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Community weighs in on master plan for parks

Community weighs in on master plan for parks

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - The city of Colorado Springs is preparing its Parks, Recreation, Trails and Open Space Master Plan for the next 10 years.

In a meeting that happens about once a decade, hundreds showed up to the City Auditorium to weigh in on what should be included in the city's plan.

Chris Lieber, the city's park development planner, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that through surveys they've learned that residents are generally happy with the outdoor recreation opportunities, but would like to see more maintenance on existing parks and trails.

"The point of emphasis is really taking care of what we have," Lieber said.  "We've heard that pretty loud and clear."

Other desires include connecting gaps between trails and open spaces, more community gardens, places to fish and amenities for people with special needs.

Meeting attendees used keypads to voice their concerns and opinions on the state and safety of Colorado Springs' parks, trails and open spaces.

Douglas Bursnall, a Colorado Springs resident, told KRDO NewsChannel 13 that he hoped to see more attention to detail in building and improving parks and trails.

"Mountain bike races, road races, runners, all of the people from the Olympic Training Center, all those sorts of people need facilities to do their sports," Bursnall said.  "Supporting that through the parks I think will create a more cohesive sporting arena."

Bursnall also suggested that trails be fitted with athletes in mind.

"Most races are 5k or 10k if they're running races," he said.  "We need to make sure there are 5k loops in there and 10k loops in there."

City planners will take the public's input and begin work on a master plan.  Lieber said a draft plan should be ready in about six weeks.

For those who still wish to weigh in, the city will open an online survey Thursday.  KRDO NewsChannel 13 will provide a link to the survey as soon as it's available.

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