A proposed Recreation Master Plan for Columbia County will be unveiled at 6 p.m. Monday at the Patriots Park gymnasium.
The plan, drawn up by Lose and Associates of Nashville, Tenn., offers recommendations on funding, organizational structure, programs and facilities, said Frank Neal, director of Columbia County's Community Services Division.
Neal said a committee was created for the planning process, and the consultants met with that committee, the county's staff, elected officials, representatives of the board of education, the Augusta Sports Council and other agencies. In addition, Lose and Associates held five public meetings to get suggestions from residents and conducted a detailed written survey.
The survey, Neal said, "really broke down very specifically the programs and facilities" that are needed. "That's where the facilities and program information came from. It really came from the people."
He said the section on parks alone covers 20 or 30 pages and is very detailed.
"One of the top things that came out was the community wants more ... of the passive type parks and activities," Neal said. These include small, neighborhood parks that allow for walking, picnics, and just relaxing, he said.
"If you think about it, Columbia County really has little to none of those type of parks," Neal said. Those parks, he said, might contain no more than picnic benches and a playground.
He noted that soccer is the fastest growing sport in Columbia County although it is not yet the sport with the most participants.
"There are a lot of soccer moms and dads who think we need to do more in soccer," Neal said.
He also said county officials have been very impressed with the work done by Lose and Associates, a landscape architectural and consulting firm.
"It's going to finally give us a tool to implement a plan that we can ... use in our decision making," Neal said.
He said all the recommendations will be available to residents during the meeting Monday at Patriots Park.
"If there is any backlash from anyone, we'll re-look at all that," Neal said.
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