CBJ Parks & Recreation Master Plan Aims to Streamline and Further Facilitate Partnerships

Juneau, AK (KINY) - If everything goes according to plan, the CBJ Parks & Recreation Master Plan will be adopted by the end of the year.

Alexandra Pierce, a project manager with Parks & Recreation gave an update at the latest Planning Commission meeting, where she talked about all the various way the new plan will streamline work through the department.

Pierce says that overall Parks & Recreation want to continue doing projects with local organizations.

One of the key themes of this plan is partnerships. We're really trying to empower users, local organizations, and non-profits."

Pierce specifically mentioned recent work on the Switzer Marriot Trail in Lemon Creek.

"When Rotary came to us looking for a project in Lemon Creek, we were able to say that that project was one of the city's highest priorities. They kicked in funding and they were able to find some money for the project, as well as the Community Foundation's parks and trails fund. We've also been working with Trail Mix too to complete the project this summer. Rotary has had a couple of volunteer days."

"It's just a really great example of a community project and what can be done when a number of partners come to the table with funding, volunteers, and expertise."

She also mentioned during the meeting that she would love to see more park projects in the Lemon Creek area.

"While the city has a duty to maintain and provide parks and recreation assets to the community, we are also subject to budgets and funding. Some of these things that we really want to do and we really want to see can happen more quickly as great community projects. Treadwell Ice Arena was built as a community project. The Treadwell Ditch Trail project is another example; there are so many good examples."

"We are looking to do more of that in the future and really engage our partners."

Another aspect being highlighted in the Master Plan is the consideration of Alaska Native values such as protected land or land that should be protected. We asked Pierce on how those considerations are handled in the draft. 

 "We have a number of cultural sites within parks and we have a duty to protect those. We are really keen on making sure that we include traditional languages on future park and trail signage. We are also looking for opportunities for better collaboration on the preservation of Native art and just working with our tribal partners on youth programs and some of the land-use decisions that we're making."     

Pierce also explained how people can become further involved with the process.

"We'll be doing public consultation for this document in October. Hopefully, every resident that is interested will take the time to read the document or at least look at the highlights."

"We are also, in terms of park regulations, working on a new signage strategy that will make it easier for people to understand what you can and can't do in different types of parks."

"As the document is adopted we will be doing some news releases around any significant changes. This is more of a clarification of things that were confusing in previous documents."

Pierce says that the goal is to have the Master Plan in front of the full CBJ Assembly in November.

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