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Sunrise Playground

Albany Parks & Recreation invites residents to contribute ideas to the Albany Master Plan this month. Sunrise Park, seen here in August 2018, was among six parks updated or replaced during the last cycle.

Albany Parks & Recreation is inviting residents to weigh in on a plan encompassing the future of the department and the projects it undertakes over the next decade or so.

“Every 10 years, the department goes out to get feedback on what the community wants to see as part of the Parks & Recreations Department,” department head Kim Lyddane said. “We ask if they want more parks, different sorts of things in existing parks, new facilities or programs. It’s a baseline to see what we can do to meet the community’s needs.”

The plan, dubbed the Albany Master Plan, is a multi-step process. Information is gathered from the community, compiled and eventually brought to the city council after being vetted for potential by Parks & Recreation staff and a third-party consultant.

Suggestions garnered through this round of public participation will not come to fruition for at least two years, after the current budget cycle has ended.

During the last Master Plan cycle, suggestions to replace playgrounds were received and as a result, Eads, Takena, Swanson, Riverview Heights, Burkhart and Sunrise parks were updated or replaced over the last decade. 

“It’s asking things like ‘If we had more money, how would you spend it?’ and ‘What’s your dream park?’ It’s a big, massive planning project but the more feedback we get, the better the results,” Lyddane said.

People can contribute feedback in two ways; Parks & Recreation staff will be out and about at events through August, talking with residents about the Master Plan. There’s also an online survey that Lyddane said takes about five minutes to complete and gives residents the chance to weigh in as well.

Suggestions and feedback will be taken until Sept. 8. After that, the city will work with a consulting firm to examine the results, the city’s existing Parks & Recreation inventory and then shape suggestions for the city council.

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“We really want people to take the survey and pass it on to someone they know,” Lyddane said.

Everyone who completes a survey is entered to win a $50 gift certificate for any Parks & Recreation program, from the Cool! Pool to class registration. Anyone who visits the Parks & Recreation booth during today's "Surf's Up" Fun in the Park event from 10 a.m. to noon at Swanson Park to share their ideas will have the chance to spin a wheel for a prize.

For more information, or to participate in the survey, visit cityofalbany.net/departments/parks-and-recreation/parks/master-plans.

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