From Harford County Government:
The Harford County Department of Parks and Recreation has announced the start of the update to the Parks and Recreation Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan. The Plan is an element of the overall County Master Plan and refines and implements the goals of the Master Plan and Land Use Element Plan.
“Parks are an important part of the quality of life in all communities,” stated Arden McClune, Director of the Department of Parks and Recreation. “We are proud of the park system Harford County has developed over the years, but must always think toward the future,” McClune remarked.
Every six years Harford County updates its Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan. This update process is required by the State of Maryland for continued participation in the Program Open Space, a major funding source for parkland acquisition and development.
“The first step in our process is to hear from our citizens, particularly about facilities and programs they support or ones they recommend we expand, as well as proposals for new facilities and programs,” McClune stated. “We are very interested in the citizen’s perspective about the facilities and programs in their community, as well as those that serve a countywide constituency,” McClune added.
To help gather information from the community in an easy and accessible manner, the Department of Parks and Recreation has created a survey on the county’s website. To participate in the on-line survey go to www.harfordcountymd.gov/parks_rec. and click on the LPPRP survey icon.
For those citizens who prefer direct dialogue and input, the Department of Parks and Recreation will host a public meeting on Tuesday, August 16, 2011 at the McFaul Activities Center located at 525 W. MacPhail Road in Bel Air. The public input session will begin at 6:00 p.m. and should conclude not later than 8:00 p.m.
“The Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan will implement the broader goals established by the Land Use Plan and will address future needs of the county to continue the high quality of life the citizens of Harford County have come to enjoy and deserve,” stated Harford County Executive David R. Craig
The 2005 Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan set forth two major goals. One, the acquisition of additional land to meet the recreation needs of current and future residents and secondly, the development of additional community centers to better serve the citizens.
During the past six years, Harford County has purchased 383 acres of parkland. Additionally the county has opened youth and senior centers in Havre de Grace in 2007 and Fallston in 2010, as well as added a gymnasium to the Edgewood Recreation and Community Center. Furthermore, the Department of Parks and Recreation has constructed recreation fields at six parks, including the Cedar Lane Regional Field Sports Complex.
Later this fall, the Department of Parks and Recreation will assimilate the information gathered from the on-line survey as well as the public meeting, review the most current Census data and projections regarding population and develop the data into a draft plan. The Department of Parks and Recreation will work closely with the Department of Planning and Zoning during the process to ensure the Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan complements the goals of the County and the Master Plan.
The Plan will be ready for public comment during the winter months of 2012, with final revisions completed and submitted to the Harford County Council for final approval next summer.
Commenting on the work of the Department of Parks and Recreation, County Executive Craig stated, “I am extremely proud of the dedicated and professional staff of the Department of Parks and Recreation, as well the excellent partnership Harford County Government enjoys with our Rec Councils and hundreds of volunteers that help make our Parks and Recreation program so successful. I look forward with great anticipation to the update of the Land Preservation, Parks and Recreation Plan,” Craig remarked.