A parks and recreation survey will help Waupaca city officials plan for the future of its parks.
The survey – open to residents of the city and surrounding towns – will be available the beginning of October.
“Some of the questions will give us a sense of what the community feels,” said Russ Montogomery, who is the city’s parks superintendent and acting parks and recreation director.
For example, people will be asked to rate the ability to walk and bike throughout the city.
Those questions will give the city an idea of how many people use the trails and sidewalks not only for recreation but for transportation, too,
Montgomery said that is an important topic as it relates to discussion about safe routes to schools.
In addition, the subject ties in with the $50,000 grant that Waupaca’s Parks and Recreation Department received through the National Recreation and Parks Association.
As the recipient of the grant, the city has become part of ACHIEVE – Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change.
An initiative of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, ACHIEVE brings together concerned citizens to create healthy communities and provide local leaders with education and resources to solve specific health problems.
The Waupaca ACHIEVE group is among those helping with the first ever Waupaca Walk for Wellness, which is being held Saturday, Sept. 29, at Swan Park.
Participants may choose to walk one mile, 3.1 miles or 6.2 miles. The event begins at 8 a.m., and people may register the day of the walk.
The fee is $12 for those age 5 to 12, $20 for those age 13 and older and $60 for teams of four.
Proceeds will be directed to the maintenance and development of the River Ridge Trail System.
Montgomery said the last time any type of parks and recreation survey took place in the city was in 2000.
The city is offering the survey to area residents in conjunction with the recent update of its outdoor recreation plan.
Incorporating the survey into the plan will help the city when it applies for grants, as it will register the needs of the community, he said.
People will be able to access the survey on the city’s website – www.cityofwaupaca.org – with hard copies of the survey available at the recreation center.
The survey may be found at www.facebook.com/waupacaparksandrec , which is the Parks and Recreation Department’s Facebook page.
Those who receive a water bill from the city will also see information about the survey with the bill.
People as young as age 15 may fill out the survey, and they will be asked what parks and facilities they used in the last year and be asked to rate the different aspects of the parks.
Respondents will say what park facilities they use and will give the city ideas of what things they believe need to be improved or expanded.
There will also be the opportunity for people to say what things they would like to see added to the park system.
“Community opinion is a valuable way to get feedback on what the department needs to focus on,” Montgomery said. “It will run through October. Then, we will compile the results and put them in the outdoor recreation plan.”