MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

Opinion

February 8, 2014

Help shape the future of our parks

Muskogee citizens will have a unique opportunity to help shape the future of our parks and recreation centers.

Two public hearings are set Monday. The hearings will kick off a semester-long study performed by participants in a graduate-level recreation and sport management program at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville.

Parks and Recreation Director Mark Wilkerson described the   project as “an outsider’s look at how we are doing.”

This is an excellent opportunity for Muskogee, and one of which we need to take advantage.

Merry Moiseichik, the professor who, along with two parks professionals, will oversee the students conducting the study, said participation during the public hearings is “very important.” Information gleaned from the hearings will serve as “the baseline” for a questionnaire that will be sent to 1,000 randomly selected households in Muskogee.

Indeed, our input is vital. The program won’t be a success if we don’t contribute to it.

We have touted for years about how lucky we are to have such a great parks system for a city our size.

But what if it could be even better?

This will give us a chance to find that out.

And it also gives a chance for those who don’t like our parks system, or would like to see some parts of it changed, to speak up, speak out, and be heard.

This project is a win-win. The students will learn valuable lessons. Muskogee will learn a lot about its parks and recreation system at no charge to taxpayers.

The students plan to present the findings of their study in May to city councilors.

Everyone’s input in this assessment is valuable.

Make your voice heard, and improve Muskogee in the process.

If you go

WHAT: Public hearings concerning the future direction of the development of Muskogee’s parks, recreation centers and facilities.

WHEN: 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Monday.

WHERE: Room C, Muskogee Civic Center, 425 Boston St.

INFORMATION: The public hearings are the first phase of a four-month study that will be used to set the direction and priorities for future improvements to city parks and recreation centers.

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