FARMINGTON — Eighty-five percent of people who responded to a Farmington Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department survey said they are satisfied with the quality of the city's parks and trails, according to the survey's results.
Parks and recreation department officials, city residents and representatives from the consulting firm GreenPlay, LLC, met Thursday evening in the Farmington Museum to review the survey's results. Since October 2013, the department and consulting firm have been gathering information to create the city's first Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
"Most parks and recreation agencies and cities in general have some plan like this," said Cory Styron, the director of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department.
The plan will allow the parks and recreation department to focus on specific projects to move the community forward, he said.
"And it's really nice because this is the community telling us what we want," he said.
The 4,000 surveys seeking input for the plan were mailed to residents in early January, and, according to GreenPlay documents, 424 were returned. The department needed 400 to be confident the surveys would represent the community, Styron has said.
At the meeting, many residents said they wanted more trails, he said. Residents also told officials they wanted better access to the rivers and Farmington Lake and more outdoor activity programming, such as mountain biking, rock climbing and kayaking, he said.
"It went pretty well," he said. "There were some good questions about the process."
According to the survey's findings, residents want more options for outdoor recreation.
Many residents responded that the city's amphitheater, paved and unpaved paths and trails, open spaces and riverfront areas meet their needs, according to results. But half or fewer than half of the responses indicated residents' needs were not being met with lake and river recreation, Jeep trails, skate parks and camping, according to the results.
Those who attended the meeting also discussed how to provide more programming for teenagers and residents over the age of 50, Styron said.
Styron expects the plan to be completed in late June or July.
To solicit feedback, the city hosted five public meetings and 10 focus groups in October and posted an online survey. Almost 200 people attended the meetings.
The city paid the consulting firm $94,998 to assess the city's 72 parks, build a website where people could comment on the plan, design and mail the surveys, analyze the results and recommend steps to achieving the established goals, Styron has said.
"We've given a lot of opportunities," Styron said.