Parks and Recreation Planning

Since the fall of 2017, IPDC has been working with member governments to develop a parks and recreation master plans.  The development of these plans has involved establishing parks and recreation steering committees, researching the jurisdiction’s current and future conditions, analyzing the current state of the park systems, gathering substantial public input from park users and the steering committees, and developing a set of recommendations to help guide future growth of the park systems.

See below for examples of parks and recreation plans created in coordination with IPDC.

Why Plan for Parks and Recreation?

Because parks are valuable and desired!

According to City Parks Alliance, there is a public health, environmental,
community, and educational value to public parks. “If you want to stay heart
healthy, then communing with nature at your local park is a good first step.
People living near parks have greater opportunities to be physically active by
running, walking or participating in other heart happy activities” (City Parks Alliance) Even a passive, non-recreational park can achieve many public health benefits. Public parks provide opportunities for people of all ages to get in touch with nature without having to travel far from home. Parks are a valuable benefit that everyone can share.

Parks and open spaces also have an economic impact on neighborhoods,
homeowners, and local governments. Active Living Research found that
“walkable neighborhoods, parks and open spaces can generate economic
benefits to local governments, home owners and businesses through
increasing property values and related property tax revenues” (Active Living Research). Additionally, the National Parks and Recreation Association determined that “…parks are one of the most direct ways to put a dent in the approximately $147 billion direct and
indirect costs of the obesity epidemic” (National Research and Park Papers: The Key Benefits).

System-wide parks and recreation master plans can help a local government gather useful input from town residents and park users, guide the future growth of a parks system, and help obtain grant funding for recreation projects.

County Park System Planning

The Commission is currently working with Rutherford County and Polk County on developing system-wide parks and recreation master plans. For Rutherford County’s planning effort, the Commission is focused on analyzing the county’s recreational assets. The planning process is led by Destination By Design.

The Commission is leading Polk County’s planning process with the Polk County Recreation Department and Recreation Steering Committee. The first step is to gather reliable public input from Polk County residents and park users. Ultimately, the goal is to update the county’s existing parks master plan, which was adopted in 2013. To take the Polk County Parks and Recreation survey, click here!


Town of Spindale Parks Planning

The Commission worked with the Town of Spindale on developing a comprehensive parks and recreation master plan.  The Spindale Parks and Recreation Master Plan was adopted on April 15, 2019.

Click here to see the final plan.

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Town of Grover Parks and Recreation Master Plan

The Grover Town Council adopted to Grover Parks and Recreation Master Plan on September 10, 2018.  To view Grover’s plan, click here.  

Grover’s plan in the media:  Grover looks to improve town park & Three things to know about proposed park plans in Grover – Shelby Star


2018 Rutherfordton Parks and Recreation Master Plan

The Rutherfordton Town Council adopted the 2018 Town of Rutherfordton Parks and Recreation Master Plan on June 6th. Click here to see the adopted Town of Rutherfordton Parks and Recreation Master Plan.

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Rutherfordton’s plan in the media: Council adopts Parks and Recreation Master Plan


For more information about how IPDC can help member governments with parks and recreation planning or other planning services, contact Executive Director Scott Dadson.