More parks and trails, please - and we'll pay
MONROE — Survey says: Residents want more trails, more picnic facilities and better pedestrian/cyclist access to sports at their parks.
The city’s parks survey lasted through April as part of the Comprehensive Plan update.
The surveys had 284 residents respond.
Residents said Monroe parks are attractive and well-maintained; they believe that park maintenance is paramount.
The community also said youth and adult sports that are easily reached by foot or bicycle is important. League sports, trails, and pathways are the participants’ highest priorities.
People also want to see more trails, river/water access and baseball/softball fields and there is also a demand for picnic facilities.
There is high demand for Centennial Trail improvements.
Participants also reported they want see all-weather synthetic fields at both Lake Tye and the high school.
The community uses school property available after school hours, however, Currie View Park in the southern Fryelands area is relatively popular compared to other neighborhood parks due in part to its use as a practice field for lacrosse and its proximity to the Fryelands neighborhood.
When asked how they’d finance park improvements, participants said they’d support a publicly-voted bond or a hotel tax. They were less supportive of reducing other services to pay for more parks.
Forty-four percent of the survey participants were willing to pay at least $100 annually to fund park improvements and park acquisition.
The top five things considered most important to the participants were: No. 1, Well-maintained parks; No. 2, youth and adult sports facilities; No. 3, easy and safe accessibility to parks/sports by foot or bike; No. 4, playgrounds for small children and toddlers; and No. 5, special events that encourage community involvement.
Other suggestions that were most popular were items such as more dog-friendly or pet-friendly areas, safety, no wakeboards or wakeboard park on Lake Tye and concerns for “meth heads” or transients camping out in the woods along the river.
The top facilities in Monroe participants ranked were trails, baseball/softball fields, and water/river access and natural areas/open space.
The top parks in Monroe as ranked by participants for their own use and recreation were Lake Tye Park with 249 counts, Sky River Park with 196 counts, Rotary Field with 119 counts and general trails use with 118 counts.
The survey respondents largely skewed older, with approximately 1 in 8 respondents aged 35 or younger.