1. The 2000 Recreation GoalsThe official recreation goals of the Parks & Recreation Commission are as shown in Table E- 1 below. These goals were originally adopted by the Parks & Recreation Commission in 2000, based on their community surveys and public input sessions for the Community Recreation Plan adopted that year.
Based on the stated goals, the 2000 Community Recreation plan set forth many projects that were, by and large, ultimately not implemented. The main reason for the inability of the Village to implement these projects lay mainly in the economic problems that beset the state of Michigan during the 5-year period following the adoption of the 2000 plan. These problems drastically reduced the amount of public funding distributed from the State to local units of government, forcing severe curtailment of most local development plans.
2. Relevance of the Recreation Goals TodayIn the intervening five years since the adoption of the 2000 Recreation Goals, the severe economic climate of the state appears to have altered somewhat the attitude of the taxpayers in the Village toward funding certain types of capital-intensive projects.
The 1999 recreation survey (as excerpted in the 2000 Community Recreation Plan) shows a very highly positive response from the public for spending public funds on biking/walking trails. The 2005 Master Plan Opinion Survey still shows very high positive responses to trails and walkways, but the survey also reveals that the public would not like to see village taxes raised towards building new non-motorized, community-linking trails.
In general, the public attitudes toward the types of recreational facilities they would like to see remain similar between the two surveys; the 2005 survey provides more detail on how such projects should be funded and implemented. Positive public attitudes toward the preservation of the natural environmental in and around the Village have remained about the same, as have their concern about recreational facilities for the young as well as for the older residents of the Village. (See Section A, subsection 16, of this Recreation Plan for a summary of environmental issues of interest to the residents of the Village.)
The Parks & Recreation Commission spent part of the spring of 2006 examining the results of the various opinion surveys (Section D and Appendices B and C), the unimplemented projects proposed in the 2000 Recreation Plan, and projects proposed by the Commission itself as well as those suggested by the 2005 Opinion Survey. The general conclusion was that the Goals set in 2000 were still as relevant today as they were then, and that they were still a valid set of criteria by which to propose and evaluate potential recreation projects.
3. The 2006 Recreation GoalsIn late spring of 2006, the Parks & Recreation Commission unanimously voted to re-adopt the community Recreation Goals that were outlined in the 2000 Community Recreation Plan. These goals, shown below, were deemed to have stood the test of time, and to be consistent with the sentiments expressed by Village residents in the various surveys.
1. To maintain a Recreation Plan that protects and recognizes historical as well as natural resources, protects existing recreational opportunities and provides for their enhancement, encourages the development of new recreational opportunities and establishes a recreational standard that will revitalize and reinforce the qualities of recreation within the Village of Elk Rapids.
2. To meet the ever-changing needs and abilities of all residents and visitors by providing comprehensive, quality recreational activities and programming.
3. To promote and, where appropriate, preserve natural areas within the Village of Elk Rapids to enhance the region's environmental, aesthetic, and recreational qualities.
4. To encourage the redevelopment of existing recreational facilities and the development of facilities that are not available in the area.
5. To provide trails and open space lands that serve to link existing state, county, and municipal open spaces, as well as other trail networks, both existing and planned, to facilitate a variety of recreation activities.
6. To encourage the continuation of cooperation between neighboring governmental entities and school districts.
7. To continue to maintain and improve parks, facilities and equipment in an efficient and safe manner to provide continuous operation with minimal interruption of patrons to ensure safe, clean and beautiful recreational areas.