CROWN POINT | The Lake County Parks & Recreation Department has drafted a five-year master plan and wants resident feedback on the vision for future development.
Craig Zandstra, special projects coordinator for the parks department, said the public input is valuable to make sure the thoughts of the public are similar to the plans created by the county and approved by the state’s Department of Natural Resources.
About two dozen people came to January's Park Board meeting, which was the first chance people had to give input about the plan, Zandstra said.
Those residents' concerns mirrored some issues that had been discussed, including expanding and adding green space.
Other suggestions included making improvements to Deep River County Park and providing more equestrian trails through all of the park system, he said.
“For the most part, the public is seeing what we are seeing. They want more open space to balance the development we’re seeing,” he said. “We really value the input we get from them.”
Once completed, the plan will be the blueprint for the park department’s vision, and will map the borders of the existing parks, target land for expansion and provide a financial blueprint for the next five years.
Currently, the plan calls for a variety of improvements throughout the park system, including continuing to upgrade the bike trail system.
Other plans include adding splash pads at Lemon Lake and at Lake Etta, and adding a new ride to Deep River Waterpark. Other improvements and upgrades also will be done around the water park.
Also included in the five-year plan is adding to the outdoor play area at Bellaboo’s Play and Discovery Center in Lake Station.
There are land acquisition plans for several areas, including around Deep River County Park and Oak Ridge Prairie.
Residents interested in offering input into the five-year master plan can do so at 7 p.m. Thursday when the Park Board meets at the Lake County Government Complex. County residents also may go online to www.lakecountyparks.com to fill out a survey about the 2014-2019 master plan.