What are the five things you think make a good park?
That’s one of several questions Monroe is hoping citizens will answer this week.
As part of an ongoing conversation with the community about the way Monroe will develop in the next two decades, the city is holding a meeting Thursday to talk about parks.
The series of meetings, called Envision Monroe, is part of an effort to get citizen input on the once-a-decade update of the city’s Comprehensive Plan, the overarching document that guides all aspects of city development.
So far, Monroe has held three such conversations on things like land use and traffic. Turnout has been good at the other meetings, said Monroe Planning and Permit Manager Paul Popelka. But he’s hoping that the meeting on parks will be the biggest one yet.
“Everyone loves parks,” he said. Certainly the topic has attracted some interest on the city’s website, where the city is collecting citizen input in written form.
Under the Envision Monroe tag on the city’s website, there is a link to a site called MindMixer, which is a company that is assisting Monroe on the community input process.
At the Mindmixer site, there is a way to connect through Facebook and submit ideas and comments, this week on a page called “Picture-Perfect Parks.”
There, people are invited to post pictures of great parks, whether in Monroe or elsewhere.
So far, citizens have posted pictures of a balloon race in a Nevada park, a profusion of lilacs in a New York park, green space and a park under a freeway overpass.
By subscribing, citizens can answer questionnaires, get invitations to meetings and presentations and more.
And although most people in Monroe got a survey on parks in the most recent utility bill, there is also a way to take the survey through the city’s Envision Monroe page, where a link connects visitors to a questionnaire. Residents are asked about their top priorities for park amenities, to evaluate the parks system for things like accessibility and usefulness, and to rank the potential improvements to the parks system in order of preference.
Once this series of Envision Monroe meetings is complete, MindMixer is going to rent a storefront on Main Street for a week in order to compile all the information gathered from surveys, online and at meetings during a series of workshops.
“Monroe has some great parks space, but the more we grow, the more we need more parks,” said Popelka. “I think it’s going to be a challenge to have the kind of parks we need.”
In order to be a part of the process of ensuring Monroe does get the kind of parks it needs, attend the parks meeting Thursday at 6:30 p.m. at Park Place Middle School on Main Street. Signs will guide attendees to the right room.