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New plans for city parks offered

On Monday night the Wood County Park District held a meeting in the Bowling Green library to determine what citizens of Bowling Green would like to see done with county parks over the next decade.

The meeting was one of five scheduled for the Wood County area in order to determine the future of the parks, according to Deb Nofszinger, the program coordinator for the Naturalist Program Department.

The WCPD had recently reached the end of its previous 10-year development plan.

At the meeting, Wood County Park Director Neil Munger reviewed successes from the plan.

“Continued planning for facilities that encourage high quality and low maintenance is something that we get each and every time we develop the new facilities of the park district. We know that being a small park district wanting to provide as much as we can, we have to be very careful with the maintenance,” Munger said.

Some of the other success includes continuing of staff training, developing and maintaining a prioritized list of equipment, increasing the number of staff members and building a nature center near Perrysburg.

Monday’s meeting will help decide which achievements will be on the future agenda of the Wood County Park District for the next 10 years.

Bryan Cavins, the assistant director of outdoor programs and recreational sports at the University helped Munger facilitate the meeting.

“I love the outside. I love to see Wood County Parks flourish ” and expand,” Cavins said in his introduction.

Cavins allowed those in attendance to come up with their own ideas for the 2007 strategic plan, ideas that would coordinate with the WCPD’s mission statement:

“The mission statement of the Wood County Park District is to preserve, enhance, protect and interpret the natural and cultural resources of Wood County, while providing quality passive recreational and educational opportunities for present and future Wood County Citizens.”

Cavins divided ideas up between the categories of passive recreation, preservation, education and other. After ideas were listed by the community, they were then given the chance to vote on the ideas they liked best.

Some of the more popular ideas among Bowling Green residents in attendance included field trips for senior citizens and the upkeep of identification of plants for the passive recreation category.

Developing use of green technology where possible, creating more opportunities for recycling within the parks were popular ideas with the preservation category.

The education ideas included more hands on activities for children, the continued preservation of Native American culture and lifestyle and displays of invasive species for learning and prevention of invasion. The other category consisted of a variety of topics including the wages of park staff as well as the lowering of canoeing prices.

“What you want to see in your park is the most important thing to us,” Munger said.

The job now is for the WCPD staff to assess the needs of the people as well as their budget in order to improve the county parks even more over the years.

In order to obtain funds for the ideas the WCPD holds many fundraisers. The organization also relies on donations, levies and volunteers in order to improve parks.

In addition, the WCPD has a local park improvement grant program to improve parks throughout the county, according to Munger.

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