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Rec commission to seek public input on plan

A pair of consultants working for the Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission will set up the forum for a public meeting Tuesday on the commission’s proposed comprehensive plan, but the residents in attendance will be the ones to provide the content, according to those consultants.

Sue Landes and Ann Yost of Recreation and Parks Solutions of Lebanon and YSM Landscape Architects of York were hired a couple of months ago with help from a Department of Conservation and Natural Resources grant and an equal commission match. They have been charged to create “a framework for the enhancement and expansion of parks, trails and recreation programs in the city of Altoona and Logan Township over the next 10 years,” Landes wrote in an email.

To do that, “we want as many residents to attend as possible, to give us their thoughts,” including their “dreams and wishes for expanded services,” Landes wrote. “The strength of this plan will be the input and feedback we get.”

In a broad sense, the plan is intended to “support the health and well-being of residents, ensure universal access” and provide a “legacy for (the) future,” Landes wrote.

The consultants will start by explaining why the commission undertook the plan project and what the benefits are, Yost said.

The consultants then will establish three “breakout areas” focusing on facilities, trails and greenways and programs, Landes said.

Prospect Pool and Juniata Memorial spray park can be part of the discussion, Yost said.

The consultants will try to identify “gaps” — in terms of geography and facilities, both for the general public and for special needs groups, Yost said.

The consultants will promote participation in a survey that will complement the meeting as an information-gathering tool, according to Yost.

Similar public meetings for plans the consultants have created for other commissions have generated recommendations for feasibility studies, rail-to-trail conversions and construction of major sports facilities, Yost said.

“(But) sometimes you hear people say they want to take care of what (they) already have,” Yost said.

The consultants are currently finishing up a rec plan for State College and its surrounding municipalities, Yost said.

The CBRC plan is meant to establish “a vision,” Landes wrote.

The development of that vision will depend on participation at the meeting, she wrote.

“We want residents to speak up,” she wrote.

CBRC won’t let the plan languish, Yost predicted.

“These don’t typically sit on the shelf,” she said.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.

If you go

What: Public meeting on proposed comprehensive plan for the Central Blair Recreation and Park Commission

When: 6:30 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Bavarian Aid Society, 112 S. 13th St.

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