Master Plans

Here’s generally how our process works: After several months of public workshops with user groups and a survey, we present our plan during a joint city council-recreation commission public workshop. We define goals and objectives for the upcoming five years and share insights gained from the preparatory work. This gives the council a chance to include members’ thoughts before the plan is finalized, and gives us guidance to ensure the plan is in line with other city priorities.

Another step we take during the process is to coordinate with the planning department to ensure that the Master Recreation Plan becomes an integral part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan.

The most productive part of the master plan process is the process itself. Taking time to listen to all user groups, the general public and decision makers, we gain in-depth knowledge of the many facets involved in providing a balanced parks and recreation program. The plan almost puts itself together.

Being reviewed annually, this plan becomes a “living document” that does not collect dust on a shelf for five years. It guides our focus and budget process for each fiscal year. It keeps the material fresh, and ensures we stay current with the rapid changes occurring in local government. Above all, the public knows its voices are being heard and are being served the best and newest recreation programs.

So what kind of success stories–or horror stories–do you have with master plans? Write, call, or e-mail me or the magazine, and share your experiences!

Randy Gaddo is Director of Leisure Services (parks, recreation and library) in Peachtree City, Ga. He can be reached at (770) 631-2542, or via e-mail at

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