What makes a great park? Johnson City wants your input

Gary B. Gray • Updated Sep 30, 2015 at 10:38 PM

Johnson City Parks and Recreation Department Director Roger Blakeley is asking citizens for guidance in providing the best services possible.

An easily accessible and relatively uncomplicated survey is being used to get direct responses to 23 questions concerning the department’s facilities and programs.

“The survey is something I try to do on a regular basis,” Blakely said Wednesday. “We want to make sure we’re doing what the community wants us to do. Sometimes we think we know what the community wants us to do, but we really want to make sure its what Johnson Citians want us to do.”

The department’s goals include: redesign and development of playgrounds; determining needs for the Legion Street Recreational Campus; a general master plan for all parks; targeting areas for land acquisition for future parks; redesign and replacement of lighting fixtures at all athletic facilities; and replacing natural turf with synthetic turf at sports complexes to accommodate population growth.

The questions touch on these and other goals, but they also include a range of questions meant to gauge the interest and success of available programming and facilities. There also are questions that allow citizens to make suggestions for improvements.

“This also will help us with our budget and to prioritize funding,” Blakeley added.

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered in a drawing for one of the following: a two-hour pool party at Memorial Park Community Center, a one-hour birthday party at the center or a half-day pavilion rental.

In May, the department revealed its 20-year master plan, which recommends city regulations pertaining to new construction and development include open space requirements for all new residential developments and subdivisions.

It also warns that, like many communities in the United States, the population will continue to age, placing new demands on existing recreation facilities and programs.

The city department operates 18 parks, 40 athletic fields, four recreation centers, two swimming pools and other special-use facilities on more than 1,000 acres.

The survey is now available at www.johnsoncitytn.org (click on “JC Parks & Recreation Survey” under Most Popular) or visit www.surveymonkey.com/r/2015Parks-RecSurvey.

To receive a mailed survey, to get a survey emailed to you or for additional questions, contact Missy Hollifield at 423-283-5815 or [email protected].

Email Gary Gray at [email protected]. Like Gary B. Gray on Facebook at www.facebook.com/garybgrayjcp. Follow him on Twitter @ggrayjcpress.

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