Santa Barbara County officials are seeking the public’s input on recreation needs as it develops a countywide recreation master plan.
The county is seeking information on local parks, trails, open spaces and other recreational facilities like sports fields and courts. The master plan will guide the county’s development of new parks, trails and other facilities, and facilitate coordination between the county, eight incorporated cities, other county agencies and nonprofit and private recreation service providers, according to a news release.
“This is an opportunity to plan for rural recreation in balance with the county’s vital natural and agricultural resources,” Bob Nelson, 4th District supervisors and county board chair, said in a statement.
Added 3rd District supervisor Joan Hartmann, “As the pandemic has shown, our recreational spaces are essential to our health and well-being. This is an opportunity to shape the future of our communities, but it won’t be possible without guidance from our residents on what they need to get outside and play.”
Residents can participate by filling out a survey, which provides a chance for the public to describe their access to neighborhood parks and recreational facilities. The survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sbcrecplan.
A second survey is also available for children, as the county seeks to capture “the needs of our youngest residents.” The other survey can be found at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/sbcrecplankids.
“We know that recreational spaces are essential for all ages, from children participating in sports to seniors enjoying our open spaces,” said Gregg Hart, 2nd District supervisor. “We need to capture feedback from all age groups to build a Recreation Master Plan that benefits all of our residents.”
Results of the survey will be used to inform a recreation needs assessment and plan for development and improvement of parks, recreation and trails, particularly in underserved communities with limited access to parks and other amenities.
“The project must focus on equitable access to diverse recreation opportunities,”
Das Williams, 1st District supervisor, said in a statement. “Low-income, and non-English speaking communities suffer a lack of park acreage and recreational facilities, contributing to poorer community health. This is our opportunity to get public feedback and fund projects that will build better communities.”
For more information on the county’s recreation master plan, visit www.sbcrecplan.com.
— Mitchell White