1. Community Recreation InventoryAs part of the basic data collection required for the effective identification and prioritization of community recreation needs, the Parks & Recreation Commission conducted a comprehensive community recreation inventory. This inventory updates and builds on a similar inventory conducted in 2000 for the previous community recreation plan.
The field assessment for barrier-free compliance status (see Section 3 below) was conducted by Parks & Recreation Commission members over the winter of 2005/6, and all facilities were mapped using a hand-held geographic positioning system (GPS) unit in the spring and summer of 2006. All maps were created using field data and Michigan framework GIS data from the Center for Geographic Information (CGI) of the State of Michigan.
The 2006 inventory includes publicly- and privately-owned facilities. Individual public lake access sites have been included and mapped. For the first time, included and mapped in the inventory are the Village Beautification Commission gardens, cared for by Commission volunteers and/or by members of the Elk Rapids Garden Club. Finally, the geographical coordinates of each facility in the form of latitude and longitude readings (in decimal degrees) have been included for the benefit of visitors who wish to take advantage of satellite car navigation systems or hand-held GPS units to find and visit the sites.
This recreation inventory is presented in Table C-1, and the location of each facility is plotted in Figure C-1. See Sections 3 and 4 below for additional information on service area and barrier-free compliance status of the facilities in Table C-1.
2. Regional Recreation OpportunitiesThe Parks & Recreation Commission also researched recreational facilities in townships adjacent to the Village of Elk Rapids. The Commission paid particular attention to nearby recreational facilities around the Chain of Lakes, because the lakes in this chain are the hub of recreational activities around which Elk Rapids' tourism-related businesses revolve.
These recreational facilities comprise various county and township parks within easy driving and bicycling distance of Elk Rapids. Some of the larger parks provide electrified and primitive camping facilities for motorized and non-motorized campers.
Another important category of public facilities is public access sites for the lakes and rivers in the Chain of Lakes system. They most commonly comprise road ends maintained by the county Road Commission, or by township, village, or County governments. These sites become critically important as public access to local lakes and rivers are increasingly restricted from the subdivision and private development of lake- and river frontage parcels.
Further information on public access sites and other public lands in Antrim County can be gleaned from the publication Antrim County Public Lands: Parks, Access Sites, Forest Lands, on sale for $25 from the Antrim Conservation District or the Antrim County Clerk's office.
Alternatively, more recent information can be obtained from the Antrim County website (see http://www.antrimcounty.org/searchsites.asp for an interactive mapping database.) For detailed township-by-township color maps of all access sites, parks and forest lands in Antrim County, refer to the County 2005 recreation plan, Section D, downloadable from the county webpage at http://www.antrimcounty.org/government648844.asp.
Selected parks and public access sites around the Village of Elk Rapids are shown in Figure C-2. Other nearby public recreational facilities just off the map to the south include the TART and VASA trails for hiking and bicycling in Grand Traverse County, the Sand Lakes Quiet Area (state), and the Tony Gilroy township park in Acme Township. Just off the map to the north, just above the Antrim Creek Natural Area, is the Banks Township Park with a beach and access site on Lake Michigan (Grand Traverse Bay).
3. Service Areas of Inventoried FacilitiesThe assumed service areas of the various facilities in Table C-1 are shown under the column heading "Service Area." The entries under that column are as shown in the table below:
|3||Village and Surrounding Townships|
|4||County-wide or regional|
|5||State-wide and multi-state|
The Service Area column entries are based on the knowledge of the Parks & Recreation Commission members on the composition of the clientele of the facilities in question.
4. Community Barrier-free Compliance StatusOver the winter of 2005/6, Parks & Recreation Commission members evaluated the barrier-free compliance status of all Village recreational facilities as part of the inventory process. The members based their evaluation on Section 15 - Recreation Facilities, the Accessibility Guidelines for Buildings and Facilities, Americans with Disabilities Act, and used the ranking criteria suggested by DNR's Guidelines for the Development of Community Park, Recreation, Open Space, and Greenway Plans. The criteria are as follows:
|1||None of the facilities/park meet accessibility guidelines|
|2||Some of the facilities/park meet accessibility guidelines|
|3||Most of the facilities/park meet accessibility guidelines|
|4||The entire facilities/park meet accessibility guidelines|
|5||The entire park was developed/renovated using the principals of universal design|
The results of the compliance status survey are shown in Table D-1 under the column heading "Handicapped Accessible?"
The results indicate that while a large number of facilities, especially the newer ones, are either entirely or mostly compliant, quite a few are only compliant to the extent that some of the facilities meet accessibility guidelines, and others do not meet them at all. These tend to be older facilities or those whose physical layouts do not permit access by handicapped patrons. This is especially true of some road ends (public access sites).
This Village will continue to identify and resolve accessibility issues, to the extent possible, at all recreational facilities using the ADA guidelines mentioned above. Elk Rapids is rapidly becoming a retirement community for individuals choosing to settle in this area.. To serve this fast-growing segment of our population, as well as those who already require barrier-free facilities, the Village is committed to increasing accessibility to public recreational facilities.