Survey: public desires out of doors recreation, indoor pool

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According to consulting firm RaganSmith, expanding outdoor recreation was a top priority for the second open house to discuss creating a 5-year plan for the McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department.

“No. 1 was the creation of a combined greenway-blue-way master plan in coordination with state and federal partners for the continued development of the Barren Fork Greenway,” said Michael Barille, RaganSmith project manager.

Information for this determination was collected at the first open house in March and an online survey, which was available for public contributions until June 1st. About 250 people took part in the survey and 12 attended the second open house to provide input.

“There are logical ways to expand in both directions,” Barille said. “With the Bigbee Trail connecting Ramsey and Rocket Park, you already have a soft surface trail. We could see that this whole extension became an extension of the Barren Fork Greenway. We envisioned this as a large linear park for the future.”

The second choice is to invest in existing neighborhood parks and/or create new ones.

Choice #3, an indoor pool.

“There seems to be a very strong interest in this in part of the community,” Barille said of an indoor pool. “So we put it there for exploration. We came up with the idea that seasonal bubbles or inflatable structures might be a way to do this more cheaply than something that’s a brick-and-mortar improvement.”

No. 4, more programs and activities related to outdoor adventures like hiking, biking and kayaking.

#5, Expanding programs to meet the needs of people with limitations, such as people with disabilities and the elderly.

#6, festival area and additional areas bound to Blue Way access.

No. 7, major regional economic engines that would be welcome in the community but would also bring in tourism. A wild water park and an artificial ice rink were proposed.

#8, Branding to Attract Economic Vitality.

“Following the live presentation on Facebook, there was a public feedback period in which participants were asked to select their top three priorities. Based on those comments and feedback from people at the open house, the indoor pool was their top priority,” said Michael Benusches, associate director of the McMinnville Parks and Recreation Department.

RaganSmith offered the open house at the Milner Recreation Center. It was a 30 minute presentation.