Residents urged to share thoughts on future development, community need
LAPEER COUNTY — County residents are being asked to share their thoughts on the future of local recreation and open spaces through a new online survey.
Earlier this month, Lapeer County released the survey through their website, lapeercountyweb.org, with hopes that all stakeholders—regular recreators and all others—share how they use or don’t use the current offerings and offer suggestions on how facilities could be improved or expanded.
“Lapeer County is committed to improving the quality of life by providing best in region outdoor recreation,” said Quentin Bishop, Lapeer County’s Administrator/Controller said in an email to municipal leaders.
“This brief survey questionnaire is a part of the Lapeer County Parks and Recreation Plan 2022-2026. The public’s opinion on recreation and open space priorities is a key consideration in plan development. Participation in this survey will contribute to decisions made over the next five years in regards to the park and recreation activities for the citizens of Lapeer County.”
The county’s prior parks and recreation plan expired in 2020. Having such a plan in place is typically required to apply for grant funding, something Bishop confirms the county plans to do.
“Lapeer County, being fiscally responsible, will seek out and apply for all funding sources that allow for the enhancement of Lapeer County services and programs,” he said.
In the Tri-City area, the county operates General Squier Memorial Park and the Polly Ann Trail. The park in Dryden Township features the Mill Race Water Park along with other amenities. The Polly Ann Trail is owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and managed by Lapeer County as it travels through Dryden, Imlay City and Lum.
The survey doesn’t collect personal information other than asking for a city, village or township of residence; age range and the number of children in a household.
Other questions pertain to how residents obtain information about the parks, what parks they’ve visited recently and if they utilized any park facility during the pandemic. Participants are also asked to rate the quality of the places they visited and name potential safety measures that could be implemented. They also have the opportunity to weigh in on why they don’t utilize parks or open spaces.
As for looking to the future, survey participants have the chance to select what they think should be the county’s top priorities going forward—acquiring more land, developing existing facilities, creating more active or passive recreation opportunities, offering indoor recreation, creating natural and historical programming or creating additional non-motorized or water trails.
The survey also seeks responses as to the population by age that needs more recreational opportunities.
Bishop said the survey was created by GLS Region 5 and they’ll also analyze the results. The county hopes to garner between 750 and 1,000 responses.
The survey can be accessed online at lapeercountyweb.org or directly at www.surveymonkey.com/r/Y78MVXC