Ever wish you could play baseball or soccer year-round outside at a Lacey park? Go ice skating on a Saturday? How about taking your kids to a spray park in the summer months or swimming indoors during the winter? These are all things Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation (Lacey Parks) heard from the public in 2021 to kick off the Energize Lacey project that is continuing into 2022. Join the conversation and have your input heard by taking the 2022 survey and stopping by an event booth to learn more and ask questions.
“The mission for Energize Lacey is to get public input to build a shared vision for the future of Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation assets and opportunities,” shares Jennifer Burbidge, Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation director. “The input will then be used to form the six-year Lacey Parks Comprehensive Plan update, which is a portion of the City’s overall Comprehensive Plan,” she adds.
If this sounds familiar, you’re right! You may remember filling out a Lacey Parks survey in 2021. Those surveys have been processed, and the City is using the results to continue forming the Lacey Parks Comprehensive Plan. Findings from the 2021 survey showed that people wanted indoor recreation, including a pool, indoor playgrounds, sport courts, and a skating rink; outdoor spray parks; more open spaces, trails and preservation of natural areas; year-round, multi-purpose turf fields at existing parks; and affordable, subsidized recreation programs and opportunities.
“Thanks to the feedback received in 2021, Lacey Parks has established a solid framework for future strategic planning,” shares Burbidge. “For 2022, Lacey Parks still needs help confirming priorities and sharing additional insights. What we’re looking for from residents and park and program users is information that will help us establish future priorities.”
Using the information received in 2021, the new survey helps narrow down the list of wants and find out what is most important to park users. Questions in formats such as, “If you could only choose one,” will help prioritize what gets done first and what may be further down the line. Other questions will ask in what area a particular element should go, for example if Lacey had a spray park, where should it be located? There are also general questions about recreation programs and more specific questions such as amenities at the new Greg Cuoio Park.
Take the new survey online whenever it’s convenient for you, at the Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation’s Energize Lacey webpage.
The Importance of Lacey Parks
With so much going on, you may be thinking, “Why should I consider parks and recreation right now?!” But now, more than ever, is actually an excellent time to think about the future of the Lacey park system. It provides so much for the community, as well as those who visit it. Here are just a few things that parks and programs, like those run by the City of Lacey, offer:
They provide social and emotional well-being. Parks and programs provide spaces and opportunities to gather and interact with community, and help promote mental health.
- Physical health and wellness. Parks, particularly near one’s household, encourage active lifestyles and thereby reduce health costs.
- Crime reduction. Parks and programs provide positive community engagement, volunteer, and stewardship opportunities.
- Environmental resilience. Parks preserve healthy soils, keep buffers intact around sensitive habitat, and protect natural areas in perpetuity.
- Clean air. Urban forests help clean the air and improve public health.
- Parks provide equitable, free access and experiences for all people
- Economic benefits. Those who visit Lacey Parks spend money in the local economy thereby creating an economic benefit to Lacey. For every dollar spent on outdoor recreation, $1.52 in economic activity is supported.
- Increased home value. Those who live near the park will see a rise in their home value!
- Create job opportunities. People are needed to work in the parks and at the programs. Future facilities and park developments equal increased local job opportunities as well. In 2019 in Washington state more than 260,000 jobs were supported by outdoor recreation.
Ask Lacey Parks Questions This Summer
In addition to the online survey, a one-way communication tool, Lacey Parks wants to provide opportunities for face-to-face interaction with the community. To help facilitate this, Lacey Parks welcomes everyone to monthly Park Board meetings and encourages people to stop by the Lacey Parks booth at community events throughout the summer to ask questions and provide input. You can visit the Energize Lacey booth at:
- Fireworks Spectacular, Rainier Vista Park, July 3, 4 – 11 p.m.
- Specific Play at the Parks events, and various Lacey parks, starting in July
- Specific Lacey In Tune events at Huntamer Park in July
- Check out the Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation website for an updated schedule.
“The intent for this outreach is to get community members to take the survey and answer their questions about Lacey Parks spaces, services, and park projects that are underway,” shares Burbidge. “We also want to ask them the main reason Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation is important to them, since parks are often cited by Lacey residents as being the number one thing they value about living here, including the abundance and affordable access.”
To keep informed about the process and other Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation news, you can sign up for their email newsletter and updates by emailing mailto:LaceyParks@ci.lacey.wa.us or visiting the City of Lacey website and signing up for email notifications. You can also follow the City of Lacey on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Take the Energize Lacey! – Lacey Parks, Culture & Recreation today, the City of Lacey is listening!