CELINA (July 12, 2019) Residents have one more opportunity to publicly share their preferences, ideas, suggestions, and recommendations on the development of the Celina Parks Master Plan, the document that will serve as the blueprint for development of recreational parks in the City.

On Thursday, July 18, the City is hosting the last of six community-type meetings on the plan. While that meeting is intended to focus on sports leagues, City officials emphasize that any comments related to the development of parks and recreation will be accepted, recorded and included in the overall discussion, according to Cody Webb, Park Director.

Set for a 6 p.m. start, the meeting is scheduled for two hours and will be held at Celina High School, 3455 N. Preston Road. Signs at the high school will direct participants to the meeting room.

The community meetings, designed to gather public input and gauge residents’ leanings on the number and type of parks, their location, and the accompanying amenities, are an important part of the plan development process. While it’s likely that not all of the suggestions will be implemented, the public’s input is essential.

“We are mindful that our parks system has one underlying purpose, to increase the recreational and leisure opportunities for our residents and guests,” said Webb. “Therefore, asking for their input ensures that we have a good sense of what their priorities are. We’re working with essentially a blank canvas, and the more public input we have, the better our final product will be.”

Thursday’s meeting concludes a process of public involvement that has already included five open forums which started on June 13. The meetings were targeted to obtain the maximum amount of input from each of the geographic concentration of the Celina population. Meetings were held in the southeast, north, southwest and downtown sectors, as well as a general all-city meeting. The final meeting is intended to gather information from those individuals who have an interest in organized athletic sports events, activities and leagues.

Among the topics that have been discussed at the meetings, and that will be included during the final session are: land acquisition for new parks; setting appropriate goals for the number and size of parks; possible themes for parks; preservation of open spaces; indoor recreation needs; and short- and long-term implementation plans.

“This is a rare opportunity for residents to put in their thoughts, their wants, their desires and their interests in the development of our parks system,” added Webb. “What we come up with in the end will reflect what residents tell us, so it’s critical for people to step forward.”

Comments can also be conveyed via the Engage Celina website at https://www.engagecelina.com/parks-master- plan. Assisted by parks consultant Norris Design, the parks plan development process will undergo several more steps, including draft recommendations, staff review, a final submission of recommendations, and plan adoption. Once completed, the acquisition of land, the construction of parks, and implementation of recreational programs will follow.