With a new recreation director in place, revamp projects in the works and a master plan for Royal Lane in development, the city of Clinton is continuing its efforts to improve recreation programs and parks by again putting the issue out to the public.
As part of the overall effort toward improving recreation facilities and programs, “and help make Clinton an even better place to live,” they said, city officials are encouraging citizens to provide input about what they consider important for recreation and parks in Clinton. To that end, a survey is available for completion at the Recreation Office at Royal Lane, the Bellamy Center and the Sampson Center — even online.
The survey is available at www.surveymonkey.com/s/753367F. Citizens can also request a survey by calling the Recreation & Parks Department at 910-299-4906.
Assistant city manager Shawn Purvis said the city’s recreation survey will be another avenue to gauge public feedback on recreation, while taking necessary steps toward building a solid Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF) grant application to fund local projects.
The survey will be available online and in hard copy at the city-operated facilities through the end of January, at least, Purvis said.
“We want to get enough respondents to make it statistically significant,” stressed Purvis, who has been overseeing recreation in recent months while a new director was being sought . “This is in partnership with the people helping us with the design process (for potential projects at Royal Lane). We’re trying to get (the survey) out there and get as much participation as we can.”
New city recreation director Jonathan Allen was hired earlier this month and will begin in that capacity Dec. 11. The city’s managerial staff has touted as a focus of the local recreation department going forward — notably youth athletics. It has also dedicated time toward reconfiguring a few of the ball fields in order to get them in line with Little League regulations.
Public input on the future of the city’s recreation program was solicited at a well-attended forum in September. While a renewed focus on youth athletics has been identified as a primary goal, as a large percentage of participation has been in those programs, what the public wants to see ifs entirely up to them, Purvis said.
“We already had that initial community forum in September and we;ll have at least two more of them to solicit public comments,” said Purvis. “This is just another tool in doing that.”
In the survey, residents are posed questions about which facilities they visit most, what mode of transportation they used to get there and what kind of recreation activities or sports they engaged in at the facilities in the past year. Additionally, residents are asked to rate their interest in a plethora of sports and other activities, from nature walks and picnicking to fitness-related classes and attending outdoor performances.
Residents are also asked to identify those existing facilities that need attention and new facilities that should be added. The survey also asks residents to list what the city needs more of, whether it is parks, park land acquisition, trails, sports fields or community centers, some combination of those or any other need specified by the respondent.
“Most of it is geared toward Royal Lane — that is what the grant would cover,” Purvis said. “We’re trying to get it up to standard. Everything out there is around 30 to 40 years old. A significant grant would go a long way toward getting that done. We applied for a couple of PARTF grants in the past, but haven’t received them.”
The 14-question survey, which also gauges some demographic information such as age and gender, concludes by querying residents on how satisfied they are with the city’s park and recreation overall, then soliciting additional comments about the Clinton Recreation Department and its facilities they feel were not addressed in the survey.
All responses are welcome, and will help the city a great deal in its quest for grant assistance, Purvis said.
“The more information we have, the better,” said Purvis. “We’re trying to make sure this grant application is as complete as possible, and the more responses we get the better. It will make that grant stronger.”
For more information about the survey, contact the Recreation & Parks Department at 910-299-4906.
Chris Berendt can be reached at 910-592-8137 ext. 121 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.