percentage is decreasing. With the minimum wage increasing to $15/hour in July 2023, the cost recovery of the Department is likely to continue to decrease unless changes are made either by increasing fees or decreasing expenses.

    In the final section of the recreation analysis, some best practices for the provision of recreation programs are outlined in conjunction with a number of specific recommendations. The recommendations are divided into four groups:

    • Demographic considerations
    • Programming considerations
    • Marketing considerations
    • Items that are worthy of continued analysis


    Trends

    In conjunction with the recreation programming analysis, the consulting team provided a series of current trends. The trend information provided are categorized into general recreation, outdoor adventure activities, fitness, age-related trends, and some new trends as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.


    Trails and Connectivity Analysis

    FHI Studio, based in Hartford, CT, was included as part of the consulting team to:

    • Map existing trails, greenways, and pathways
    • Assess the existing trail system in the Town based on the available data
    • Identify gaps in the trail system
    • Produce a strategic connectivity plan by identifying and recommending a network of pedestrian and bicycle facilities that will connect parks to neighborhoods and schools across Town
    • Provide trail maintenance recommendations

    Once the FHI Studio team identified all of the gaps in the trail network, they considered four different types of trails to complete the connections including:

    • Trails/pathways
    • Sidepaths
    • Bike lanes
    • Shared roadways (or sharrows)

    After the appropriate connection type was identified by FHI Studio staff for each trail gap, a three-phased plan, with cost estimates, was compiled. The FHI Studio team also reviewed a number of suggestions for connectivity solutions offered by several Town stakeholders and provided feedback.


    Park and Facility Assessments

    To Design, based in New Britain, CT, was included as part of the consulting team to complete a review of Town park sites to assess the condition of all amenities, including:

    • Pavement
    • Vegetation
    • Sports fields
    • Play structures
    • Site furniture
    • Outdoor courts
    • Lighting
    • Pools and spraygrounds
    • Stairs and walls
    • Signage

    In addition, To Design accessed the functionality of vehicular and pedestrian circulation, parking, stormwater management, and way finding. For each park site that To Design evaluated, there is a park map, photos, and a table of To Design’s detailed findings.

    The Consulting team toured all of the Town’s indoor recreation facilities, including the Senior Center, Mahoney Center and Leisure Labs, The Community Y Recreation Center, Nathan Hale, and Robertson School. Based on the facility conditions, results for the community survey and public engagement, program registration, and staff experience and expertise with Town programs, a potential new community recreation center is recommended to meet the current and future recreation needs of the community.


    LOS Analysis

    LOS provides guidelines in determining the appropriate level of parkland and amenities such as athletic fields, outdoor courts (tennis, basketball, and volleyball), and playgrounds. The consulting team used a variety of methods to create LOS guidelines as a result of the absence of a universally accepted method to determine standards. The National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) has evolved from the use of unilateral standards applied to all agencies and has moved to creating more customized information through the Park Metrics Program. This database includes information from approximately 1,000 agencies nationwide that can be filtered by population, budget, location, etc.

    LOS guidelines help to ensure an equitable distribution of parkland, facilities, amenities, and recreation programs throughout the system. The following mechanisms were used to complete the LOS process:

    • NRPA Park Metrics
    • Survey results
    • Resident input
    • Review of the equity distribution of parkland, facilities, and amenities
    • Staff and consulting team input

    The LOS includes an acreage LOS analysis and an amenity quantity LOS analysis.


    Conceptual Vision Plans

    With information gathered throughout the needs assessment, programming and trend analysis, and public engagement, the To Design team produced conceptual visions with cost estimates for six Town park sites:

    • Northwest Park
    • Union Pond/Robertson Park
    • West Side Recreation
    • Mt. Nebo
    • Globe Hollow
    • The Nike Site

    The plans delineate proposed features, upgrades to existing facilities, and features to be removed. The goal of this effort is to recommend recreational enhancements that not only serve residents, but also are sustainable today and in the future. As part of this task, To Design provided a color rendering to accompany each concept plan.

    Funding and Revenue Strategies

    The Consulting team compiled examples of funding and revenue strategies used by park and recreation systems throughout the country for the Town’s consideration. This summary includes fund sources that relate to operating dollars and to capital dollars and provides an overview of foundations, conservancies, nonprofit organizations, public-private partnerships, endowments, legislation, grants, sponsorships, and crowdfunding strategies.


    Strategic Action Plan

    Following the staff visioning session, the consulting team created the final strategic action plan in alignment with the four themes: (Manchester is) dynamic, connected, thriving, and sustainable. All of the goals are divided into the key concept areas of programs, parks, trails, and facilities and then grouped by the recommended time frame for completion:

    • Short-term (1 to 3 years)
    • Mid-term (4 to 6 years)
    • Long-term (7 to 10 years)

    Implementation Strategies

    It is very important for the Town to successfully implement the Plan. In addition to strategies included in this section, such as the identification of a plan champion, ongoing employee engagement, reporting mechanisms, and internal marketing, the consulting team will facilitate a Strategy Implementation Workshop for the staff after the Plan has been approved. It is critical that the proper organizational culture be created in order to support the effective implementation of the Plan.

  • Q&A from Speak Up for Our Parks Meeting

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    Are there any forms of surveillance in any of the parks that were favored in the polls? If so which one would you say which park is highly more watched?

    There are surveillance cameras throughout a few of Town parks, including Charter Oak and Northwest Park. Requests to view footage for a particular time and location are handled through the Town’s Information Systems department. The Master Plan could potentially suggest surveillance of some parks where appropriate.

    How will you have an equal balance of nature and parks?

    The masterplan will primarily focus on parks and active recreation, but open space will be included as well. The plan will incorporate how to better connect passive and active recreation areas in town.

    Considering the climate that we are living in at this time, would increasing community gardens or building outdoor classrooms be included in the assessments?

    Great question. The Master Plan could consider gathering feedback from school officials on the idea of outdoor classroom space. Additional garden areas in different parts of Town may be appropriate.

    Has any thought been given to Leiber Field off Love Lane?

    There has not been discussion or requests from Little League regarding this field. It is a private setting for a field which is nice but has limited parking. This may be a location for future lighting if the need/demand was ever there for another lit LL field.

    I agree, would there be an opportunity to create more spaces for nature appreciation? spaces for nature respite

    The masterplan will have a trails and connectivity portion that will address how to better connect active and passive recreation areas within town to one another. One element that could be addressed is creating additional spaces with existing Town parks and open space for areas such as bird watching and other passive actives for nature appreciation.

    Is there any type of work that you are planning to do in order to preserve the wildlife in these areas?

    The preservation of Manchester’s wildlife is an important element in the planning process for any project that has the potential to disrupt the habitat, feeding areas, or migration routes of existing native populations of animals. As the plans for the parks are developed this consideration will carry weight during the design and review process. The future design of certain park elements may provide a unique opportunity to asses and, possibly, enhance wildlife habitat elements. Healthy wildlife populations in our parks should be encouraged not discouraged.

    I was also curious if there was possibly a way to designate an area to smoking, to keep it away from large groups of children as well as just large groups of people in general. As a person with asthma I feel it may be beneficial to the general public.

    This issue was discussed among the Board of Directors several years ago and a smoking ban was not considered a solution. For the most part, people that smoke stay away from the general public and are generally respectful of non-smokers. The Town allows groups that rent or apply for use of our parks/fields to manage smoking at their event (for example, Little League and the Soccer club do not allow it at their events) and is a question asked on the permit application for Town facilities.

  • Speak Up for OurParks Public Meeting

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    View the Speak Up for OurParks Presentation Slides here.


  • Speak Up for Our Parks

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    Thursday, November 19th | 7:00 – 8:00 PM

    Join this 1-hour interactive Zoom Meeting with the Town of Manchester and consultants from Berry Dunn and help shape the future of Manchester’s Parks, Facilities and Recreation Services.

    This special community engagement session will provide information about the Parks and Facilities Master Plan process and prepare the community for the next steps on the planning process.

    Registration

    Registration is required and space is limited. You must complete the registration form by 1:00 PM on November 19th to receive the meeting information.

    To register complete the link.

  • Town to Distribute Parks, Recreation & Facilities Survey

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    Manchester, CT: The Town of Manchester will be conducting a Community Interest and Opinion Survey as part of a Parks, Recreation, and Facilities Master Plan that will help establish priorities for the future development and delivery of parks, trails, recreation facilities, programs and services within the community. The survey will run from November through December and will be administered digitally through the nationally recognized ETC Institute via phone, mail and the Internet.

    During the second week of November, ETC will mail the survey and a Town-approved project description letter to a random sample of households. Residents will be provided two convenient opportunities to respond: an online link that will be included in the letter and a postage-paid return envelope.

    About seven to 10 days after the surveys are mailed, ETC will follow-up with households that received them via e-mail and/or phone; the firm’s goal is to achieve a minimum of 350 completed surveys. A sample of 350 will provide the Town results that have a margin of error of +/-5.2 percent at the 95 percent level of confidence. ETC consultants will monitor the distribution of the sample to ensure that it reasonably reflects the demographic composition of the Town with regard to age, geographic dispersion, gender, race/ethnicity and other factors.

    The survey will compile resident feedback on a wide variety of Town parks, facilities and recreation programs and services. “Representative engagement is critical to create a more equitable and accessible community. This survey will help provide Town leaders a more representative cross-section of Manchester residents and what they value.” said Director of Leisure, Family & Recreation Christopher Silver.

    Residents ages 18 and older will have the chance to rank and prioritize items relating to the Town’s parks, recreational programming, facilities, and areas of potential investment. Survey findings will be submitted to the Town in January and presented to the public in June. Residents who are not randomly selected to receive a survey but who are interested in providing input for the masterplan will have an opportunity to complete an identical survey after responses for the statistically valid survey are received and tabulated.

    Established in 1982, ETC Institute is a Kansas-based company that has administered surveys in more than 700 cities and counties nationwide throughout the previous five years. The firm is a national leader in market research for local governmental organizations and, since its founding, has completed research projects for clients in 49 states, including surveys, focus groups and stakeholder meetings.

    For survey updates and results, please visit the Town’s new online public engagement platform at www.YourVoiceMattersManchesterCT.com.

  • Trick or Treat for OurParks Prompts Large Community Turnout

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    The Parks and Facilities Master Plan project kicked into high gear this weekend as hundreds of Manchester residents participated in a community engagement special event, Trick or Treat for OurParks. This event was held at four locations in town; Center Memorial Park, Charter Oak Park, Northwest Park and Squire Village. Attendance surprised us all, as residents of all ages came out to share their thoughts and opinions on what they believe Manchester needs most.

    Children in costumes received goodie bags of candy and a surprise “M” bag filled with crafts and treats. Adults had fun playing with fake money, sticking stickers on maps and sharing thoughts with staff and consultants. Everyone received a raffle ticket to place into contention for several raffle prizes, the top prize being a new BIKE!

    Those attending the event were given $10,000 (of fake money) and were asked to spend their dollars on what they felt the Town needed most.

    Read more about the event on Better Manchester!

  • Trick or Treat for Our Parks

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    Join the Manchester Recreation Division for a special community engagement event happening across Manchester. This family friendly event will offer interactive activities for community members to engage and provide input regarding the Parks & Facilities Master Plan.

    Event Details
    All children in attendance are encouraged to wear a costume and will receive a goodie bag upon arrival and leave with mystery activity bag. All those attending and participating are eligible to be entered into a raffle to win one of the following prizes; a bike; an athletic package, creative arts package, games package, Manchester-Gear Swag.

    Event Locations
    The events are hosted at Center Memorial Park, Charter Oak Park, and Northwest Park

    Covid-19 Considerations
    This event will follow CDC guidelines – we encourage attendees to wear their masks, keep a safe social distance, and stay home if feeling sick.

    For more information read the featured story in BetterManchester!

  • Manchester Community Plans for the Future of Parks, Trails and Facilities

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    MANCHESTER, CT, October 2020 - The Town of Manchester officially kicked off the Parks and Facilities Master Plan project. The Master Plan outlines how to further develop future parks, trails, open space, and recreational areas so as to meet the needs of the community while also investing in the town’s economic and cultural value. Director of the Department of Recreation, Family, and Leisure, Chris Silver explains: “We are embarking on working with a consulting group to create a plan for our parks and public spaces for the future, whether that is tomorrow or 20 years down the road. We want to create a community that is more equitable and accessible than what we have now. So, representative engagement is especially important.”


    Director of Planning and Economic Development, Gary Anderson, also highlighted the range of benefits this Master Plan will bring to town. Businesses and people looking for a place to call home are drawn to Manchester because they want to be in a place with a high quality of life and where there are exceptional public facilities as well as an engaged community and government. Taking care of the parks and facilities also “builds community pride,” which is an “incentive for people to invest in their own neighborhoods,” said Anderson.


    Kyle Shiel, the Senior Planner in the Planning Department, is the project manager of the Parks and Facilities Master Plan, acting as a liaison between the consulting company, BerryDunn, and various Town departments. BerryDunn is a consulting firm that “uses deep experience and a commitment to knowledge sharing to help clients gain control of the challenges and opportunities that drive value.” Shiel explained that the Town selected BerryDunn as the right choice for Manchester after seeing the firm’s work in Burlington, VT, and the successful results of their Master Plan.


    Your Voice Matters – Get Involved Online Today!

    As a part of a new communications strategy, local public decision-makers are seeking out ways to connect and engage more with residents, as well as offer a variety of ways to inform the public. One of the first initiatives launched as a part of this strategy is a new community engagement tool: Your Voice Matters – Manchester. This platform was piloted in collaboration with the roll-out of the Parks & Facilities Master Plan, as its success relies greatly on community input.

    Your Voices Matters acts as a two-way street. It is not only useful for connecting community members with local officials and providing a direct avenue for voicing perspectives, but also in discovering new ways to inform Manchester residents. After signing up and creating login credentials, users can find updates on the latest projects, project questionnaires, public surveys, and community forums, in which people can post opinions, feedback, and inquiries.

    Your Voice Matters – Get Involved In-Person - “Trick or Treat Parks”!

    Join the Manchester Recreation Division for “Trick or Treat for Parks,” a special family community engagement event happening across Manchester on Saturday Oct, 24th from 9 AM to 11 AM. This family friendly event will offer interactive activities for community members to engage in and give feedback on related to the Parks & Facilities Master Plan. All children in attendance are encouraged to wear costume and will receive a goodie bag upon arrive and leave with mystery activity bag. All those attending and participate are eligible to be entered into a raffle to win one of the following prizes; a bike; an athletic package, creative arts package, & games package, Manchester-Gear Swag.

    This event will follow CDC guidelines – we encourage attendees to wear their masks, keep a safe social distance, and stay home if feeling sick.

    For details on the Trick or Treat for Parks event please visit yourvoicemattersmanchester.com.

    To learn more about the Parks & Facilities Master plan, receive updates, and share your feedback, please visit yourvoicemattersmanchesterct.com and register today!

    ##

    Kyle Shiel, Senior Planner

    Project Manager, Parks and Facilities Master Plan

    860-647-3044

    kshiel@manchesterct.gov


    Gary Anderson

    Director, Planning & Economic Development

    860-647-3044

    ganderson@manchesterct.gov


    Christopher Silver

    Director, Leisure, Family and Recreation

    860-647-3086

    csilver@manchesterct.gov


    Kathy McGuire

    Senior Recreation Supervisor, Recreation Division

    860-647-3087

    kmcguire@manchesterct.gov


    Calvin Harris

    Senior Recreation Supervisor, Recreation Division

    860-647-3088

    charris@manchesterct.gov

  • Why Do a Parks & Facilities Master Plan?

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    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.

    OurParks

    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.

Page last updated: 14 September 2021, 11:04