A new look at Parks:  Have your say!

Many of you may not know that I went to university to become a biologist and spent my whole career, both in the field and in business, working with wildlife. Not surprisingly, I have a strong interest in parks and natural areas. These are essential components of a livable community.

Midland is home to 28 community parks covering 321 acres, as well as 18 km of paved and natural trails that offer peaceful and scenic views. These parks and trails allow all members of the community to enjoy a wide variety of activities. These well-maintained environments include urban forests, naturalized areas, and formal landscapes. There are many places to enjoy physical activities such as baseball diamonds, basketball courts, beach-volleyball courts, a skateboard park, soccer fields, disk golf, and playground equipment for younger children. Additionally, the parks offer many picnic areas and covered picnic shelters for friends and families to use at their leisure. Many of these parks and facilities are wheelchair accessible.

Parks and Trails Master Plan

Did you know Midland’s Operations Department let a tender in 2017 to undertake a Parks and Trails Master Plan?The Town retained consultant services for the completion of a needs assessment and master plan for the Town’s parks and trails. The master plan is to include a trail system designed to connect Town parks and open space areas with our neighbouring municipalities. The project includes a minimum of two (2) public informational meetings to receive comment and input to be considered for the Master Plan.   The first of these meetings was held in April 2018.

The objectives of the Plan are to develop a Parks and Trails Master Plan describing future parks needs, goals and maintenance requirements for individual existing parks, recommended improvements for currently undeveloped park lands and to develop a conceptual design for a Town-wide trail system connecting Town parks and neighbouring municipalities.Little Lake Beach

 

The process has involved a series of meetings with Town staff and the creation of  an inventory and individual needs & opportunity assessment for each of the parks.  The inventory and analysis were prepared based on visits to each site, to document site inventories, and physical and contextual analyses.   The results were displayed on panels that formed the subject of a public information session held in April of this year.

The inventory and panels can be found at:

http://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/Parks%20and%20Trails%20Master%20Plan%20Slide%20Panels%20-%20Open%20House%20April%2012%202018.pdf#search=Parks%20and%20Trails%20Master%20Plan

The project also involved an online survey that is now closed. Next steps are the preparation of the draft Master Plan and presenting it for public input and comment at a second information session.

What is not clear is whether the Master Plan will encompass the nearly 55 acres of open space and woodlands being donated to the Town as part of the Season’s development.  The open space, woodlands and the southern shoreline of Little Lake will be open to all Midland residents.

As Mayor I will ensure that the Master Planning exercise continues and is well advertised to the Public.  I will ensure the results are incorporated into the Asset Management Inventory / Plan and funded appropriately.

If you are interested in more background information, this link takes you to the 2015 Parks and Recreation Guide https://www.midland.ca/Shared%20Documents/guide%20to%20Midland%27s%20municipal%20parks%20and%20trails.pdf