The Butte-Silver Bow Parks Master Plan will build upon previous planning efforts. The Parks Master Plan will describe the Planning Area, define planning and design criteria, update population and community needs, evaluate the existing facilities and trail systems to identify operations related needs, and develop recommendations for operational improvements and update a 5-year Capital Improvement Plan for the Park system.
This project will allow BSB to analyze the existing Parks and Trails systems throughout the City-County. The project will include input from a variety of sources and include public comment throughout the process. This plan will include the following:
- Planning process
- Community input
- Existing Parks and Trails Systems
- Current Park Land Inventory
- Community needs
- Implementation Plans for Recommendations
Master Plan Phases
Phase 1: Planning Context, Goals, and Objectives
This phase includes outlining the parks planning effort, reviewing existing growth policy for consistency, and setting the stage for developing an achievable financing plan. This Phase will identify and refine existing parks and recreation goals and objectives in the process, complying with and confirming the community’s parks planning values.
Phase 2: Inventory and Assessment
Phase 2 will inventory and assess all parks and recreation assets and programs and review operational and maintenance budgets, investigate the community’s demographic profile and recreation service area, to gain a better understanding of demand on the system as well as the condition of the facilities and resources now in place to serve it.
Phase 3: Public Involvement
This phase will develop and implement an effective public engagement strategy capturing the public’s demands, needs, and wishes for its parks and recreation facilities and programs. Engagement strategies will be designed to maximize involvement from the largest number of residents, taking care to ensure the widest distribution of opinions from all demographics. This work will integrate into other work elements as appropriate to achieve a progressive, inclusive, and compelling engagement program throughout the process.
Phase 4: Demands and Needs Analysis
This phase will define and explain the priorities, as appropriate, for acquisition, development, preservation, enhancement, and management of the overall recreation and park system. The results from previous phases will be analyzed to summarize the community’s desires for parks, recreation, open space, and/or habitat programs or physical spaces, in a manner you deem appropriate. These summarized findings will be used to develop and test a reliable level of service methodology that reflects the community’s desired quality of life while providing a comparison with local and national trends.
Phase 5: Capital Improvement Program
This phase will develop a preliminary list of possible capital improvements, then prioritize them into a final 6- year Capital Improvement Program (CIP) and long-term 20-year list of projects and investments. The CIP will include capital improvements and facility programs that list possible land acquisitions, development, and renovation projects prioritized by anticipated implementation, with possible funding sources identified. This phase will also address the community’s potential need to review its parks and recreation fee structure or other fiscal strategy to fund parks system improvements and programs and develop a protocol to monitor the community’s recreation needs.
Phase 6: Final Parks Plan Development and Approval
This final phase will assemble all chapters of the master plan into a final draft report. The draft plan will be presented the Parks and Recreation Board, providing a summary of the plan’s proposed initiatives, with enough detail to inform the final plan’s review and approval.
Why is Butte-Silver Bow developing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan?
- Establish a long-range vision: Ensure that resources are used effectively, priorities based on community needs and benefit. A clear plan of action.
- Prioritize and budget for Comprehensive Improvement Plans (CIP): Planning process will establish park priorities. As population and demographics change, so should priorities and investments.
- Filling gaps and needs: Make changes to serve residents that might be lacking access to recreation and reduce overlap where rec opportunities exist. Needs for unique Rec sites, Plazas, overlooks, dog parks etc.
- Community support: Create forums for the public to engage in person and virtually. Improves transparency, builds trust. Public engagement leads to increased future community support of community leaders.
- Potential and promotion of partnerships: Identify public and private partnerships. Partnerships can include school district, fitness centers, non-profits, foundations, state agencies etc.
- Grant application tools: Many funding applications require and adopted plan and/or a public engagement process. Plan will provide necessary background info, community perspective, priorities, budget, and exhibits necessary for grant funding applications.
- Opportunities for future development: System plans can recommend communities to set aside open space and preserve lands to accommodate population growth. Plan can determine use of all developed and undeveloped open spaces.
- Establish a plan for the Park amenity life cycle: Establish a strategy for completing upgrades to parks and amenities that are complimentary to the needs of the community or specific area.
- Aligning investment with needs: Current and projected recreational trends should be considered before investing in existing parks and amenities. As demographics and population change, parks and recreations needs will evolve.
- Economic Benefits of a Park system: Home buyers prefer homes within in a close proximity of parks, which can increase value by 5% if within 500 yards. Parks encourage active lifestyles and reduce health costs. Parks strengthen local economies, make cities more resilient ( EG: managing storm water), and increase community engagement.