The planning process began in the summer of 2016 and will continue through summer 2017. Work is divided into four phases: data collection, analysis, area plan formulation, and final plan development.
St. Louis County is committed to significant community outreach during the process to make sure the Plan reflects community priorities.
Phase 1: Data Collection (complete)
The project’s initial phase, data collection, is now complete. The goal of this phase was to understand the needs of the system – both its physical needs for repair and maintenance as well as the public’s needs for facilities and programs.
Understanding Physical Needs
Between July 2016 and September 2016, the project team visited over 65 County owned and maintained park properties totaling over 12,400 acres of land, 647 acres of lakes and 140 miles of trails. Data collected from the visits have been compiled into detailed reports (hundreds of pages!) inventorying all parks resources and their condition.
Understanding the Public’s Needs
Extensive public engagement took place last fall to understand the public’s perspective on the central questions “what do you love about County Parks?” and “what needs to change?” The County conducted five open-house meetings attended by a total 171 people and thirty-four focus group meetings with a total of 169 participants. In addition, this winter, a statistically valid survey was completed by over 800 residents, selected as a representative sample from across St. Louis County. Public meeting feedback and survey results will be important tools in the consideration of priorities for the master plan.
Phase 2: Data Analysis (complete)
The data analysis phase is now complete. During this phase, the project team reviewed an extensive amount of information gathered on the system’s physical needs and the public’s priorities in order to make recommendations for each of the five planning districts in the park system. Three Open Houses were held during spring 2017 to keep the public involved. View the meeting presentation and park-specific assessment reports here.
Phase 3: Area Plan Development (underway)
During this phase, draft plans will be developed for each of the five planning districts in the St. Louis County Parks system. Open Houses will be conducted in each planning district to share the draft plans and receive public comment.