Wednesday, June 5, 2013

WPS input into the City's Open Space and Recreation plan

and we have Rob Antonelli from city Parks and Rec here
Allen: "you read about net school spending and budget hearings when it comes to the city, but the schools have very strong relationships with city departments...very strong relationship with city and parks"
new playgrounds at Quinsig and Gates Lane
"in that spirit, I see the school department being very willing and able to work with parks"
Antonelli: 20 public hearings across the city regarding the master plan
in the process of putting together a lot of the pieces of what those guidelines are
five year plan that was initially developed through Conservation and Recreation
city is required to have one for state and federal grants
state decided to extend the program for additional two years; now a seven year program
"not as crisp" when done in house, so outsourced this year
open space records in many different locations; no central repository for mapping
Weston and Sampson putting it all on one format
making sure all of the properties correct; surveys and maps of properties
draft document for some time longer; draft going in mid-June (must have in for grant eligibility in July)
revisions are nearly always required by the state
several upcoming meetings at end of June, beginning of July
approval by Council in the fall
inventory of school department facilities: needs updating and correcting
Looking to include:

  • inventory of outdoor recreation facilities at schools
  • condition assessment and access allowed to public facilities
Parks are assessed for their condition as part of the open space master plan
  • are there a planned capital improvements plan at school facilities to put into the plan?
  • changes in delivery of maintenance...could also be included in the plan to give the public better information about maintenance of properties
public survey was completed in May; will have results in next week or so
  • is their room for further collaboration? beyond what is already being done
Foley: draft document submitting to state will include only listing of schools; no action items as with other properties
Antonelli: there are open spaces in public schools
Foley: suggestion that we keep this here and discuss the upkeep and needs of fields
Antonelli: to include short and long term goals over the next seven years; we would like to do X by this date
Foley: putting a plan together to look at this
Colorio: clarifying what the plan is, how the grant cycle works, looking at lines of access and trails
If trails are being connected, properties are looked at, sidewalks looked at
Novick: if it's in the plan, it can be grant funded; our needs making the list
what about swimming due to loss of students?
Whale's Tale program: looking to bring back and note, due to need of water safety
Tech School students working on the vernal pools
need for trail maps: getting people to these: "People don't even know that we have a waterfall in Worcester"
Things that people don't even know that we have

talking to various city departments about the information on their end...need that information as part of our document
"when they go for a grant...they can say...'it's included in the open space plan'..incorporates more and better collaboration with city departments and maybe gives them a leg up on communities that maybe didn't have that"
makes it a stronger plan: makes it a much better document
Allen: intent is to include all WPS properties in the open space plan, and then rolling forward to identify access and condition

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