Kzoo Parks to Start Master Planning Process with July 27 Meeting

Published on July 14, 2023

Kzoo Parks is excited to start a planning process to create a new Parks and Recreation Master Plan! The process will begin with a public input session on Thursday, July 27 at Upjohn Park from 5-7 p.m. The meeting will be open house-style, so guests can come when they can, and stay as long as they like to share ideas, meet with staff, and enjoy the park.  

The Kzoo Parks Master Plan is a comprehensive roadmap that will shape the future of Kalamazoo’s parks and recreation services over the next five years and into the future. It will identify priorities for the City’s 52 park and recreation sites, which include amenities like athletic facilities, splash pads, playgrounds, picnic & gathering sites, and a swimming pool, plus host various recreation and youth programs. The planning process will include an analysis of the entire parks and recreation system, including programs, amenities, and operations.  

“We want to provide a world-class parks system for our community and for everyone who visits Kalamazoo to enjoy,” explained Parks & Recreation Director Patrick McVerry, “and we want to know what would make our parks better or help to include more people in our recreation programs. We’re going to try and make it quick and easy for everyone to share their ideas, so we hope to see you at an input session, in a park, or at one of our events this summer.”  

Since the last Parks and Recreation Plan was completed in 2018, Kalamazoo has undergone significant developments at both the community and neighborhood levels. These changes will be thoughtfully considered and integrated into the new Master Plan, ensuring that it aligns with the evolving needs and aspirations of Kalamazoo residents. Additionally, the plan will recognize that recreational preferences and how people spend their leisure time have evolved. To adapt to these changing dynamics, it will explore new and popular types of recreation activities, ensuring Kalamazoo's parks cater to the diverse interests of the community. 

Community input is vital to create a vibrant and inclusive community where everyone can enjoy exceptional parks and the benefits of outdoor recreation. The planning process will include a series of public meetings, a statistically significant survey, and a comprehensive community survey, all designed to gather valuable insights and shape the future of our parks and recreation services. After the first public input session on July 27, guests will be able to connect with staff and share input at other Kzoo Parks events like Lunchtime Live! or Summer Cinema.  

In addition to guiding investments into Kalamazoo’s city parks, regular updates to the Parks and Recreation Master Plan ensure eligibility for certain grants, which help fund investments in the parks system for everyone to enjoy.  

Kzoo Parks will be collecting feedback this summer and fall, with a goal to present a plan to the Parks & Recreation Advisory Board late this year and for City Commission approval in early 2024.  

For information and updates on the Parks and Recreation Master Plan, please visit Click here to take the survey.  

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