Master Plan Document Update
We are still in the process of compiling the demographic analysis in a section of the plan we call the “Community Profile.” In addition to the demography (population, ethnicity, age distribution, household income, etc.) this section includes a review of other recent and relevant Joplin planning documents such as the 2012 Comprehensive Plan and the 2016 Historic Preservation Plan. This section also includes a review of the history of Joplin parks and open space.
We are distributing an online survey tool specifically for parks and recreation department staff to take which will allow us to assess the goals and vision of the department.
We are still in the process of analyzing the previous 5+ years of budgets and sales tax revenue. Following receipt of the citizen survey results and input from staff, we will generate a 10-year capital improvement plan for the department and provide cost recovery goals.
Parks, Open Space, Trails, and Facilities Inventory
On November 11th, the design team came to town to visit and assess more than 35 parks, cemeteries, trails, and facilities. We took hundreds of pictures, walked countless miles, and completed written assessments of each property. The assessments examined each park or facility on a series of metric criteria including accessibility, connectivity, usability, comfort and character, and amenities.
We are still processing and formatting this information in an effort to generate a list of potential capital improvements for this next 10-year planning horizon.
We are still in the process of cross-referencing existing programing offerings against different indicators, such as national trends, local private alternatives, as well as the citizen survey.
We expect to draw trends as to what programing opportunities may be missing or what could be offered through partnerships with allied local agencies.
City Parks Facilities Map
We are in the process of formatting maps of all parks, and trails, as well as maps depicting the level of service of the park system as well as population growth centers within the City of Joplin
Public and Staff Input
We held our initial Kick-Off Meeting with staff on Thursday, October 1st and got to meet with 11 members of City staff as well as 1 Park and Recreation Board member.
We conducted a series of Pop-Up Meetings on Tuesday, October 13th to promote the master plan and have conversations with your park users. These impromptu events took place throughout the day in Merc Park, Cunningham Park, Parr Hill Park, and the Athletic Complex. We gathered input from 25 different individuals or families.
During October we built a website to share news and events concerning the master plan and you can view it at: https://www.joplinroadmap.com/.
Website visitors can provide input through a pair of unique virtual tools: an “idea wall” where participants can share any comments about Joplin parks, as well as an interactive park map on which participants can drop pins on various park properties and leave comments pertaining to “things they like,” “things they dislike,” “causes for concern,” or “ideas for improvement.”
We conducted Community Meeting #2 on Tuesday, November 22nd to promote the project website and have focused conversations about existing facilities. This meeting drew 20 members of the general public and 2 members of the City Council, as well as news media and City staff. Based on the interests of those attending, the discussion was completely focused on off-road bike amenities. Our team enjoyed taking this deep dive into the mountain and BMX biking possibilities that Joplin could consider. Since this meeting our website has collected over 100 new comments on exiting park facilities.
Level of Service Assessment/Citizen Survey
During the week of October 26th, we mailed the a 6-page 22-question citizen survey to thousands of mailboxes across the City of Joplin. These homes were selected at random. To achieve a statistically valid response, we must collect 300 complete surveys.
At this time, we have received back 160 responses. To boost response, we have mailed an additional 1,500 surveys. We expect to achieve the 300-response mark in the next two weeks and have results during the week of December 21st.
Once we have obtained a statistically valid response from this mailed survey, we will post the same survey on our website and allow any participants to take the survey. We expect to have the survey available from December 28th until January 18th.
With input from City staff, we have selected the following cities for benchmark comparisons: Chesterfield, St. Joseph, Springfield, Cape Girardeau, Lee’s Summit, Salina, KS, Bentonville, AR, and Hot Springs AR.
Last week, we circulated a “Peer Community Survey” to the park directors in each of these cities to collect departmental data including, but not limited to, total park acreage, total trail mileage, number of full-time, and non-full-time equivalent staff, departmental revenue and expenditures, and date of most recent master plan. We have already received back 4 of 8 surveys completed.
Vision, Goals, and Objectives
During our Kick-Off Meeting with City staff we brainstormed a set of initial goals and objectives for this master plan.
We look forward to the Strategic Planning Retreat scheduled for Wednesday January 13th from 11:00am to 4:00pm. Our team will bring the data and analysis collected and conducted over a 12-week period. We will revisit the initial goals and objectives and refine those into a preliminary strategic action plan.
Future Priorities and Recommendations
We will develop the initial set of priorities and recommendations at the Strategic Planning Retreat on January 13th.
We will share these draft priorities and recommendations at a final community meeting with the public on January 27th.