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City Administration

Posted on: April 21, 2021

CITIZEN INPUT ON RECREATION MASTER PLAN SOUGHT IN COMING WEEKS

parks and rec public workshop

City residents will get three chances in the coming weeks to share their vision for what Lake Wales Recreation could look like in the future.

The firm S&ME has been hired by the city to develop a recreation master plan. They will kick off a trio of public input workshops on Thursday, April 22, with an in-person only session at the James P. Austin Community Center.

On April 29, S&ME will offer a hybrid workshop, with in-person attendees welcomed at the Lake Wales Administration building Commission chambers and also via Zoom. A third meeting will be online only, and will be held Tuesday, May 11. All three meetings will run from 6 to 8 p.m.

There is also a unique fourth way to give input online. Citizens can go to https://smeinc.mysocialpinpoint.com/lake-wales-parks-and-rec-master-plan and leave comments on an interactive map. The Zoom link to attend either the second or third meeting online is also found at that website. Within a few weeks, a community survey will be available to be filled out online as well.

Lake Wales Support Services & Recreation Manager Stephanie Edwards said the consultant group has already had dozens of meetings over the past two months with a wide-range of community stakeholders, and that the public input meetings are the next step in the process of coming up with a master plan.

“We’ve had one-on-one meetings with the commissioners, and we’ll have them with the new incoming commissioners, and with other large stakeholder groups like Little League, Lake Wales Soccer Club, Police Athletic League, the charter schools, chamber of commerce, Webber International University, Warner University, Polk State College. Really it’s been all of the key users of many of these facilities,” Edwards noted. “We’ve had quite a few people already helping guide us, and to see what people are hoping for. Now we’re ready for that larger public side.”

She said officials have already gotten plenty of suggestions – everything from a splash pad to disc golf to a track to more multi-use outdoor fields and indoor courts -- and that all ideas are welcome.

“What we’re really looking for is insight as to what the community really wants for recreation especially if there’s a need that someone feels we’re not meeting. We want to hear that,” Edwards noted. “These meetings and website are the best way for residents to provide their input.”

Edwards said the goal is to have a final plan in place by early 2022. For more information on the recreation master plan, visit https://www.lakewalesfl.gov/recreationmasterplan.

Online Interactive Map
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