New Brighton Parks and Recreation recently hosted a neighborhood input meeting at Totem Pole Neighborhood Center regarding the New Brighton Parks, Trails and Recreation Master Plan.
During the collaborative meeting, Candace Amberg and Eva Kelly with WSB Associates explained the system-wide planning process for improving the city’s parks, trails and recreation for the next 20 years and asked residents what they would like incorporated into the plan. Attendees spoke about areas that need improvement, additional amenities and safety features they would like to see in New Brighton.
Amberg said the community input is especially important for the city’s park plan because features like splash pads and pickleball courts have become more popular features that city staff might not have known about otherwise.
“It is really important that we undertake this process to kind of see what other things are coming out,” said Amberg.
During the open discussion, approximately 30 residents shared their ideas, concerns and goals for the master plan.
Resident recommendations included:
- More pedestrian/bike friendly trails to cross 694 safely toward Long Lake
- Early childhood and accessible playground features
- Nature-based play area
- More lighting on park trails
- Off leash dog park
- Paddle board, canoe or kayak rental at the beach
- More covered picnic areas
- An indoor court facility
- A splash pad
- Public access to the west side of Long Lake
This planning process also includes an interactive map where residents can leave comments and ideas and see what others have to say. Comments are anonymous but residents can rate ideas and give feedback.
“It is super easy to use,” said Amberg. “If I can use it, anybody can.”
Amberg also noted that the parks department will be doing assessments of the parks once the snow melts.
“Then we will kind of rate the parks on that evaluation to see where they are sitting and that helps us prioritize,” said Amberg.
Once the plan is established, it will be picked up by the 2040 Comprehensive Plan as the parks and recreation chapter.
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