Draft - Allen County Parks

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					     DRAFTMarch 8, 2013




                –
Allen County, Indiana
           2013-2017
Parks and Recreation Master Plan
Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan
                      -DRAFT-
                      March 8, 2013


                        Prepared for:

        Allen County Parks and Recreation Board
                   7324 Yohne Road
                 Fort Wayne IN 46809
                    (260) 449-3180




                        Prepared by:

                     Earth Source, Inc.
                     14921 Hand Road
                   Fort Wayne, IN 46818
                      (260) 489-8511
                            and
              Grinsfelder Associates Architects
                   903 West Berry Street
                 Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802
                       (260) 424.5942
Table of Contents

Introduction……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….… 2

Definition of the Planning Area…………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 3

Goals of the Plan………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 4

The Park Board……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 5

Allen County Parks and Recreation Department……….…………………………………………………………………. 7

Natural Features and Landscape………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 21

Man-Made, Historical and Cultural Features………………………………………………………………………………… 25

Social and Economic Factors……………………………………………………………………………………….……………….. 31

Accessibility and Universal Design……………………………………………………………………….……………….……... 36

Public Participation……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……...41

Needs Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 50

New Facilities Location map…………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 54

Priorities and Action Plan……..………………………………………………………………………………….………………….. 55

Sources……….……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..……….. 64

Appendix………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….………….. 65




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                     Page 1
Introduction
Today’s emphasis in park planning focuses on the relationship between public and private recreational
opportunities and the relationship of recreation to the location and distribution of other land uses and
community character. While the primary focus in the past has been on providing parks and park
experiences, the scope of planning has been expanded to reflect the relationship between the park
system and other elements of the community’s social and natural environments.

This view of park planning is diversified and extends to community development, environmental
interpretation, multiple uses of public and private space for recreation, and a full range of recreation
programs. With this more diverse definition, park planning becomes a more important component of
our overall growth management objectives.

Previous distinctions between public and private opportunities and indoor and outdoor spaces are
fading with a broader view of park planning that integrates preservation and new facilities. This plan is
designed to preserve and manage the environment, with an eye toward growth and to improve and
enrich the quality of life enjoyed by area residents.

This plan is being conducted in concert with the City of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department
and the New Haven-Adams Township Parks and Recreation Department. This joint-venture plan
continues the ongoing inter-agency cooperation between the related departments.

This plan addresses the five-year goals and objectives for parks and recreation lands and facilities for the
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                               Page 2
Definition of the Planning Area
The planning area for the Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
encompasses all of Allen County, Indiana. The City of Fort Wayne, New Haven,
Huntertown, Leo-Cedarville, Grabill, Woodburn, Monroeville, and many other
communities lie within Allen County. Many of these cities, towns and
communities have their own parks and recreation system.

When considering the planning area for a park system such as the Allen County
Parks and Recreation Department, it is also important to look beyond the
jurisdictional boundaries defined by the county limits. It is important to realize
that many people living in neighboring counties visit the county parks and
participate in park programs.

Allen County Parks provide:
 Natural areas for recreation and nature study.
 Environmental education for thousands of Allen County school children.
 Natural and cultural history programs for people of all ages.
 Careful management of county park system resources to maintain and increase natural diversity and
    recreational opportunities.
 Rental facilities in a beautiful natural setting.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                      Page 3
Goals of the Plan
The recommendations of this Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan are designed to expand upon
the goals of the Parks and Recreation Department, cultivating:

        A Department focusing on consistently meeting and exceeding citizen expectations;
        A Department that utilizes innovative ideas and methods to successfully meet challenges posed
         by budgetary/ facility and staffing limitations;
        A Parks and Recreation system that benefits residents by increasing services to all age groups
         and providing diverse opportunities;
        A Parks and Recreation agency that sees itself as a viable partner in providing community
         recreation services;
        A stewardship approach to providing high-quality facilities, existing and future, through
         judicious use of public funds;
        Cooperation and partnerships among the Department/ schools, community-based recreational
         entities, other local and regional governments, and the private sector in providing recreational
         services and facilities;
        A proactive planning process guided by community needs and executable strategies; and
        A process of reviewing and updating this master plan annually.

The purpose is not simply to produce a plan, but to:
     Improve agency management.
     Establish direction and set constraints.
     Define goals, objectives and priorities.
     Communicate direction to staff.
     Allocate agency resources.
     Facilitate delegation of responsibilities.
     Manage change.
     Assure public accountability.
     Evaluate success.
     Promote consistency in decisions.
     Promote cooperation and unity.

PLAN OBJECTIVES
Criteria established by the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Division of Outdoor
Recreation in the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) have been used in guiding
this plan.

This plan recognizes the significance of the SCORP document and incorporates pertinent digest format
portions of that plan to illustrate the synergy necessary to meet local, regional and state objectives and
needs. It recognizes existing conditions and forecasts observations for future, orderly growth and
preservation of facilities for the Allen County Parks and Recreation Department.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                              Page 4
The Park Board
On July 19, 1965, the Allen County Park Board was formed. On July 28, 1965 their first meeting was
held. The original 5-member board was appointed by the Circuit Court Judge of Allen County.

The goal of this board was to serve the citizens of Allen County with park areas for recreation and also to
acquire large areas of land to help ensure conservation and preservation of our natural resources.

In 1985, the Allen County Park and Recreation Board was re-established in accordance with the
amended Indiana Park and Recreation Ordinance dated July 19, 1965, as authorized by Indiana Code 36-
10-3. Under this amended ordinance, the 5-member board was increased to a
7-member board and became effective April 18, 1985.

These seven members are appointed by five sources rather than only one source under the original
ordinance. Members are appointed as follows:
     2-members appointed by the Circuit Court Judge;
     2-members appointed by the County Council;
     1-member appointed by the County Commissioners;
     1-member selected by' the' County Extension Committee; and
     1-member appointed by the Mayor of Fort Wayne.
        Each member serves a staggered term.

They currently meet on the 3rd Wednesday of each month. On an as-needed basis, and in accordance
with Indiana Code, they will conduct an executive session for special concerns such as real estate
options or personnel matters. The Park Board is under the authority of both the Allen County
Commissioners and County Council.

The current Park Board members include:


PRESIDENT                                                 VICE PRESIDENT
SAMUEL GREGORY, JR.                                       KIM STACEY
4011 West Jefferson Blvd.                                 2908 Covington Hollow Trail
Fort Wayne, IN 46804                                      Fort Wayne, Indiana 46804
PHONE 260-432-4068 (office)                               PHONE 260-432-2358
FAX 260-459-0058                                          CELL 260-493-1245
CELL 260-615-8221                                         kimstacey@comcast.net
sambgregory@comcast.net                                   Commissioners Appointment
Circuit Court Appointment                                 (4 year term expires 01/04/15)
(4 year term expires 01/02/15)                            Republican
Republican




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 5
The Park Board
SECRETARY                                                 WILLIAM B. CROWLEY
RICKY KEMERY                                              5910 Radcliffe Drive
4001 Crescent Avenue                                      Fort Wayne, IN 46816
Fort Wayne, IN 46815                                      PHONE 260-447-2859 (home)
PHONE 260-481-6826                                        CELL 260-433-0728
kemeryr@purdue.edu                                        bcrowley8@frontier.com
County Extension Committee                                Circuit Court Appointment
Ex-Officio Appointment                                    (4 year term expires 01/05/13)
                                                          Democrat
PARK BOARD ATTORNEY
CARRIE HAWK-GUTMAN                                        STEPHANIE VEIT
Hawk, Haynie, Kammeyer &                                  14512 Firethorne Path
Chickedantz Attorneys                                     Fort Wayne, IN 46814
116 East Berry Street                                     PHONE 260-413-2080
Lincoln Tower Suite 302                                   County Council Appointment
Fort Wayne, IN 46802                                      (4 year term expires 1/25/17)
PHONE 260-422-1515                                        Republican
FAX 260-424-2656
CELL 260-710-0814                                         IMMEDIATE PAST BOARD MEMBER
chgutman@hawkhaynie.com                                   TIM HALL
                                                          11119 Shoreline Drive
MITCH SHEPPARD                                            Leo, IN 46765
1100 South Calhoun St.                                    PHONE 260-627-3597 (home)
Fort Wayne, IN 46802                                      PHONE 260-489-2524 x405 (office)
PHONE 260-427-6441                                        CELL 260-437-0600
County Council Appointment                                Tim.hall@Donhalls.com
(4 year term expires 1/25/17)                             County Council Appointment
Democrat                                                  (4 year term expired 01/25/13)
                                                          Republican
MATTHEW R. HENRY
200 East Main Street, Suite 710                           IMMEDIATE PAST BOARD MEMBER
Fort Wayne, IN 46802                                      CHRISTINE SHUMWAY
PHONE 260-422-5614 (office)                               810 Glen Eagle Lane
FAX 260-422-5875                                          Fort Wayne IN 46845
CELL 260-341-2311                                         PHONE 260-637-6635
mhenry@pattersonriegel.com                                PHONE 260-482-9993 (work) x119
Mayor Appt.                                               CELL 260-750-8474
(concurrent with the Mayor’s term 1/02/16)                Leddy6010@yahoo.com
Democrat (must be from opposite party as                  County Council Appointment
County Commissioner Appointment)                          (4 year term expired 01/25/13)
Reappointed by Mayor Henry on 1/02/12                     Democrat




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                      Page 6
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
PARK OFFICE

The Parks and Recreation Main Office is located at Fox Island County Park, 7324 Yohne Road, Fort
Wayne, Indiana 46809. The phone number is (260) 449-3180. The website is www.allencountyparks.org

MISSION
The Parks and Recreation mission is to establish and manage a permanent park system incorporating
conservation, education, outdoor values, and nature preservation, and to provide recreational
opportunities for the people of Allen County within this structure.

GOALS
The primary role and responsibility of the Allen County Parks and Recreation Department is one of
stewardship over the natural resource properties it owns for public use. The care and maintenance of
these parks is a reflection on the Park Board and staff, the County Commissioners, the County Council
and even the citizens of the community. High quality care of park properties is translated by any
observer as a high class image of the community in which they are located. Equally important is a
diligent acquisition program to secure added parklands, especially in anticipation of areas beyond the
reach of expected urban expansion.

The goals of the Allen County Parks and Recreation Department include:

   Fulfill the original and primary purpose for establishing the Allen County Parks and Recreation
    Department…to provide needed parks, recreational opportunities and open space facilities
    throughout the county which fill the void between those provided on a state-wide basis and those
    provided by local governments.
 Provide for the comprehensive outdoor recreational needs of the county to extent possible within
    resources constraints.
 Provide healthful and safe recreational pursuits, facilities and programs that reflect the area’s
    unique composition of persons, physical setting, and local resources.
 Preserve and enhance the county’s diverse natural and human resources and encourage greater
    public awareness and education of our attributes. These attributes include scenic resources,
    cultural antiquities, historical places and unique geological and environmental settings. These
    features should ideally be linked by trails or other means.


Park Board’s Departmental Vision and Goals for the Next Five Years

The identification of Board/Department goals and objectives helps to provide basis for the
implementation of the Park Master Plan. Additionally, goals and objectives serve as a framework for
formulating Department policies and Board planning decisions.

Goals can be defined as broad general statements which describe a desirable accomplishment, and which
provide the impetus for more specific and directed actions.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                               Page 7
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
Objectives are defined as more specific actions that are to be accomplished within an identified time
frame, which when achieved, help to meet a goal.

Maintain existing facilities and make improvements within affordable spending levels.
   1. Protect and maintain all aspects of the native environment.
   2. Provide sufficient resources, both financial, material and personnel to properly maintain facilities.
   3. Conduct daily inspections of park grounds, pavilions and restrooms for cleanliness and safety,
       and take necessary corrective measures. Cleaning, repair or removal from public use will occur
       during one working day.
   4. Playgrounds will be constructed and upgraded to Consumer Product Safety Commission
       standards and the staff will conduct and document monthly safety inspections.
   5. Provide barrier-free access to facilities utilizing A.D.A. standards.

Provide well-balanced recreational services for all citizens regardless of sex, age, race, or ability.
    1. Programs will emphasize wellness, nature appreciation, crafts, the arts, education and special
        events.
    2. Coordinate efforts with other agencies providing recreational services and facilities to minimize
        duplication and to maximize programming opportunities through cooperative strategies.

Properly manage the department’s finances.
   1. Monitor income and expenses monthly.
   2. Review fees at least annually, taking into consideration the Department’s need to generate
        income while providing reasonably priced services.
   3. Consider new sources of revenues, which are consistent with other Department goals.
   4. Seek state and federal grants; solicit foundations, donations and other funding sources when
        appropriate.

Anticipate future needs and seek reasonable solutions.
    1. Encourage communication between the Department and the general public, recreation interest
        groups, students, seniors and others through open meetings, questionnaires, newsletters,
        brochures, personal contacts and other means.
    2. Seek shared commitments from special interest groups to accomplish common goals.

Anticipate growth and increased demands on facilities and services.
   1. Acquire available open space in advance of development to minimize costs and ensure adequate
       spatial requirements for future development in areas of expected growth.
   2. Explore modernization and revision of the existing Open Space provision of the Sub-Division
       Control Ordinance so that it is responsive to both current and future park needs of the
       community.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                            Page 8
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
STAFF




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan   Page 9
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
FOX ISLAND ALLIANCE

The Fox Island Alliance, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose purposes are:
      To help preserve the natural features of Fox Island County Park
      To assist in its orderly development as a nature preserve
      To raise funds to facilitate its development
      To promote Fox Island's use as an educational center
      To coordinate volunteer efforts

The benefits of membership in the Fox Island Alliance include:
      free park admission.
      a subscription to the Fox Tale, a quarterly nature newsletter.
      10% discount in the Nature Center gift shop.
      opportunities for friendship, creativity, satisfaction, leadership, and more.

Volunteers of Fox Island Alliance can help with educational activities by:
      answering questions in the observation building.
      sharing their knowledge of Indians, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, invertebrates,
       birds, trees, wildflowers, geology, etc.
      leading school groups on nature walks along Fox Island trails.
      helping to develop educational materials.
      teaching classes on nature subjects for adults or children.
      supporting Fox Island programs with their membership dues.

By joining the Fox Island Alliance you can:
       really "smell the flowers,"
       walk the trails,
       relax on a bench under a leafy bower at the edge of a sunny glen,
       take the family on a picnic,
       enjoy a moment on the deck of the Nature Center,
       enjoy the exhibits inside the Nature Center,
       forget your troubles.


FRIENDS OF METEA
The Friends of Metea is a tax exempt charitable organization whose purpose is to help preserve the
natural features of Metea County Park, to raise funds to facilitate its development as a park and nature
preserve, to promote its use as an educational center, and to coordinate volunteer efforts. Friends of
Metea is operated by a board of directors who work in partnership with the Allen County Park Board.
Membership in Friends of Metea is open to all interested citizens. Board meetings are held the third
Thursday of each month, at 4:00 pm, at the Nature Center in Metea Park; no meeting in July and
December. In September, the meeting is replaced with the annual picnic - bring hotdogs, buns, drink,
table service, and a dish to share.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                           Page 10
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
FRIENDS OF THE PARKS OF ALLEN COUNTY
Friends of the Parks of Allen County is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the stewardship and
improvement of the parks in Fort Wayne and throughout Allen County. It is the mission of the Friends of
the Parks to promote the stewardship and celebration of the scenic, historic, and recreational resources
of the parks and public spaces in Fort Wayne and Allen County. Friends of the Parks supports
comprehensive, inclusive planning and project implementation with consideration for recreation,
landscape design and park heritage. The group also provides advisory opinions on environmental issues
affecting the parks; facilitates neighborhood involvement; and participates in park betterment projects
with organization, volunteers and funding. More specifically, Friends of the Parks sponsors and
coordinates the Great Tree Canopy comeback, an annual tree planting day.

VOLUNTEERS
The Allen County Parks and Recreation Department fully realizes the advantage and the need to utilize
the assistance of volunteers, whether associated with Fox Island Alliance, Friends of Metea, Boy Scouts,
Girl Scouts, or individual volunteers. In 2011 alone, volunteers donated 2100 hour of service or the
equivalent of $43,000 worth of time. In addition to reduction of expenses in operations and staffing,
volunteers allow for community involvement.

FACILITY INVENTORY
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department currently operates four parks:
      Fox Island (southwest Allen County near Aboite) ................................... 605.0 acres
      Metea (northeast Allen County near Leo) .............................................. 250.0 acres
      Payton (northern Allen County near Huntertown) ................................... 38.0 acres
      Cook’s Landing (northern Allen County on Coldwater Rd.) ........................ 4.5 acres
                                                                          TOTAL: ........... 897.5 acres

MOWED ACREAGE (IMPACTED ACRES)
62.5 acres of mowed land - 7% of total system-wide acreage

FLOODPLAIN ACREAGE
Total floodplain acreage is 440 +/- acres or 49% of our total system

BUILDINGS
21 buildings: 37,881 square feet = 0.87 acres under roof
This includes all buildings open and closed: shelters, offices, maintenance buildings, etc.
  4 Rental Pavilions
  2 Open Shelters – not reserved or rented
  2 Nature Centers – classrooms and conference rooms available at both
  1 Bird Observation Building – can be rented

PLAYGROUNDS
2 – one at Fox Island and one at Metea



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                     Page 11
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
HERITAGE STRUCTURES (listed on the Historic Register)
NONE

OTHER MISC. FACTS
 14 Miles of trails (7 at Fox Island, 5 at Metea, 2 at Payton)
 2 State Dedicated Nature Preserves totaling 390 acres (270 at Fox Island, 120 at Metea)
 2 swimming beaches
 1 sledding hill
 Glacial Sand Dunes located at Fox Island




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                     Page 12
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
FOX ISLAND COUNTY PARK

Location:
7324 Yohne Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46809
Phone: 260 449-3180
Fax: 260 449-3181

Fox Island is a 605 acre park located in southwest Allen County. Within this park, 270 acres are
dedicated as State Nature Preserve, which protects areas having unique plants, animals or geographic
features. Hundreds of species of animals and plants live at Fox Island because of the relatively natural
condition of most of the area, with its habitats of marsh, seasonal ponds, wooded sand dunes, wetland
forest, old fields and restored prairie. The park contains the largest contiguous forest in the county and a
glacial sand dune.

Seven miles of marked trails through the preserve enable visitors to enjoy the beauty and splendor of
the park. Over six miles are available during the winter for cross country skiing as long as we have four
or more inches of snow on the ground. Ski equipment rental is also available on a limited basis.

Other amenities include:
     Nature Center – Large and small classrooms, conference room all available for rental, gift
       shop, education offices, and a variety of exhibits including the “Tree House”
     Allen County Parks Administrative Offices – located in Nature Center
     3 open picnic shelters (50 person capacity)
     Campfire pits (by PERMIT ONLY)
     Picnicking
     Grills
     Bowman Lake – Swimming beach – No lifeguard on duty
     Fishing
     Restrooms
     Bird Observation Building
     Playground (near lake and beach)
     Doggie Beach
     Cross Country Skiing




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 13
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan   Page 14
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
METEA COUNTY PARK
Location:
8401 Union Chapel Rd.
Fort Wayne, IN 46845
Phone: 260.449.3777
Fax: 260.627.5314

Metea County Park is a 250 acre park in northcentral Allen County near Leo Cedarville, containing the
120 acre Meno-aki State Nature Preserve. The north and south areas of the park are separated by Cedar
Creek, a state designated scenic river.

The park offers an undisturbed tranquility that can’t be found anywhere else in this area and is one of
Allen County’s greatest treasures. Hear the birds sing, listen to the crickets chirp, watch the flash of
minnows in the water, all at Metea County Park.

Park amenities include:
     Gloria Goeglein Nature Center with classrooms and conference room available for rental,
       education offices, gift shop, exhibits, indoor bird watching area, and restrooms
     Five miles of trails
     Woodlands
     Wetlands
     Grills
     Picnicking
     Campfire pits (by PERMIT ONLY)
     1.5 acrea lake with swimming beach - No lifeguard on duty
     Fishing (additional $2 per person, must possess a valid Indiana fishing license)
     Large playfield
     Reconstructed prairie
     Old fields
     Picnic shelter
     Cedar Creek (a state scenic river)
     The north portion of the park is undeveloped, with hiking trails through rugged and varied
       terrain
     Cross country skiing in the winter with four inches of snow or more, a limited number of ski
       equipment is available for rental at a small additional cost




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                            Page 15
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan   Page 16
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
COOK’S LANDING COUNTY PARK

Location:
Corner of Coldwater and Shoaff Roads

Cook’s Landing County Park is a small park located in northern Allen County. Cedar Creek, a state
designated scenic river, is the star of the park. This park has great access to Cedar Creek for fishing and
canoeing.

Park Amenities include:
    Open Shelter
    picnicking
    grills
    fishing
    canoe access
    woodlands



PAYTON COUNTY PARK
Location:
13928 Dunton Road (between Hathaway and Gump Roads)

Payton County Park is located in northern Allen County just east of State Road 3. With its mix of open
fields, woodlands, and wetlands provides the solitude and quiet of the rural countryside. Several miles
of hiking trails through 40 acres of old field, forest and wetland areas make this small park a wonderful
additional to the Allen County Park system.

Other park amenities include:
   picnic shelter
   pit toilets
   small pond
   picnicking
   grills




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                              Page 17
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
CURRENT PROGRAMS
A variety of programs are offered to people of all ages by the education staff. Programs include
preschool classes, day camps, classroom visits, night hikes, hayrides, campfires, and public programs.
Fees vary with the type and length of program. See Appendix for a listing of programs in The Wild
Grapevine newsletter.

PROGRESS REPORT
The Allen County Parks and Recreation Department has completed numerous projects throughout the
past five years. Following is a brief list highlighting the new projects and renovations.
     Started Allen County Trailblazer Hiking program
     Continued resource management/invasive species control
     Roofs on both Lake Shelters at Fox Island, Roof and siding on Everything Barn at Fox Island, new
         sidewalk at Meta, new concrete floor at Metea Barn, all thanks to IVY Tech Construction
         Technology classes
     Facebook account created for the department
     Major repairs to wells at Metea and Fox Island Parks
     Hosted a Junior Indiana Master Naturalist program
     Held Native American Event at Metea Park
     Replaced roof on the Bird Observation Building at Fox Island Park
See Appendix for the entire list of completed projects from 2008-2012.

Items that remain to be completed from the previous Five Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan’s
Action Plan include:

Metea Park
Review and implement Phase II of Metea Park Master Plan
Pedestrian Bridge Connection – North and South across Cedar Creek
New Open Shelter - North Metea
Playground Replacement
Accessible pathways
New Cross Country Ski Storage Building
Park Directional Signage
New Well
Observation Deck at gulley
Boardwalks through vernal ponds; connect all trails via boardwalks
Additional Benches and Picnic Tables
LAND - Acquire adjacent property
New Restroom Building Enclosure - Open Field Area
New park signage - Interstate 69
Construct New Fishing Pier
Wetland Pond observation deck construction



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                           Page 18
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
Fox Island
Interpretive wayside signage - all trails
Develop phase II improvements including multi-purpose trail construction and pavilion at Bowman Lake
Bird Observation Building - Window Replacement
Construct Ponding Platform at Wetland Area
New park signage - Interstate 69

Payton County Park
Develop master plan for Payton Park
LAND - Property Acquisition
Reforestation Projects
Open Shelter - Improvements
Picnic Tables and Benches
New Signage
New Playground Structure
New Wetland/Pond Observation Platform
Connection to other Trail Systems

Cooks Land County Park
Boat/Canoe Landing Reconstruction
Picnic Tables and Benches

General projects not completed
Large parcel north-northwest (250 acre target); LANDBANK
Large parcel southeast (250 acre target); LANDBANK


BUDGET
Staff salaries are the only expense covered by the taxpayers of Allen County. All operating expenses are
derived from entry and program fees.

Year                     2009            2010             2011          2012
Salaries                 $511,680        $504,472         $507,628      $476,705
Operating Fund           $162,700        $150,200         $145,700      $154,700
Gift Fund                $200,000        $200,000         $150,000      $150,000
Capital Fund             $     94        $     94         $      0      $      0
Total                    $874,474        $854,766         $803,328      $781,405




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                          Page 19
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department
OTHER RECREATIONAL SOURCES
The Allen County Parks and Recreation Department recognizes the importance of other agencies that
provide similar services and programs to the community, whether public, private, or not-for-profit.
These agencies may be seen as partners in one light, or as competitors in another.

Eagle Marsh is a 716-acre wetland preserve located adjacent to Fox Island County Park. With eight miles
of trails which allow hikers to access the preserve's varied habitats at no cost, this preserve can be
viewed as a competitor to the County Park which charges entry fees.

Traditional indoor recreation programs and facilities are most strongly represented in the private
sector. For the most part, they fill the gap between what Parks and Recreation currently offers and
what is required to meet community needs and expectations. The YMCA is a particularly strong provider
in this community.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                         Page 20
Natural Features and Landscape
Allen County is located within the northeastern part of Indiana and consists of some 429,440 acres.

TOPOGRAPHY
The topographical relief within Allen county ranges from level to rolling or strongly sloping. There are
numerous depressions, and some are extensive. The largest area of level topography is in the eastern
part of the county. Smaller, but still fairly extensive level areas are in the southwestern and the
northwestern parts of the county. In the northern and south central parts of the county and in the
southwestern corner, the topography ranges from nearly level to rolling or strongly sloping but is most
commonly gently undulating. The highest elevation in the county is in Perry Township. In general, many
good recreational opportunities exist within the county. Pockets of rolling topography, well suited to
natural park areas as well as level areas for athletic fields provide a wide range of park and recreation
opportunities within the city and county.

The divide between the Lake Erie watershed and the Mississippi River watershed passes through the
county several miles east of Fort Wayne. Water from most of the county drains into the Maumee River,
which is part of the Lake Erie watershed.

FOREST RESOURCES
Hardwood forests originally covered a large part of Allen County, but by 1959 only 43,600 acres of
woodland remained. Much of the present woodland is on sloping soils and adjacent to streams; many
small areas are on wet soils in depressions and other undrained areas; and a small acreage is on
droughty, sandy soils.

As in many Midwestern communities, Elm trees planted in the early part of last century suffered from
Dutch Elm disease in the 1950’s. More recently and currently, ash trees are similarly affected from
Emerald Ash Borer. Within the city of Fort Wayne, approximately 12,000 ash trees make up more than
20% of the city’s total street tree population, which is down from a high of approximately 14,000 ash
trees several years ago. The impending removal or these infested trees is having an extreme affect upon
the overall tree canopy within Allen County.

Based upon a 2010 Indiana Urban Tree Canopy study, tree canopy covers approximately 77,686 acres or
an average of 18.09% of Allen County. The county’s canopy cover is considered near average when
compared to the northeast regional Urban Tree Canopy of 18.06% and slightly below average when
compared to the Statewide average of 24.58%. American Forests, a recognized leader in conservation
and urban forestry, has established an average canopy goal of 40% for metropolitan areas and the State
encourages this standard as a general guideline or target for Indiana communities.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                          Page 21
Natural Features and Landscape
GEOLOGY/SOILS
Allen County is in the Eastern lake section and the Till Plains section of the Central Lowland
physiographic province. The southern and western parts are within the Tipton till plan, and the
northern and eastern parts are within the Northern lake and moraine region.

The soil map below illustrates soil associates within Allen County. A soil associate is a landscape that has
a distinctive proportional pattern of soils. It normally consists of one or more major soils and at least
one minor soil and it is named for the major soils. The soils in one association may occur in another, but
in a different pattern. The map illustrates eight soil associations as are described below.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 22
Natural Features and Landscape
WATER RESOURCES
Surface Runoff
Allen County lies within two major watersheds of North America. The western part of the county is in
the Mississippi River watershed, which flows west and south to the Gulf of Mexico. The rest of the
county is in the Great Lakes watershed, which flows east to the Atlantic Ocean. These large watersheds
are divided into Allen County’s six watersheds.

The Eel River, which drains the northwestern part of the county, flows west and drains into the Wabash
River at Logansport. The Wabash River, the largest river in Indiana, flows west and south to the Ohio
before flowing into the Mississippi River. The Upper Wabash Watershed is drained in Allen county by
the Little River, which flows into the Wabash River near Huntington. The St. Joseph river flows south
from Michigan and Ohio, through Steuben and DeKalb counties, before flowing into the Maumee River
at Fort Wayne. The St. Mary’s River originates in Ohio and flows northwest through Adams and Allen
Counties before joining the St. Joseph River to form the Maumee River. In major flood events, Junk
Ditch (normally a tributary of the St. Mary’s River) has historically flowed into the Wabash. The Auglaize
River watershed is drained by Flatrock Creek and its tributaries in Allen County and flows east into Ohio.
The Maumee River is formed where the St. Joseph and St. Mary’s Rivers join in Fort Wayne. The
Maumee River flows east into Ohio and eventually into Lake Erie.

Wetlands
Allen County has approximately 12,262 acres of wetlands, which is about 2.9 % of the total area in the
county. Approximately 85% of Indiana wetlands have been lost since the 1700’s including many in Allen
County. The conversion of those wetlands has facilitated the growth and development of Allen County
communities.

Water Source
There are two major reservoirs in Allen County: Cedarville Reservoir and Hurshtown Reservoir. Both
store water from the St. Joseph River and provide water supply for the city of Fort Wayne. The western
part of the county is dotted with a few small lakes. Many of the lakes and ponds in Allen County were
originally built as detention ponds to contain runoff from development activities.

CLIMATE
The Allen County climate is influenced by Lake Michigan and to a lesser extent Lake Erie. Temperature
differences between daily highs and lows average about 20 degrees. The average occurrence of the last
freeze in the spring is late April and the first freeze in the autumn in mid-October, making the average
growing season 173 days.

Annual precipitation is well distributed with somewhat larger amounts in late spring and early summer.
Except for considerable cloudiness during the winter months, sunshine averages about 75%.
Measurable precipitation typically falls on 132 days of the year. Mid-winter through early spring is the
wettest time of year, with autumn the driest.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                            Page 23
Natural Features and Landscape
Snowfall averages 32.4” per year. Six inch or greater snowfalls usually only occur once per season. Lake
effect snows rarely exceed 4” in northeast Indiana. The most likely month for heavy snow is January.
Typically the last snow of the season is in mid-April with the first snow of the autumn around the first of
November. Snow depth on the ground at any one time rarely exceeds 10”.

The average July temperature is 74 degrees. There is an average of 3.8 days equal to or above 90
degrees in June, 6.1 in July, and 4.0 in August. Winter temperatures reach their low in January with the
average 22.9 degrees. Daytime highs average 30.4 degrees and lows 15.3 degrees.

Allen County typically experiences a climate with definitive seasonal temperature shifts providing
distinct recreational opportunities throughout the spring, summer, autumn and winter months. These
temperature shifts have, in recent years, become slightly less predominant, thereby reducing the
reliability of winter recreational activities such as sledding and ice skating. Overall, however, the
climatic patterns in Allen County support a wide range of recreational activities.

PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS AND STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
The above natural features and landscape data supports the following conclusions:

1. Potential tree canopy for any community can be measured by the total Urban Tree Canopy and all
   other viable areas. The Urban Tree Canopy analysis for Allen County revealed opportunities for
   improving to this canopy by the addition of tree plantings within the parks.

2. Priority should also be placed on preserving and maintaining the existing tree canopy.

3. The more natural setting as well as the location of the Allen County Parks as compared to the Fort
   Wayne Parks lend them to be more affected by naturally occurring events. Wildlife and herbaceous
   species management will be affected by these events and need to be managed accordingly.

4. The seemingly milder winters suggest less reliance on winter sport activities. Activities such as cross
   country skiing, sledding and ice skating need to be closely monitored to avoid damage to park lands,
   not to mention the possible dangers to the users.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 24
Man-Made, Historical, and Cultural Features
MAN-MADE TRANSPORTATION
Automobile
The county’s transportation network includes major routes, including:
    o    Interstate 69 running
         north/south through the
         county center
    o    Interstate 469 which is a bypass
         around the south, east and
         north sides of Fort Wayne.
    o    US 30 running east/west.
    o    US 24 running east/west.
         Significant and recent
         improvements to this “Fort to
         Port” corridor provide much
         safer and easier transport from              FW Intl. Airport

         points east of Fort Wayne.
    o    SR 3 running north/south

Recently completed improvements to the US 24 corridor east of Fort Wayne, may have the ability to
bring more visitors to the Allen County park system.

Highway travel into Allen County is via Interstate 69, which runs north from Indianapolis into Michigan,
and Interstate 469, which encircles Fort Wayne. U.S. Highways 30, 33, 27, and 24 converge in Allen
County. Interstate 80, which runs east/west, is located 45 miles north of Fort Wayne via Interstate 69.

Air Travel
Fort Wayne International Airport is the destination for most air traffic into Allen County. It is one of only
a handful of airports in the Midwest with a 12,000-foot runway. Five commercial carriers provide direct
flights from major cities throughout the United States; connecting flights for international travel are also
available. The Fort Wayne International Airport accommodates more than one million passengers
annually. Smith Field, located north of the city, is a secondary airport for private air traffic.

Public Transportation
Fort Wayne Citilink provides intracity bus service to downtown, urban shopping centers, and area
employment locations. Although no bus service is provided to Allen County Parks, the Allen County
Council on Aging, a relatively new public transportation service, provides transportation service within
Allen County where Citilink does not provide bus or van service. This service is able to transport people
of all ages within rural Allen County, including the parks.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                              Page 25
Man-Made, Historical, and Cultural Features
Pedestrian/Bicycle
Fort Wayne Trails manages a network consisting of 68 miles of multi-use trails within Allen County,
including 50 miles of interconnected trails, linking points within Fort Wayne, New Haven and Allen
County. These trails provide recreation, health & fitness and active transportation opportunities for
residents and visitors.

MAN-MADE INDUSTRY
Health care, manufacturing, and insurance have traditionally been the primary industries in Fort Wayne.
The city's hospitals form a regional medical center that serves the tri-state area. Demand for health care
services has continued to increase alongside the area's population, particularly that of older citizens. The
city's two health care networks—Parkview Health System and Lutheran Health Network—are among the
city's five top employers.

Dozens of manufacturing companies in the Fort Wayne area employ 100 people or more. Notable
among these is General Motors's Fort Wayne Assembly plant, which has approximately 3,000 employees
and is one of the top employers in the county. The 2.5 million square-foot plant, which built its first
pickup truck in 1986, produced 247,000 pickups in 2004 and is home of the world's first full-size hybrid
pickup truck. The offices of several insurance companies are located in Fort Wayne, including Lincoln
Financial Group, which opened for business in 1905—in a small rented space above a telegraph office in
Fort Wayne—as Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. The company grew to become one of the
largest insurance companies in the country.

(source: www.city-data.com)

HISTORY
Fort Wayne is the county seat of Allen County. The downtown area is located in the northeast quadrant
of Wayne Township, close to the center of the county. The fort from which the community derived its
name was an eighteenth century American fort, built in 1794. It replaced several earlier frontier
outposts originally established by the French. The site had been a gathering place however, for Native
American tribes for many centuries before. The confluence of three rivers, the St. Joseph, the St.
Mary’s, and the Maumee, made the site a traditional trade center for the Miami, Potowatomi, Wea, and
other tribes that inhabited the Great Lakes region.

Early pioneers were attracted to Fort Wayne by the profitable fur trade. When the U.S. Land Office
opened in 1823, in the buildings of the last fort, to sell off all public lands for which Indian title had been
eliminated by treaty, the abundant real estate available created a new incentive for settlement. By the
mid-1820’s, early settlers with names like Ewing, Hanna, Suttenfield, Swinney, Comparet, Kercheval,
Rockhill, and Hamilton, had begun building the future city of Fort Wayne.

Allen County was created by an act of the Indiana General Assembly on December 17, 1823, to go into
effect in April 1824. At that time, Allen County included the present Indiana counties of Allen, Lagrange,
Steuben, Noble, DeKalb, Huntington and most of Whitley, Wells and Adams counties. Elections were
held, offices filled and county business was conducted, but the first courthouse was not built until 1831.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                 Page 26
Man-Made, Historical, and Cultural Features
In Fort Wayne, the 1827 house of Miami chief Jean Baptiste de Richardville on Bluffton Road exists
today as not only the oldest building in Allen County, but also the oldest brick structure in northern
Indiana, and the oldest surviving Native American structure of any kind in the entire Midwest.

Construction of the Wabash & Erie Canal in the 1830’s fostered further development in Fort Wayne and
earned the city it’s nickname “Summit City, “ because it was the highest point above sealevel along the
entire canal route. The canal opened Fort Wayne to greater commercial possibilities and caused a great
influx of immigrants to the growing community. Residential neighborhoods began expanding into the
West Central area and a bustling commercial center developed along the canal in the area known today
as The Landing. In 1880, the canal right-of-way was purchased by the Nickel Plate Railroad, whose
elevated tracks trace the canal route through the north edge of downtown.

In the latter part of the 19th century, the growth and development of such major industries as the Bass
Foundry, Packard piano Company, Wayne Knitting Mills, Jenney Electric Company, and Bowser Pump
Company generated city-wide expansion. Immigrants of all kinds poured into Fort Wayne to work in the
factories, and the surrounding neighborhoods, such as Nebraska, South Wayne, West Central, and East
Central, developed at a rapid pace. The bulk of Fort Wayne’s inner city housing dates from this period.
The numerous towers and church steeples of all denominations that bestowed upon Fort Wayne the
nickname “City of Churches” also began to rise du4ring this period. The Centlivre Brewery, which
operated a large park for entertainment and beer sales, and the recreational complex of Robison Park
lured people across the rivers and into outlying areas.

The population of Fort Wayne increased form 45,115 in 1900 to 114,946 in 1930. This increased
population continued the trend toward suburbanization. Between 1910 and 1920 many outlying
neighborhoods such as Wildwood Place, Forest Park, Oakdale, Arcadia/Englewood, Lafayette Place,
Harrison Hill, Kensington Park, and Sough Wood Park were developed. By the mid-1920’s, the busiest
commercial area shifted from the original Columbia, Berry, and Main Street areas to the Wayne,
Washington, and Jefferson Street regions. Nearly all retail business and entertainment spots were
centered downtown, although most neighborhoods contained small groceries, repair shops, and
bakeries.

Major industries such as the Tokheim Pump Company, International Harvester, Inca Manufacturing
(Phelps Dodge), Rea Magnet Wire, the Capehart Phonograph Company, and Magnavox opened in the
1920’s. Although the Lincoln National Life Insurance Company was initially organized in 1905, by 1923 it
had become recognized as one of the most innovative companies in the business and moved into its
new headquarters on Harrison Street where it remains today.

Notable buildings such as the Embassy Theater, Scottish Rite Auditorium, and the Chamber of
Commerce reveal the eclectic grandeur of the era and the rise of major apartment buildings such as
Fairfield Manor reveal changing residential patterns. Major changes in the city began to occur in the
1950’s with the appearance of small shopping centers such as Quimby village, Rudisill Center, and South
Anthony Plaza. The biggest jump came in 1955 with the opening of Southgate Shopping Center, just off
Pettit Avenue. With more than 2000 free parking spaces and easy access to the rapidly growing



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 27
Man-Made, Historical, and Cultural Features
suburban neighborhoods, Southgate set the tone for new developments in the late 1950’s and 1960’s.
The elevation of the old Nickel Plate Railroad tracks running through downtown in 1955 opened a flood
of suburban expansion on the north side of Fort Wayne. Beginning with the dedication of the Memorial
Coliseum in 1952, the development of Northcrest Shopping Center in 1958 and Skyline Plaza on Goshen
Road in 1959, and numerous housing additions, this northward expansion continues to this day.

The Allen County Park Board was formed in 1965 with the original 5 member board appointed by the
Circuit Court Judge of Allen County. In 1985, the Allen County Park and Recreation Board was re-
established in accordance with the amended Indiana Park and Recreation Ordinance.

Fort Wayne and Allen County have a wealth of historic architecture districts and neighborhoods. Fort
Wayne in particular has a substantial number of historic landmarks, Local Historic Districts and
properties listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Whether officially designated or not, these
include the Allen County Courthouse, Lincoln Tower, Embassy Theatre, Swinney Homestead, and the
West Central and Oakdale neighborhoods, to name a few.

The area is also home to a number of character defining features/places that serve as local landmarks,
including the General Electric and Sunbeam Bread signs, Henry’s Bar, Cindy’s Diner, Coney Island, and
the Concordia Theological Seminary.

Other place-making buildings and historic corridors are dispersed throughout the County and serve as
community identifiers, such as characteristic barns, churches and schools.

(source: www.city-data.com)

CULTURAL
Fort Wayne and Allen County is home to the largest population of Burmese immigrants in the country.
Burma, officially known as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar, is a country in Southeast Asia. The
first Burmese immigrants came to Fort Wayne in the early 1990s to escape political turmoil. Since then,
the Summit City has become home to approximately 5,000 Burmese. There are several events year-
round designed to showcase Burmese dance and art. Most recently, the International Village was a two-
day mini-festival organized to bring together different cultures and ethnic backgrounds (including
Burmese), all living in Fort Wayne.

Various cultural institutions also help to define the community. These include the Allen County Public
Library (with its notable genealogy department), the Fort Wayne Museum of Art, and the Fort Wayne
Children’s Zoo.

Arts
The Fort Wayne Civic Theatre performs a wide range of scripts, from Shakespeare to contemporary
comedy. The Fort Wayne Museum of Art offers artworks from its own permanent collections as well as
national traveling exhibitions, classes and lectures. The History Center provides an interactive museum
that highlights the history of Allen County, from Little Turtle and Anthony Wayne, to inventions that
originated in this area. Science Central is a hands-on interactive science center. The Historic Embassy



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 28
Man-Made, Historical, and Cultural Features
Theatre provides a classic venue for continues music, including the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra,
theatre and film features.

Festivals
Various annual festivals, such as the Johnny Appleseed Festival, Grabill Days Festival, Germanfest, New
Haven Canal Days and the Three Rivers Festival attract many visitors to the area. Other festivals include
BBQ Rib Fest, Fort Wayne Pride Fest, Greek Fest, Holiday Fest and the Taste of Fort Wayne.

Education
Public education is offered in the four districts of East Allen County Schools, Fort Wayne Community
Schools, Northwest Allen County Schools, and Southwest Allen County Schools. Fort Wayne Community
Schools is the second-largest district in the state of Indiana with 2011 enrollment of nearly 32,000
students.

By means of private education, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend operate 13
schools within Allen County, while Lutheran Schools of Indiana operate 14 schools within the county. In
addition, Blackhawk Christian School and Canterbury School offer private K-12 education in Fort Wayne,
while Amish Parochial Schools of Indiana has schools through eighth grade in rural eastern Allen County.

Enrolling nearly 12,000 students, Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) offers a
complete range of undergraduate and graduate programs. The largest university in northeast Indiana,
IPFW is a joint campus of Indiana and Purdue Universities. Long a commuter college, IPFW opened its
first student housing in 2004 and continues to expand its student housing offerings. Church affiliated
colleges include the University of St. Francis, a Catholic liberal arts university; and Concordia Theological
Seminary, dedicated to the preparation of Lutheran pastors.

Fort Wayne is also home to Indiana Tech, a four-year college providing degree programs in business,
engineering, computer science, and human services; International Business College, offering business,
health care, and technology programs; and ITT Technical Institute, offering technology, drafting and
design, and business programs. Post-secondary education and technical training are provided by two-
year Ivy Tech State College. Other two-year colleges include Michiana College and Indiana Business
College – Fort Wayne.

Sports
Sports offerings include the Tin Caps baseball team, Mad Ants basketball team and the Fort Wayne
Komet’s hockey team.

(source: www.city-data.com)

PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS AND STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
The above man-made, historical and cultural features support the following conclusions:

1. Good highway access provides easy park accessibility from all directions. However, consideration
   must also be given to the potential barriers the highway network has upon pedestrian and bicycle



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                               Page 29
Man-Made, Historical, and Cultural Features
    access to the parks, as well as access via public transportation. The parks must work together with
    the Fort Wayne Trails to ensure pedestrian and bicycle connectivity, as well as with the Public
    Transportation (Citilink) to encourage public transit access.

2. Expanding suburban development may dictate additional park land acquisition well in advance of
   anticipated need as well as additional buffering for current park lands.

3. The nearby location of colleges and universities provide opportunities for additional park users.

4. The various large industries offer possible support and partnering opportunities for the parks.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                           Page 30
Social and Economic Factors
POPULATION
According to the 2010 Census, the population of Allen County is 355,329 people, placing the county in
the number three spot, behind Lake County and Marion County, by population, in the state of Indiana.
In addition, Allen County represents approximately 5.5 % of the state’s total population.

According to STATS Indiana, the county’s population has increased from 331,849 in 2000, a 7.1%
increase, and is projected to increase to 379,731 by the year 2020, representing a 6.9% increase. The
overall median age is 35.3 years and approximately 51% of the population is female and 49% male. The
current percentage of the population aged 65 years and over is 11.9%. In the report, Indiana Population
Projections 2010-2040, the Indiana Business Research Center (IBRC) projects this number to grow 90%
by 2040 as nearly 1 in 5 Hoosiers will be 65 years of age and over.

 8.0%




 7.0%




 6.0%




 5.0%




 4.0%




 3.0%




 2.0%




 1.0%




 0.0%
        Under 5 5 -9 years    10-14   15-19   20-24   25-29   30-34   35-39   40-44   45-49   50-54   55-59   60-64   65-69   70-74   75-79   80-84   85 years
         years                years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   years   and over



Figure A.                    Allen County Percentage of Population by Age (2010 U.S. Census)

According to the 2010 Census, the population of Allen County is largely Caucasian (82%), with the
African-American population accounting for 12.1% of the population. The Native American, Asian,
Latino, and Pacific Islander populations are reported to account for approximately 10.1% of the
population. This is somewhat more diverse than the state as a whole, which has a primarily Caucasian
population of 84.3% and African-American population of 9.1%.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                                                               Page 31
Social and Economic Factors
ECONOMY

                                                             Agriculture, forestry, fishing and hunting, and mining

                     2.2%                                    Construction
                   4.5%     0.4% 5.3%
                                                             Manufacturing
        9.1%
                                                             Wholesale trade
                                                 19.0%
                                                             Retail trade

                                                             Transportation and w arehousing, and utilities

                                                             Information
22.1%                                                3.9%
                                                             Finance and insurance, and real estate and rental and
                                                             leasing
                                                             Professional, scientific, and management, and
                                                             administrative and w aste management services
                                                 11.7%
                                                             Educational services, and health care and social
                                                             assistance
            8.1%                                             Arts, entertainment, and recreation, and accommodation
                                          4.7%
                                   2.5%                      and food services
                          6.6%
                                                             Other services, except public administration

                                                             Public administration

Figure B.        City of Fort Wayne Labor Force by Occupation (2010 U.S. Census)



The top twenty employers in Allen County include:
1. Parkview Health Systems                                  12. BAE Systems Platform Solutions
2. Lutheran Health Network                                  13. Raytheon Systems Company
3. Fort Wayne Community Schools                             14. Northwest Allen County Schools
4. General Motors Truck Group                               15. Vera Bradley
5. Lincoln Financial Group                                  16. Steel Dynamics, Inc.
6. City of Fort Wayne                                       17. Norfolk Southern Corporation
7. Allen County Government                                  18. Edy’s Grand Ice Cream
8. Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Manufacturing                     19. Fort Wayne Metals Research /Products
                                                                Corporation
9. Frontier Communications Corp.
                                                            20. Parker Hannifin Corporation
10. Indiana Purdue University Fort Wayne
11. ITT Exelis



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                         Page 32
Social and Economic Factors
In 2010, the county unemployment rate was 8.4%, which compared favorably to the state of Indiana
unemployment rate which hovered around 10.1%. (STATS Indiana, using date from the Indiana
Department of Workforce Development)

Of those employed, 16 years and older, approximately 85.7% drove alone to work while 7.9% carpooled.
Only 0.6% relied on public transportation while 1.3% walked with approximately 4.5% of workers biking
or working predominantly at home. The mean travel time to work, for workers not working at home, is
20.4 minutes. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey)

An interesting statistic to consider may be the number of workers on third shift and how this may affect
the need for “off-hour” recreation. The number of workers on third shift includes many in the health
care, social assistance (police and fire) as well as the manufacturing industry. An approximate
percentage may be loosely based upon the 41.1% of workers in the education services, health care,
social assistance and manufacturing industries. With 3 operation shifts, it may be conservatively
estimated that approximately 13.7% of the total number of workers may work third shift. This number
represents a significant segment of the community that may have off-hours recreation needs.


25.0%




20.0%




15.0%




10.0%




 5.0%




 0.0%
        Less than $10,000-   $15,000-   $25,000-   $35,000-   $50,000-   $75,000- $100,000- $150,000- $200,000
         $10,000 $14,999     $24,999    $34,999    $49,999    $74,999    $99,999 $149,999 $199,999 or more


Figure C.        Allen County Household Income (U.S. Census Bureau)

The median household income for residents of Allen County is $48,714, which slightly higher than the
median household income of $47,697 for the state of Indiana. In addition, approximately 12.3% of Allen



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                          Page 33
 Social and Economic Factors
 County residents currently live at or below the poverty level, which is slightly below the state average of
 13.5%. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey)

 HOUSING
 The average household size in Allen County is 2.55 persons and approximately 70.6% of residents are
 home owners. The total number of housing units is estimated at 151,557 with 135,807 of these
 occupied, leaving 15,750 or 10.4% vacant. (U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey)

 EDUCATION

35.0%



30.0%



25.0%



20.0%



15.0%



10.0%



5.0%



0.0%
        Less than 9th   9th to 12th   High school   Some college,   Associate's   Bachelor's   Graduate or
           grade        grade, no      graduate      no degree        degree       degree      professional
                          diploma                                                                 degree


 Figure D.          Allen County Education Completed (U.S. Census Bureau)

 Of Allen County residents, aged 25 years and older, approximately 88.5% are High School graduates,
 which compares similarly to the State of Indiana at 86.2%. Those residents with a Bachelor’s degree or
 higher, aged 25 years and older, accounts for approximately 26.1% of the population, which is slightly
 higher than the state average of 22.4%.

 PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS AND STRATEGIC DIRECTIONS
 The above social and economic data supports the following conclusions:

 1. The county’s growth puts pressure on existing recreation amenities and services, and increases the
    need for additional amenities to adequately serve residents.




 Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                      Page 34
Social and Economic Factors
2. The higher unemployment rate in recent years, while slightly lower than the state’s average, does
   suggest the need for free and/or low cost recreation opportunities for families struggling with
   continued reduced income. As a largely entry-fee driven system, this economic factor likely impacts
   Allen County Parks more greatly than Fort Wayne or New Haven Parks. Even a seemingly low gate
   entry fee can seem burdensome or simply surprising to park patrons who may be used to accessing
   city parks at no charge. Public Participation surveys, conducted to support this plan, indicate a near
   even split between patrons who felt the entry fee was fair as opposed to those who did not.
   Elimination of the gate entry fee may be considered within the context of replacing this revenue
   with another source, such as facility fees within the parks. Another approach is to maintain the gate
   entry fee, but offer more significant savings on annual park passes.

3. While an overall increase in the general population is projected, the projected increase in
   population 65 years of age and older will represent an increased future recreation need.

4. According to the current Indiana Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP) 2011-2015 Allen
   County is included on its list of 12 “critical counties”. The plan defines a critical county as one that
   does not have the recommended State Level of Service (LOS) total supply of outdoor recreation
   acres of 55 acres per 1,000 population or greater and has a population growth rate higher than the
   2000 to 2010 Indiana statewide population growth rate of 6.63%. Also, according to the Indiana
   SCORP, out of 92 counties total in the State, 71%, or 66 of them, are deficient in public outdoor
   recreation acres. Using the 2010 U.S. Census population numbers, the Indiana SCORP showed a
   shortfall of 2,284.46 acres from the 7,106.58 acres of local and regional public recreation areas
   recommended for Allen County. As the population continues to increase, the county will fall further
   behind the recommended outdoor recreation supply acreage unless additional acreage is acquired
   to residents.

5. Given that 85.7% of workers drive alone to work, the reliance upon the automobile for primary
   transportation continues, although a nationwide trend for walkable communities is coming more to
   the forefront in Allen County. As such, provisions for vehicle parking remains a priority, but
   connectivity within the community via pedestrian and bicycle corridors is a priority.

6. Using the approximated statistic of 13.7% of workers on third shift, this may be a segment of the
   community currently under-serviced by the parks. This factor should be considered a component of
   future community surveys.




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Accessibility and Universal Design
The Park Board and staff are committed to providing recreational opportunities to persons of all
abilities. Recognizing that there is always room for improvement, the Allen County Parks and Recreation
Department staff performed a self-evaluation and provided commentary. The following self-evaluation
is designed to determine what is and is not accessible within each park and facilities within the parks. A
more thoroughly documented assessment is planned for 2013. Items noted as deficiencies are added to
the Action Plan and Capital Improvement Program.

ACCESSIBILITY SELF-EVALUATION AND COMMENTARY
Fox Island County Park
Fox Island is a 605 acre park located in southwest Allen County. Within this park, 270 acres are
dedicated as State Nature Preserve, which protects areas having unique plants, animals or geographic
features. Hundreds of species of animals and plants live at Fox Island because of the relatively natural
condition of most of the area which includes habitats of marsh, seasonal ponds, wooded sand dunes,
wetland forest, old fields and restored prairie. The park contains the largest contiguous forest in the
county and a glacial sand dune. Seven miles of marked trails through the preserve enable visitors to
enjoy the beauty and splendor of the park. The park also contains a Nature Center, three open picnic
shelters, a Bird Observation Building, lake, swimming beach, restrooms, picnic tables and grills.

Accessibility upgrades include renovations to the Nature Center along with a paved route to the Center
and accessible parking. Restrooms were retrofitted and correct signage was installed. Also recently
completed are an accessible paved pathway from the lake parking lot to the lake area and two of the
open shelters, along with construction of an accessible restroom and playground. Accessible picnic
tables and grills are provided at each of the shelters. A ramp to the lake provides access to the water.
Marked accessible parking spaces were also included in this work.

The Bird Observation Building entry is accessible but the restrooms are not at this time. There is
insufficient area to make both restrooms accessible. Plans are to renovate the two smaller restrooms
into one unisex accessible restroom, as budget allows.

The third open shelter located near the Geo Garden area is accessible by way of a stone pathway, but
lacks an accessible path to the shelter itself. The ground adjacent to the shelter is firm and stable but
should be replaced with an accessible path to the shelter floor.

All parking lots are chip and seal and therefore difficult to maintain striping, but are maintained as often
as possible and have signs designating accessible parking places. Proper signage to trails is not available
for users at this time.

Most of the trails are in their natural state but are firm and stable except during the wetter seasons. The
Upper Dune trail is only accessible by means of the Lower Dune trail. The trails are marked but do not
properly identify how challenging each of them can be. Some trails have wooden boardwalks to pass
over areas that are wet most of the year. Most of these boardwalks will require modifications or
replacement to make them fully accessible. Trail maps do not provide the necessary information for a
trail user to determine the challenge level.



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Accessibility and Universal Design
A recently constructed fishing pier was constructed as an Eagle Scout project and was built to be
accessible.

Metea County Park
Metea County Park is a 250 acre park in northcentral Allen County near Leo Cedarville, containing the
120 acre Meno-aki State Nature Preserve. The north and south areas of the park are separated by Cedar
Creek, a state designated scenic river.

There are five miles of marked trails through the park and preserve. As at other county parks, most trails
are in their natural state but are firm and stable. Trails are marked but do not properly identify
challenges that may lie ahead. Boardwalks on some trails have been modified for accessibility but many
require additional work and modifications or replacements. Ramps to many are non-existent, offering
only steps. Trail maps do not provide the necessary information to determine challenge levels for each
route.

The park also contains a Nature Center, two open shelters, a pond, prairie, picnic tables and grills, and
two parking areas.

The Nature Center with its classrooms, conference room, and restrooms is fully accessible. The Center
does have a lower level with a classroom. Budget constraints at the time of construction did not allow
for the inclusion of an elevator although an area was constructed so that in the future one could be
added. Access to the lower level is made by way of an accessible service drive to a small parking area.
Signage within the building is non-existent and will need to be added.

The two open shelters are accessible only by travel across grass. Accessible pathways to the shelters are
needed. Accessible picnic tables are provided once in the shelter.

The access route to the pond requires modification to be accessible. If a user has made it to the pond
there is however a ramp to the water.

Both parking areas are chip and sealed. The Nature Center has the required signage and number of
spaces. Continual maintenance of striping and symbols is required. The remaining parking area requires
proper signage and striping. Renovations to the two lots are scheduled for early 2013. Markings and
signage will be installed at that time.

Payton County Park
Payton County Park is a 40 acre park consisting of old field, forest and wetland areas. The park also
contains an open picnic shelter, pit toilets, picnic tables, a parking area and two miles of trails.

The shelter is not accessible except by means of travel across grass. An accessible pathway is required.
The shelter is in disrepair and its future is uncertain at this time. If the decision is made to repair the
facility, an accessible route will be provided.

The pit toilets are not accessible and have no accessible route to them.




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Accessibility and Universal Design
The parking area is constructed of compacted gravel and has no striping or signage.

The trails are in their natural state and no signage at all exists. There are currently no maps available for
this park.

Cooks Land County Park
Cook’s Landing County Park is a small park located in northern Allen County along the Cedar Creek.
Consisting of only 4 acres this is the smallest park in the system. The park consists of a small parking
area, an open shelter, picnic tables and a grill. No trails exist within this park.

The shelter contains accessible picnic tables but lacks a designated accessible route from the parking
area to the shelter.

Access to areas of the park, including access to the creek edge is across flat grassy areas. No signage
exists in this park.

The small parking area consists of gravel and is not striped or signed.

Programs
Programs are available to people of all abilities although we do ask that we be made aware of any needs
by participants ahead of the scheduled event. Accommodations for any needs are made upon request.
The small staff size of the department requires that outside sources be contracted. A more consistent
method of providing this information should be planned and implemented.

Staff should be better training in providing the right materials and programming. Materials are not
available at this time in braille or recorded version.

Printed materials and website
Brochures, newsletters, maps, and announcements are not available in any form other than printed
copies. No large print versions, braille, or recorded versions are available at this time. Efforts should be
made to correct this situation. Most of the department brochures and maps are in need of updates. The
department is currently investigating the possibility of self-guided hikes and tours available for most cell
phones that may have an application in this instance as well.

The current website should be upgraded to meet all accessibility standards. At this time the website is
currently managed with in house staff (limited in knowledge and abilities). These staff people should be
trained accordingly. The department is currently planning on a total re-vamping of the website in 2013
including making the site mobile phone compatible. Necessary changes can be made at this time.

ACCESSIBILITY NOTICE
All media notices, press releases, printed materials, and newsletters are to include the following
statement with regards to accessibility: “In accordance with the requirements of Title II of the Americans
with Disabilities Act of 1990 Allen County will not discriminate against qualified individuals with
disabilities on the basis of disability in its services, programs, or activities. Complaints that a program,




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Accessibility and Universal Design
service, or activity of Allen County is not accessible to persons with disabilities should be directed to
Vanessa Miller, ADA Coordinator, Suite 380, Citizen’s Square,200 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana
46835, (260) 449-7217.”

ACCESSIBILITY GRIEVANCE PROCEDURES
Allen County Parks and Recreation Department follows the Allen County, Indiana Grievance Procedure
under The Americans with Disabilities Act.

Allen County has adopted a grievance procedure providing for prompt and equitable resolution of
complaints alleging any action prohibited by the U. S. Department of Justice regulations implementing
Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Title II states, in part, that “no otherwise qualified disabled
individual shall, solely by reason of such disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied
benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination in programs or activities sponsored by a public entity.”

Complaints should be addressed to the ADA Coordinator, Vanessa Miller, Suite 380, Citizen’s Square,
200 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802, who is the designated ADA Coordinator for Allen County
Government.

Filing Procedures:
     1. A complaint should be submitted by the grievant and/or his/her designee as soon as possible in
         writing and contain the name, address, phone number of the person filing the complaint and
         the location, date, and description of the alleged violation of the regulations. Alternative means
         of filing complaints, such as a personal interview or a tape recording of the complaint, will be
         made available for persons with disabilities upon request.
    2. An investigation, as may be appropriate, shall follow a filing of complaint. The investigation shall
       be conducted by the ADA Coordinator. These rules contemplate informal but thorough
       investigations, affording all interested persons or their representatives, if any, an opportunity to
       submit evidence relevant to a complaint.
    3. A written determination as to the validity of the complaint and a description of the resolution, if
       any, shall be issued by the ADA Coordinator and a copy forwarded to the complainant no later
       than twenty (20) work days after its filing and in a format accessible to the complainant.
    4. The ADA Coordinator shall maintain the files and records of Allen County relating to the
       complaints filed for a period of three (3) years.
    5. The complainant can request a reconsideration of the case in instances where he or she is
       dissatisfied with the resolution. The request for reconsideration should be made within five (5)
       work days to the Allen County Human Resources Director, Janette Jacquay, at Allen County
       Human Resources, Ste 380, Citizen’s Square, 200 E. Berry Street, Fort Wayne, Indiana 46802.
    6. The right of a person to a prompt and equitable resolution of the complaint filed hereunder shall
       not be impaired by the person’s pursuit of other remedies such as the filing of an ADA complaint




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Accessibility and Universal Design
        with the responsible federal department or agency. Use of this grievance is not a prerequisite to
        the pursuit of other remedies.
    7. These rules shall be construed to protect the substantive rights of interested persons to meet
       appropriate due process standards and to assure that Allen County complies with the ADA and
       implementing regulations.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                          Page 40
Public Participation
The Allen County Parks and Recreation Department is committed to receiving public input from the
community and participants concerning our programs and services. Staff reviews the input and adjusts
our programming and facilities based on these comments and within our mission statement.

The Department receives input by the following methods:

DIRECT PUBLIC INPUT
       In 2008 and 2009 the Superintendent held eight “Superintendent Night In” meetings and
        invited, by email and written invitation as well as press releases, the general public and various
        groups to attend for an informal question, answer and comment type meetings. Four were held
        each year, alternating between Fox Island and Metea County Parks to include the most people
        geographically. Initially the turnout was fair with twenty to thirty people attending the first two
        meetings. After that the attendance dropped to less than five, including staff, at each meeting.
        Most attendees were there to hear what we might have planned and we had very few
        complaints or suggestions. High on the complaint list were the entry fees charged (not so much
        the cost of the fee but the fact that we charged at all) and not allowing dogs on leashes in the
        Nature Preserve portions at Fox Island and Metea County Parks. Suggestions ranged from more
        volunteer programs to repair of neglected park facilities (specifically the lake shelters at Fox
        Island). At the end of the scheduled meetings in 2009 it was determined that time would be best
        served “going out” to meet with the public would possibly be a better method.
       In each of the last five years the Superintendent and staff have attended the Commissioners
        Night Out gatherings held by the Allen County Commissioners Office at various geographic
        locations around Allen County. Most generally held in the smaller communities of the county
        these have evolved into a great method for getting out and meeting citizens and groups that
        generally might not even know about the County Park system. A minimum of four of these
        meetings occur each year, many times six will be held. Initially the meetings were more a forum
        for the Commissioners to tell the public what they had done with a question and answer
        segment at the end of the meeting. The format changed in mid-2009 to an open house format
        was adopted based on input from the public and department heads attending. This new format
        has proved quite successful and has been well received by the attendees as they can comment
        and ask questions of any department head as well as gather information from all in attendance.

       The Superintendent and staff attend neighborhood and community associations on a regular
        basis when invited to do so. An average of twelve meetings each year have been attended. In
        addition the Superintendent regularly attends meetings of the four Fort Wayne Area
        Partnerships and the Allen County Neighborhood Associations. These organizations hold
        meetings once a month and include all the smaller neighborhood associations. These meetings
        have proven to be an effective way to gather input and invitations to individual association
        meetings.
       Both of our volunteer supporting agencies, the Fox Island Alliance and Friends of Metea meet
        either monthly or bi-monthly and staff attend these meetings on a regular basis.



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Public Participation
FEEDBACK SURVEYS
In each of last five years the department has made an effort to collect feedback from our current users.
We feel having this input and making sure we keep our current users happy is one of the best tools we
have for creating new users. These feedback surveys are grouped as follows:
     Programs
     General Park Users
     Rentals

PROGRAM SURVEYS
In any given year the department offers over 200 programs to the general public. Each participant is
asked to fill out a participation survey consisting of nine general questions. Education and Administrative
staff review these to determine where improvements and changes need to be made.
    1. Name and date of the program
    2. Were you satisfied with the program?
    3. How did you learn about the program?
    4. Was the time and location of the program convenient?
    5. What other programs would you like to see offered?
    6. Zip code?
    7. Participants sex
    8. Age (optional)
    9. If a fee was associated with the program was it appropriate?
2008 - 432 surveys were returned representing about 25% of the total participants.
   #2 – 76% of those responding were satisfied with the program
   #3 – Newsletter 35%, email contact 22%, website 15%, word of mouth 14%, Media 8%, Other 5%
   #4 – Yes 85% No 15%
   #5 – Home school programs, hiking and backpacking, survival skills, art
   #6 – Depending on the location of the program most users came from within the 6 zip code areas
   around the two major parks
   #7 – Female 36%, Male 28% Did not fill out 16%
   #8 – 35% 18-30 yr olds, 39% 31-50 yr olds, 12% over 50
   #9 – 72% yes, 18% no 10% did not respond
2009 - 620 surveys
   #2 – 83% of those responding were satisfied with the program
   #3 – Newsletter 42%, email contact 15%, website 20%, word of mouth 20%, Media 10%, Other 13%
   #4 – Yes 88% No 12%
   #5 – Nature art, hiking, survival skills, birding, photography
   #6 – Again most users came from within the 6 zip code areas around the two major parks.
   #7 – Female 42%, Male 23% Did not fill out 35%
   #8 – 38% 18-30 yr olds, 39% 31-50 yr olds, 10% over 50
   #9 – 78% yes, 18% no 4% did not respond



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Public Participation
2010 – 537 surveys
   #2 – 81% of those responding were satisfied with the program
   #3 – Newsletter 28%, email contact 26%, website 25%, word of mouth 14%, Media 2%, Other 5%
   #4 – Yes 84% No 16%
   #5 – Day camps, fishing, camping, home school
   #6 – This year the program users came from almost all areas of the county with the exception of the
   rural areas.
   #7 – Female 42%, Male 25%, remainder did not fill out
   #8 – 35% 18-30 yr olds, 41% 31-50 yr olds, 12% over 50
   #9 – 86% yes, 9% no
2011 – 389 surveys
   #2 – 92% of those responding were satisfied with the program
   #3 – Newsletter 32%, email contact 21%, website 18%, word of mouth 20%, Media 5%, Other 4%
   #4 – Yes 89% No 10%
   #5 – Home school programs, hiking, astronomy
   #6 – 36% came from inside City of Fort Wayne, 44% outside, 12% outside of county
   #7 – Female 36%, Male 28% Did not fill out 16%
   #8 – 36% 18-30 yr olds, 39% 31-50 yr olds, 18% over 50
   #9 – 80% yes, 18% no

GENERAL PARK USER SURVEYS
Surveys were randomly distributed at the gate houses at both major parks. Users were asked six
questions. Staff and maintenance review these for areas of improvements.
    1. Park name
    2. How many times have you visited Allen County Parks in the last year? 1-5, 6-15, 15+
    3. Cleanliness of the park grounds? Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent
    4. Cleanliness of park facilities? Poor, Fair, Good, Excellent
    5. What activities did you participate in? Hiking, Swimming, Program, Photography, Bird Watching,
        Other
    6. Would you recommend our parks to others? Yes, No, Possibly
2008 – 418 surveys
   1. 72% Fox Island, 28% Metea
   2. 38%, 46%, 16%
   3. 76% Good/Excellent, 18% Fair, 6% Poor
   4. 85% Good/Excellent, 10% Fair, 5% Poor
   5. 27% Hiking, 45% Swimming, 23% Program, 2% Birding, 1% Photography, 2% Other
   6. 78% Yes, 12% No, 10% Possible
2009 – 527 surveys
   1. 76% Fox Island, 24% Metea
   2. 37%, 48%, 15%



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Public Participation
    3.   81% Good/Excellent, 18% Fair, 1% Poor
    4.   86% Good/Excellent, 13% Fair, 1% Poor
    5.   35% Hiking, 42% Swimming, 12% Program, 8% Birding, 1% Photography, 2% Other
    6.   78% Yes, 12% No, 10% Possible
2010 – 556 surveys
   1. 73% Fox Island, 27% Metea
   2. 42%, 47%, 11%
   3. 86% Good/Excellent, 10% Fair, 4% Poor
   4. 88% Good/Excellent, 10% Fair, 2% Poor
   5. 35% Hiking, 45% Swimming, 12% Program, 5% Birding, 0% Photography, 3% Other
   6. 92% Yes, 4% No, 4% Possible
2011 – 618 surveys
   1. 82% Fox Island, 18% Metea
   2. 32%, 46%, 22%
   3. 89% Good/Excellent, 11% Fair, 0% Poor
   4. 86% Good/Excellent, 12% Fair, 2% Poor
   5. 30% Hiking, 45% Swimming, 10% Program, 8% Birding, 2% Photography, 5% Other
   6. 92% Yes, 4% No, 4% Possible

RENTAL SURVEYS
The Nature Centers at Fox Island and Metea County Parks are both available for rentals for special
events, weddings, seminars, retreats etc. Renters are asked five questions about their experience with
their rental event. Results are reviewed by rental coordinator and maintenance staff to determine
where improvements are needed.
    1. Cleanliness of Facility? Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
    2. Rental Host (attentiveness, helpful)? Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
    3. Reasonableness of fees? Excellent, Good, Fair, Poor
    4. Setup correct? Yes or No
    5. Would you recommend our facilities? Yes or No
2008 – 140 surveys
   1. 35%, 60%, 3%, 2%
   2. 45%, 40%, 8%, 7%
   3. 55%, 42%, 3%, 0%
   4. 88%, 12%
   5. 95%, 5%
2009 – 120 surveys
   1. 40%, 52%, 6%, 2%
   2. 44%, 45%, 10%, 1%
   3. 54%, 41%, 5%, 0%




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Public Participation
    4. 92%, 8%
    5. 93%, 7%
2010 – 126 surveys
   1. 45%, 38%, 14%, 3%
   2. 42%, 53%, 5%, 0%
   3. 45%, 46%, 8%, 0%
   4. 92%, 8%
   5. 96%, 4%
2011 – 132 surveys
   1. 48%, 45%, 6%, 1%
   2. 51%, 49%, 0%, 0%
   3. 42%, 52%, 6%, 0%
   4. 92%, 8%
   5. 97%, 3%

MAILED SURVEYS
The Allen County Parks and Recreation Department does not have a large budget for mailings and
surveys of this sort, nor can expensive consulting firms be hired to determine questions and analysis of
the results. However in 2009 the department did attempt to solicit input in this way on a limited basis.
4000 questionnaires were mailed out to property owners in Allen County. 1000 in each of the four
quadrants of the County (NW, NE, SW, SE). Property tax rolls were used to randomly pick addresses.
Only 560 of these were returned to the department or 14% of those mailed. Note: This could be due to
the fact that no return postage was included in the mailing.
The following questions were asked, some were optional, results are as follows:
    1. Do you currently reside in Allen County – Yes 94%, No 6%
    2. Have you visited our website? - Yes 28%, No 72%
    3. What is your age? - 18-24 8%, 24-40 37%, 40-65 42%, 65+ 13%
    4. Male or Female? - 39%, 57%
    5. How often have you visited any of Allen County Parks in the past year? - None 35%, 1-10 38%,
       10-20 20%, over 20 7%
    6. If you did not visit our parks what was the reason? - Unaware the parks existed 78% of those
       not visiting, lack of time 15%, location of parks 5%, Other 2%
    7. If you visited our parks what did you typically do when at the parks? - Hiking 27%, Swimming
       22%, Programs 15%, Other 22%
    8. How would you rate our parks if you have visited them? - Of those who had visited 82% ranked
       them Good/Excellent and 14% ranked them Fair/Poor




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Public Participation
    9. Do you feel the $2/person entry fee is a responsible way to generate operating fees for the
       department? - Yes 32%, No 37%, Not sure 31%
    10. If you participated in any of our programs were the fees reasonable? - 38% Yes, 15% No (the
        remainder did not respond)
    11. If you were to rank what the priorities of the Allen County Park Department should be, what
        would they be? - Care and maintenance of existing park facilities and land 67%, Acquisition of
        additional park land 12%, Construction of additional facilities (shelters, lakes, playgrounds,
        nature centers) 8%, Additional staffing 4%, Other 9%
Analysis of Results:
    1. The first question’s answer should have been worded differently as the target audience were
       property owners.
    2. 72% of those responding had never visited our website! This is an area we have worked on
       consistently since this survey and now receive many more hits than we have in the past. A new
       and improved website, with mobile phone compatibility is planned for 2013.
    3. Those responding fit in the 24 – 65 year old bracket which you would presume since these were
       sent to property owners.
    4. More women than men returned the surveys.
    5. Again we need to get these numbers higher.
    6. The fact that 78% of those that did not visit our parks once in the past year based it on the fact
       that they were unaware that the parks and department existed is very telling. Staff decided
       based on this result to do a better job at marketing our department and its benefits by visiting
       local neighborhood associations, local organizations etc.
    7. Generally confirmed what we believed was true.
    8. Even though we had a high percentage of Excellent and Good rankings, improvements could be
       made.
    9. Fairly even across the board on the entry fee.
    10. It appears that are fees are reasonable to most that responded to the question.
    11. This is a good indicator that just as people do in their own lives during economic downturns they
        believe that the department should first and foremost maintain what we already have before
        we try and do more.
    Overall, as previously stated this was not a scientific survey at all, but was merely away to attempt
    to receive input. In the future the department will attempt to use more social media surveys to
    gather input since statistics show that more people are willing to respond to a survey electronically.
    Our attempts at this in the past year have not yielded good results though.




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Public Participation
FIVE-YEAR PARKS AND RECREATION MASTER PLAN PUBLIC INPUT MEETING
On October 9, 2012, the Allen County Parks and Recreation Department held a public input meeting at
the Metea County Park Nature Center. The purpose of the meeting was to solicit input from the public
regarding park facilities and programs.

Jeff Baxter, Parks Superintendent, gave a brief introduction to start the meeting. Stacy Haviland,
Landscape Architect at Earth Source, Inc. explained the purpose of the master plan followed by a listing
of current park facilities, programs, and accomplishments from the expiring five-year plan provided by
Jeff. Stacy then led the discussion and asked for public comment regarding the strengths and
weaknesses of the park system, and new facilities and programs desired. Tom Farny, Grinsfelder
Associate Architects, recorded the comments on poster-sized paper which were displayed on the walls.
The public then prioritized the list of wants and needs by adhering stickers (10 stickers were provided to
each participant) to those items most desired.

15 people attended in total. Seven accounted for true ‘public’ input. See Appendix for sign-in sheet,
public notice advertising the meeting, and a list of contacts that were directly invited.

Following is the prioritized list of items from the public input meeting (the number in parenthesis is the
number of stickers associated with each item):

Strengths
    1. Dedicated personnel and staff
    2. Facilities (buildings) are fantastic
    3. Fox Island is popular
    4. Lots of green space
    5. Broad variety of programming
    6. Natural surface for trails
    7. Skiing equipment/good rentals
    8. Rentals bring the community into the parks and bring in revenue
    9. Overall community involvement
    10. Focus on preservation and conservation
    11. Clearing of invasive plants to maintain natural areas
    12. Accomplishments without outside groups
    13. Volunteer participation
    14. Creative problem solving and good flow of communication to find solutions (within staff)
    15. Work with good landscape architects
    16. Mini-triathlon event held at Fox Island
Weaknesses
  1. Lack of trail markers and signage within the parks
  2. Dogs are not allowed in nature preserve areas at the parks
  3. Signage at entry is not welcoming; emphasis on “don’ts”
  4. Cash or check only for payment; no credit cards



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Public Participation
    5.    Lack of quality internet service
    6.    Computer downtime (from staff perspective)
    7.    Lack of advertising that reaches out
    8.    Natural trails are nice, but accessibility is limited
    9.    Parks are under promoted
    10.   Not bike accessible from trails
    11.   Debris along sides of trails
    12.   Not enough staff
    13.   Not enough money/budget
    14.   Image confusion (county parks confused with city parks)
    15.   Park entry fee
New (or upgraded) Facilities Needed
   1. Allow dogs in park, including nature preserve areas (16)
   2. Bird rehab and educational center at Metea (10)
   3. Upgraded cross country ski equipment (6)
   4. Large fenced areas for pets and owner; full access would be better (4)
   5. Additional properties southwest and northeast (not swamp) (4)
   6. Need to clean debris on side of trails (3)
   7. Develop campground for primitive overnight camping (3)
   8. Separate rental and educational spaces at Fox Island (2)
   9. Boardwalk and observation decks (2)
   10. Paved/accessible trails (2)
   11. Ropes course (2)
   12. Beach at Fox Island needs improvements to accessibility ramp (1)
   13. Observation area at north Metea (1)
   14. Enclosed building at Payton as community grows and park is upgraded (1)
   15. Improvement to parking areas at north Metea and Payton (1)
   16. Additional parking at Metea and Fox Island (1)
   17. Improve restrooms at Payton and Cooks Landing (1)
   18. Access across creek at Metea (1)
   19. Bike trails to parks (1)
   20. Repair highway barn at Fox Island (1)
   21. New use for hill at Fox Island now that Observatory has been removed (1)
   22. Update technology (computer networking for staff use) (1)
   23. New accessible playground at Metea and Payton and expand playground at Fox Island
   24. More storage space at Fox Island
   25. Additional water access facilities
New Programs Needed
   1. Snow shoe rental option (10)
   2. More bird programs (5)




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Public Participation
    3.    Canoeing and backpacking (4)
    4.    Conference and seminar (to use rental spaces) (2)
    5.    Survival/ropes programs (2)
    6.    Challenge programs (2)
    7.    School/teacher-aid programs (2)
    8.    Off-site programs (2)
    9.    More volunteer programs (1)
    10.   Cycling (1)
    11.   Boy Scout and Girl Scout badge programs (1)
    12.   Frisbee golf (1)
    13.   Weekend hikes (1)
    14.   Hispanic (language) programs (1)
    15.   Bus/transportation (1)
    16.   Rocket program
    17.   Kite flying
    18.   Fishing in creek
    19.   Senior programs
Miscellaneous
   1. Advertising/marketing (14)
   2. Additional budget (5)
   3. Additional staff (4)
   4. Ability to use credit cards (4)
   5. Continue clearing invasive plants from nature preserve areas (4)
   6. Do away with park entry fee to get more people to use parks (2)
   7. More events such as the mini-triathlon (1)
   8. Collaboration needed among all park systems

CONCLUSIONS
In considering results from all methods of public input, the following common themes have been
identified:
     Popular park uses are swimming, hiking, programs, and birding.
     Additional programs desired include hiking, backpacking, survival skills, and birding.
     Maintenance of existing facilities, including accessibility upgrades rank high on the desired lists.
     The need for advertising/marketing ranks high. This is supported by the results of the mailed
         survey which indicate 78% of the respondents were unaware that the parks even exist.
     Entry fees are mentioned several times throughout the various methods of public input. It is
         ranked high on the complaint list of park users, however the results of the mailed survey show
         the respondents evenly split between the use of a $2 entry fee as a reasonable way to generate
         operating fees. Technology to allow credit/debit card payment is also noted.
         Allowing dogs in parks, whether on leashes or in a fenced area, is noted several times.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 49
Needs Analysis
METHOD
This plan is being prepared in conjunction with the City of Fort Wayne Parks and Recreation Department
as well as the City of New Haven Parks and Recreation Department. As such, some overlapping
information is expected and desired. The use of the Issue Analysis method of Needs Analysis is well
suited to this process and has been utilized. This method allows the information collected from the
public participation as well as staff from all departments to be used to identify and resolve needs,
problems and conflicts. This analysis was employed to compile results from each method of public input
as well as input from board and staff. Common themes, some of which overlap, were identified and
condensed into the actual issues facing each park system. These issues were then placed in a priority
order based upon financial and other constraints, then turned into a coherent priority and action plan.

PUBLIC INPUT ISSUES
The following is a short list of items that either ranked very high in one of the public input methods
and/or is reoccurring in many of the public input methods:
     Park/facility maintenance
     Advertising/marketing
     Entry fees
     Dogs in parks
     Additional programs
            o Hiking
            o Backpacking
            o Survival skills
            o Birding
            o Snow shoe rental
            o Canoeing
            o Ropes course
     Bird rehab and educational center at Metea park
     Upgraded cross country ski equipment
     Additional properties southwest and northeast
     Campground for primitive overnight camping

BOARD AND STAFF ISSUES
Using previous master plans and initial public input, the Park Board and staff have compiled an extensive
list of needs which are included in their capital improvement program. Following is a condensed list of
these items:
      Invasive plant removal/reduction (honeysuckle)
      Accessibility upgrades
             o Trail signage
             o Some trail paving
             o Restroom remodel




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 50
Needs Analysis
            o Boardwalk updates
            o Playground equipment
            o Ramp and platform for pond and wetland observation
       Purchase equipment
       Interpretive signage
       Directional signage (including signage visible from Interstate-69)
       Pedestrian bridge connection over Cedar Creek to link South and North Metea park parcels
       Maintenance and upgrades to nature centers, maintenance barn, and pavilions
       Picnic tables and benches at all parks
       Need for more funding


STATE STANDARDS
The Indiana Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan 2011-2015 (SCORP) provides a look at the supply of
outdoor recreation acreage in Indiana, thereby providing another measurement of assessing outdoor
recreation needs. The SCORP uses a Level of Service (LOS) measurement which is actually a process of
strategic planning that takes into account the unique aspects of individual communities and measures
demand for recreation opportunities, current park and recreation resources, and the needs and
preferences of community residents. Using these standards, the SCORP recommends that each county
provide 55 acres of park and recreation areas per 1,000 people (55 acres/1000). According to these
standards, 20 acres/1,000 should consist of public local recreation acres owned by municipalities,
townships, counties, or private organizations that allow public access. The remaining 35 acres/1,000
should be public regional recreation areas, such as parkland owned by the State or Federal government.

Currently, the total amount of publically accessible land provided to Allen County residents by
municipal, township, and county governments, and land privately owned but open for public use is
4,822.12 acres, or 13.6 acres/1,000. When parkland owned by either state or federal governments for
public recreational use is included, the total edges up only slightly to 4,867.62 acres, or 13.7
acres/1,000, a modest increase to be sure. This represents a significant shortfall based upon the total
recommended county standard of 55 acres/1,000 specified in the SCORP. It is interesting to note that,
according to the SCORP, out of 92 counties in the State, 66 of them (71%) are deficient in public outdoor
recreation acres.

As a result of the above significant deficiencies, the SCORP identified Allen County as a “critical county”.
Critical counties are defined as:
     1. A county that does not have the recommended supply of outdoor recreation acres of 55 acres
          per 1,000 population or greater.
     2. A population growth rate higher than the 2000 to 2010 Indiana statewide population growth
          rate of 6.63% (data obtained from the 2010 U.S. Census).




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                              Page 51
Needs Analysis
IDENTIFIED NEEDS
Parks and recreation programs are essential to the quality of the community. The Allen County Parks
and Recreation Department services cannot alone combat the challenges of modern society, but can
contribute significantly. The holistic approach to the provision of services is ultimately the most
effective and efficient course of action. This includes an awareness of the financial, organizational and
volunteer resources that may be linked by core beliefs, and complimentary to your own goals.

Park property is the exclusive responsibility of the Parks and Recreation Department. Without question,
real estate ownership imposes a primary priority for the department of stewardship excellence, not only
for those who enjoy the parks today, but for future generations as well.

Outdoor educational programming and related services is also a legitimate expectation of the
department, but not exclusive. The department may find its primary role to be that of facilitating
another provider in some instances.

At other times the department may be the only provider, or will partner with others to strengthen the
service. It is important for the department to continue seeking out strategic alliances, and forge strong
connections with others who are driven by the common desire to serve the citizens of Allen County.
Any combination of energy is always a prudent requisite to any initiative.

There are no simple, single answers to the questions, nor should there be.

The Board recognizes that it has the responsibility to provide a specific natural resource and outdoor
recreation niche for the residents of Allen County to the best of their financial capability. In view of the
many difficulties inherent in providing public services, the development of a clear, coordinated and
purposeful plan is essential to achieve that mission.

The changing behavioral patterns, family and social structures, economics and demographics within the
population of the county and incorporated cities and towns must all be carefully analyzed to identify the
strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

In looking at the amount of land recommended for park land, the Indiana Statewide Outdoor Recreation
Plan 2011-2015 (SCORP) level of service standards call for 55 acres/1000 residents. According to 2010
Census information, Allen County has a population of 355,329. Based on the SCORP standards, Allen
County should have 19,543 acres of outdoor recreation land (355.329 x 55 acres = 19,543 acres). With
an existing acreage of outdoor reaction land of 4,867.62 acres, Allen County has a deficit of 14,675 acres
(19,543 required acres – 4,867.62 existing acres = 14,675.38 acres deficit).

Allen County needs to add 14,675 acres of outdoor recreational land to meet state standards.

This information, along with the results of the recent public input participation from support groups and
public planning input at Board meetings, aid in the assessment of the county’s needs and demand for
facilities and opportunities.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                               Page 52
Needs Analysis
Summary of identified needs:
    Additional park land (total of 14,675 acres throughout the county – responsibility to be shared
      with other park departments within the county)
    Continued accessibility upgrades
    Ongoing maintenance and facility upkeep, include invasive species removal
    Advertising/marketing
    Additional programs
          o Hiking
          o Backpacking
          o Survival skills
          o Birding
          o Snow shoe rental
          o Canoeing
          o Ropes course
    Interpretive and directional signage
    Trail improvements
    Campground for primitive overnight camping
    Dog park
    Look at entry fees (keep, lower, raise, accept credit/debit cards?)




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                        Page 53
New Facilities Location Map
Allen County New Facilities Location Map
The following map indicates potential areas for additional park land and new facilities.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                    Page 54
Priorities and Action Plan
STATE IDENTIFIED PRIORITIES
The Indiana Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan 2011-2015 (SCORP) identifies goals and objectives
recommended to guide decision making in parks and recreation and natural resource management for
the next five years. Although these are based upon statewide survey information and data assessment,
they are relevant to every Indiana community. These goals are presented in random order, not in order
of importance.

    1. Develop more trails and bicycle/pedestrian facilities.
           a. Whenever possible, acquire rights-of-way and railroad corridors for future trail
               development from willing sellers.
           b. Utilize trails and bike/pedestrian facilities ad means to connect and improve existing and
               future outdoor recreation facilities.
           c. Integrate bike/pedestrian facilities into long-term planning of community infrastructure
               design and construction whenever possible.
           d. Encourage development of trail facilities of all kinds for bike/pedestrian use; urban,
               rural, long-distance, commuter, recreational, exercise/wellness, etc.
           e. Require accessible, sustainable design and surfacing for trail development.
    2. Protect and enhance Indiana’s natural and outdoor recreation resources.
           a. Protect Indiana’s natural heritage by identifying and preserving significant natural areas,
               including wildlife/fish habitats for endangered, rare, threatened, or species of special
               concern.
           b. Protect Indiana’s outdoor recreation potential by identifying and preserving areas with
               existing or potential outdoor recreation opportunities or access.
           c. Provide for education of the citizens of Indiana in environmental stewardship and wise
               use of Indiana’s natural resources.
           d. Consider the improvements possible in water and air quality, brownfields, tourism and
               commerce created by enhancing outdoor recreation.
           e. Use “green” or sustainable designs, materials and energy sources in facility
               development, such as: recycled materials, alternative/renewable energy sources (solar
               active and passive, wind, hydroelectric), and Leadership in Energy and Environmental
               Design (LEED) building certifications/very energy efficient designs.
           f. Consider the 2011 SCORP Participation Study top five “favorite” outdoor recreation
               activities when considering parks and recreation user preferences: Walking, Hiking,
               Jogging, Running, Camping, Picnicking, Fishing, Swimming.
    3. Encourage and promote outdoor recreation participation.
           a. Use outdoor recreation as a tool to fight the growing obesity epidemic by offering
               locations to participate in many kinds of healthy exercise and facilitating lifestyle
               changes encouraging healthy living.
           b. Encourage continued acquisition and development of new outdoor recreation facilities,
               especially in areas of expanding population growth or high user demand.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                          Page 55
Priorities and Action Plan
           c. Encourage acquisition and development of more outdoor recreation facilities that meet
               local needs close-to-home, preferably within walking or biking distance of residential
               areas, schools, retail areas, etc.
           d. Provide for outdoor recreation opportunities for all user demographics, including all
               ages, abilities and skill levels.
    4. Provide funding for outdoor recreation development at the state and local level.
           a. Explore alternative funding methods such as public/private partnerships, tax increment
               financing (TIF), cooperative agreements, cost sharing, corporate sponsorships, etc.
           b. Continue to administer state-level grant programs such as Land and Water Conservation
               Fund (LWCFD) grants, Wabash River Heritage Corridor Fund grants and Indiana Shooting
               Range grants.
           c. Emphasize parks and recreation facilities that are cost-efficient and financially self-
               supporting while promoting financially affordable access to the greatest number of
               users possible.
           d. Consider the benefits of parks and recreation toward community economic
               development, tourism, job growth, urban and rural revitalization, reduction of health
               care costs and improving quality of life.
           e. Use existing financial resources as efficiently and effectively as possible; consider
               strategies such as privatization of services, maintenance or construction, and other
               means to control the costs of operations and maintenance.
    5. Continue emphasis on Indiana’s aquatic resources, both natural and man-made.
           a. Preserve and protect wetlands and riparian corridors when and wherever possible
               through acquisition, education, funding, and development of new areas.
           b. Encourage actions that improve the quality of Indiana’s waters as well as user access to
               aquatic recreation resources.
           c. Provide or enhance access to man-made aquatic resources whenever possible, such as
               splashpads, pools, water features, wetlands, ponds, lakes, access/launch sites, etc.


POTENTIAL FUNDING
Certainly the recent severe recession and current slow economic recovery has had a deleterious affect
on many, if not all park and recreation departments. Fortunately there are many innovative and
successful example s of financing for most all aspects of parks and recreation.

The list below, as listed in the SCORP, offers a few ideas and options for financing or funding of parks
and recreation, or for saving money that can be utilized elsewhere.

Municipal General Funds and Revolving Funds
This is the most common taxpayer-funded budget source for many departments. Revolving funds that
roll over each budget year help eliminate the spend-it-or-lose-it issue, and allow for better fiscal agility
over time.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                               Page 56
Priorities and Action Plan
Taxes
Local Option Income Tax (LOIT), County Option Income Tax (CPIT), County Adjusted Gross Income Tax
(CAGIT), Cou8nty Economic Development Income Tax (CEDIT), etc. The proceeds of these tax programs
have been used for park, recreation and trail-related projects with varying amounts of success.

Public-Private Partnerships
These are cooperative efforts between businesses and communities with formal, written agreements.
These can be either short-term or long-term (single project or ongoing services).

Public and Private Foundations
Examples are Ball Brothers and other “name” foundations, community foundations, etc. Many
foundations offer the chance to apply for specialty grants or offer other kinds of assistance.

Governmental and Non-Governmental Grants and Funds
These include the usual park, recreation and trails grant programs such as LWCF and RTP, but also can
include Community Development Block Grants (CDBG), Lilly Endowment, INDOT Transportation
Enhancement (TE), Transportation Improvement Program (TIP), and others, given the use of some
creative thinking.

Private Philanthropy
Private giving from individuals or families is still a common method for people to give back to their
community. What better way to have your name live on than to pay for a park?

Recreation Impact Fees (RIF)
A local-level fee paid by developers intended to help the community cover the new costs of providing
services to the added development.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF)
TIF uses the anticipated future improvements in an area’s tax base to pay for current capital
development.

User Fees and Charges
Memberships, dues subscriptions, entry fees, program fees, events, event sales, etc., used to place part
or all costs of providing recreation directly on those who use it most. Best practices use sliding scales,
scholarships, “free” days, library checkout park passes and other tactics to avoid being too expensive for
use by low-or restricted-income residents.

Concessions and concessioners
These are vending, gift shops, event food sales, contracting, etc. For example, if Little League draws
thousands of hungry kids, friends and parents, consider using the profit from feeding them to help
maintain those sports fields.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 57
Priorities and Action Plan
Branding
If Nike can convince people to pay to wear clothing that helps Nike sell more clothing, a park
department can use the same tactic. Selling T-shirts and ball caps can market parks in a community, and
may even make money.

Park Foundations and “Friends” Groups
Park foundations are a way to fundraise specifically for a community park system. They are targeted to
local needs and don’t depend on politics or government budgets. “Friends” groups gather human
capital in much the same way, allowing interested people to band together to work toward completing
improvements and fulfilling needs in parks.

Donations, Memorials, Bequests and Gift Catalogs
“In-kind” means virtually anything donated besides money. Examples are manpower, skilled labor or
materials. Memorials and bequests are a great way for people to honor family or friends in a lasting
way, especially if the person honored loved some aspect of the park system. Gift catalogs can
effectively spread the word about specific projects, wants and needs. These tools help a park system
make its needs known, which is often necessary in order for someone to offer such a gift.

Corporate Sponsorships and Naming Rights
That big new car lot or corporation that just moved into town might like to put its name on the new ball
fields in exchange for funding a couple of years of maintenance, or it might sponsor the new leagues.

Volunteer Programs
Bring enthusiastic public helpers into parks and programs to assist the staff. Trained, passionate
volunteers can free up paid staff to work elsewhere and accomplish more for less labor cost.

Zoning and Development Requirements and/or Fees
Similar to RIF, these basically require new commercial and/or residential developments to either build
new parks-and-recreation features into their sites (such as a new bike/pedestrian trail extension into the
road network of a new senior assisted living center), or pay a set fee to help the community provide the
facilities and services the new development will need. It is much cheaper and simpler to build new
recreation-based features during initial construction than to add them later. Many developers readily
work with these requirements with an eye toward using these low-cost bonus recreation features to
attract buyers/residents. People and businesses often want to move next to parks and trails, and often
will pay a premium to do so.

Municipal Loans, Bonds and Levies
Special Assessment, General Obligation, and other types of loans, bonds and levies have been used to
successfully fund parks-and-recreation development for decades. Carefully research the various types
for their diverse tax advantages, beneficial interest rates, etc.




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                              Page 58
Priorities and Action Plan
Parks and Recreation Special Districts
Related to both zoning and tax methods, these districts are sometimes used to subdivide a larger
community’s park department into smaller portions that can concentrate in more detail on localized
fees and financing options, as well as programs and services that better benefit their unique
neighborhoods and local residents.

Public/Public Partnerships or Other Kinds of Cooperation, Agreements and Site Sharing
If a nearby county park has a lot of new mowers and the staff to run them, and a city park has a trained
arborist who could help the county park improve the health of its trees, perhaps an agreement to share
personnel and equipment for mutual benefit could be developed. Such an approach works especially
well between parks and nearby schools, which might be willing to share the non-school-day use of
playgrounds and sports fields/courts in exchange for help with maintenance.

Special Events
Consider using a popular event as a fundraising tool If a park hosts all or part of a community’s biggest
local festival, and 50 vendor booths each contribute a 200 vendor fee, there is an $10,000 revenue
added to the park’s budget in exchange for minimum opportunity cost (mowing and trash pickup will
have to happen to some degree anyway). The larger the event’s scale, the greater the potential for
fundraising.

Economy of Scale/Bulk Purchasing
If parks, the community’s public works department, and the county’s maintenance department need to
buy grass seed or fertilizer, lawn mowers or trucks, consider banding together and making a bulk
purchase of enough for everyone, which could save everyone money. Coordination is not easy but the
savings can be considerable.

Privatization/De-privatization of Services
Consider doing the real-world math about what some maintenance/services cost in terms of labor,
materials, training, insurance, etc., and compare them with the costs of simply contracting them to
carefully researched, qualified private firms. Sometimes the reverse is true, and in-house workers may
be cheaper in the long run over private contractors. The trick is to do the homework. Make sure to
include all possible costs when making comparisons.

Aggressive Preventive/Planned/Scheduled Maintenance
Smart maintenance supervisors know the cost-effectiveness of taking care of equipment and facilities.
New trucks are expensive compared with the cost of a few oil changes. Plan equipment and facility
maintenance in advance, and follow a carefully laid-out schedule. Train all level of staff to habitually
monitor and maintain all equipment, including taking it out of service when necessary. The same
approach can be just as valuable in facilities. For example, air conditioning systems in buildings function
longer and use less energy when filters are changed on time, coils are cleaned regularly, and the
refrigerant and oil levels are kept full.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                             Page 59
Priorities and Action Plan
Life Cycle Costing
From the very start of a new capital project, consider creating a non-reverting fund strictly for the
operations, maintenance, de-commissioning, and eventual replacement of the new amenities. The idea
is to fund-raise all costs for the entire lifespan of a facility from the very start. This can be extremely
difficult to do in this time of tight budgets, but the advantage is not having the new operating costs of
added facilities overload already strained finances.

On-line Resources
A helpful online resource for any federal grant is www.grants.gov. The fully searchable website offers
access to 26 federal grant-making agencies and their 800 grant programs, and even has downloadable or
Web-based grand applications available for some programs.

Another helpful website is that of the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) at
www.IN.gov/ocra/index.htm. This website features a number of different state and federal grant
programs sometimes used parks and recreation, such as Planning Grants, Community Development
Block Grants and Indiana Main Street. Contact the OCRA community liaison for any given area to get
assistance directly targeted to a specific community’s needs.

As mentioned earlier, local community foundations sometimes offer many kinds of specialized grants, or
can help create a new donation account for a specific park department. Start at
www.incommunityfoundtions.org/ to find a nearby foundation.

All the DNR’s grant programs are listed at www.dnr.IN.gov/3190.htm. The grants cover nearly every
aspect of natural and cultural resources, and include full details for each with contact information.

The National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) has a website specifically devoted to its
competitive grants and fundraising available at www.nrpa.org/fundraising-resources. The site even
offers a free online fundraising course.


PRIORITIES AND ACTION PLAN
The following Action Plan combines items addressed by the state, park board and staff, as well as the
public. The spreadsheet illustrates priorities of each action. Factors such as community need and
impact, existing facilities, financial feasibility, and practicality were used in determining the priorities.

After applying these factors to each issue, they were assigned to one of three categories based upon the
following definitions:

Priority 1: Of Primary concern and feasible to implement in the next five years.
Priority 2: Of Secondary concern, but still feasible to implement in the next five years.
Priority 3: May be of primary or secondary concern, but the feasibility of the project is questionable
            during the next five years.



Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                                                  Page 60
                                                                                                                                                     2013-2017 ACTION PLAN
                                                                                                                                              ALLEN COUNTY PARKS AND RECREATION
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    EXPENDITURE & FUNDING SOURCE                       POTENTIAL FUNDING
                                                          #    PARK/RECOMMENDATIONS                                                                COMMENTS:                                   PRIORITY
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          SOURCES(S)
                                                                                                                                                                                                          2013        2014      2015       2016       2017
                                                               FOX ISLAND PARK
                                                          1    Honeysuckle reduction project                                                                                                      1       $1,500      $1,500    $1,500     $1,500     $1,500      PB

                                                          2    Interpretive wayside signage - all trails                   Install interpretive signage, etc.                                     2                             $3,000     $3,000                 FA, Vol


                                                                                                                           Study and reconstruct/construct accessible trails and apply and
                                                          3    Accessible trails and signage                                                                                                      1       $5,000      $5,000    $10,000    $5,000     $20,000     PB, GD, Vol, GRA
                                                                                                                           install signage denoting challenge levels for remaining trails


                                                          4    Bird Observation Building - Window Replacement              Replace windows                                                        2                   $6,000                                      GRA, Vol, PB

                                                          5    Construct Ponding Platform at Wetland Area                  accessible ramp and platform to water                                  3                             $10,000

                                                                                                                           Working with INDOT, or on park property, construct signage
                                                                                                                           along west property boundary to identify park to drivers on 69
                                                          6    New park signage - Interstate 69                                                                                                   1                             $2,500                            GRA, PB, Vol
                                                                                                                           and direct them to Exit 302, install directional signage once off
                                                                                                                           69 to park entrance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           Priorities and Action Plan




                                                                                                                           Renovate existing two bathrooms into one accessible uni-sex
                                                          7    Bird Observation Building - Restroom remodel                                                                                       2                   $12,000                                     FA
                                                                                                                           restroom

                                                          8    Marsh Walkway                                               Replace existing marsh walkway                                         2                                       $25,000                 FA, Vol

                                                          9    Accessible boardwalks                                       Replace exisiting boardwalks with accessible boardwalks                1       $3,000      $3,000    $3,000     $3,000                 PB, Vol, GRA




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan
                                                          10   New gazebo                                                  Construct new gazebo at old observatory site                           3                                       $20,000                 PB, Vol,

                                                                                                                           purchase of wood chipper for use in honeysuckle reduction and
                                                          11   Purchase wood chipper                                                                                                              2                   $25,000                                     PB
                                                                                                                           down limbs and trees

                                                          12   Purchase log splitter                                       New log splitter                                                       2       $7,500                                                  PB

                                                                                                                                                                             SUB TOTAL - FOX ISLAND       $17,000     $52,500   $30,000   $57,500     $21,500

                                                          #    METEA PARK                                                                                                                      PRIORITY   2013        2014      2015       2016       2017

                                                          1    Review and implement phase II of Metea Nature Center Plan   Elevator, geo-thermal                                                  3                             $50,000   $120,000                GRA, PB, Vol


                                                                                                                           Construction of new pedestrian bridge over Cedar Creek to link
                                                                                                                           South Metea with North Metea. Span will need to be at least
                                                                                                                           570 feet to remain outside floodway. Bridge and access to
                                                          2    Pedestrian Bridge Connection                                bridge needs to be accessible as well. Currently users must leave      3                                                  $1,500,000   PB, CFD
                                                                                                                           southern portion and drive to entrance of northern portion on
                                                                                                                           Hursh Road. May require additional land purchase as well or
                                                                                                                           access easement with other owners

                                                                                                                           Construct new trails on northern portion of property including
                                                          3    North Metea Trail Construction                              interpretive signage. At a minimum construct one trail for             1                   $10,000   $10,000                           Vol, PB
                                                                                                                           maximum accessibility.
                                                                                                                           Construct new open shelter in northern portion of park including
                                                          4    New Open Shelter - North Metea                                                                                                     2                                       $40,000                 PB, Vol
                                                                                                                           picnic tables etc.

                                                                                                                           Remove and replace existing wood playground equipment with
                                                          5    Playground Replacement                                                                                                             1       $40,000                                                 PB
                                                                                                                           new accessible composite playground structure

                                                                                                                           Construct new accessible path from playground and existing
                                                          6    Accessible pathways                                                                                                                1                   $12,000                                     Vol, PB
                                                                                                                           shelter to beach

                                                                                                                           Construct portable cross country ski storage building for use
                                                          7    New Cross Country Ski Storage Building                                                                                             2                             $7,500




Page 61
                                                                                                                           during season to keep skis in cold weather                                                                                             PB
                                                          8    Park Directional Signage                                  Construct new directional signage throughout park                     1       $8,000                                                 PB

                                                                                                                         Investigate and study new source of drinking water for Nature
                                                          9    New Well                                                                                                                        3                                      $25,000
                                                                                                                         Center. Possible deeper well to reduce sulfur content and smell.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PB
                                                          10   Observation Deck at gulley                                New feature                                                           2                           $10,000                            Vol, GD
                                                               Boardwalks through vernal ponds; connect all trails via
                                                          11                                                             New features                                                          1                 $10,000   $10,000
                                                               boardwalks                                                                                                                                                                                     Vol, GD
                                                                                                                         Purchase and install new picnic tables and benches throughout
                                                          12   Additional Benches and Picnic Tables                                                                                            1       $3,000    $3,000     $3,000     $3,000     $3,000
                                                                                                                         park and trail system. Portable and in ground                                                                                        Vol, GD, PB
                                                                                                                         Seal basement floor, construct partition for ski rental area in
                                                          13   Nature Center - Improvements                                                                                                    1                 $8,750
                                                                                                                         basement.                                                                                                                            PB, Vol

                                                          14   Misc Equipment and tools                                  Purchase carpet extractor/cleaner, floor scrubber etc                 2                           $11,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PB
                                                                                                                         Install new overhead doors to replace sliding units, relocate
                                                          15   Maintenance Barn Improvements                             electrical switch from southwest corner to north side for better      1                 $8,000
                                                                                                                         access                                                                                                                               Vol, PB
                                                          16   LAND - Acquire adjacent property                          When possible acquire adjacent property to the park                   1        TBD       TBD       TBD        TBD         TBD
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              TBD
                                                          17   New Restroom Building Enclosure - Open Field Area         Construct porta-john enclosure for use as restroom facility           2       $5,000                                                 PB, Vol
                                                                                                                         Working with INDOT, construct signage at Exit 316 (Dupont
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            Priorities and Action Plan




                                                          18   New park signage - Interstate 69                          Road) that Metea County Park exists and then install directional      2                            $5,000
                                                                                                                         signage to park from this exit.                                                                                                      PB
                                                                                                                         Construct fishing pier, construct at appropriate location away
                                                          19   Construct New Fishing Pier                                from swimming and dog beach locations. Include benches and            2       $15,000
                                                                                                                         make accessible                                                                                                                      Vol, PB, GD
                                                                                                                                                                                  SUB TOTAL - METEA    $71,000   $51,750   $106,500   $188,000   $1,503,000




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan
                                                          #    PAYTON PARK                                                                                                                  PRIORITY   2013      2014      2015       2016        2017
                                                          1    Develop master plan for Payton Park                       Funding and contractual services needed                               1                 $20,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PB
                                                          2    LAND - Property Acquisition                               Acquire contiguous property to park                                   1        TBD       TBD       TBD        TBD         TBD

                                                                                                                         Work in conjunction with Great Tree Canopy Comeback
                                                          3    Reforestation Projects                                    program, Trees Indiana, and Hoosier ReLeaf to plant and               1       $3,000    $3,000     $3,000
                                                                                                                         maintain trees                                                                                                                       PB, GRA
                                                                                                                         Remove and replace existing roof and inspect and replace
                                                          4    Open Shelter - Improvements                                                                                                     1       $15,000
                                                                                                                         structural members as needed.                                                                                                        PB, Vol
                                                                                                                         Purchase and install new picnic tables and benches throughout
                                                          5    Picnic Tables and Benches                                                                                                       1                 $5,000
                                                                                                                         park and trail system. Portable and in ground                                                                                        PB
                                                          6    New Signage                                               New entry sign and interpretive trail signage.                        2                            $5,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              PB
                                                                                                                         Purchase and install small playground structure to better the
                                                          7    New Playground Structure                                                                                                        2                                      $40,000
                                                                                                                         community in this growing area of the County                                                                                         PB, CFD

                                                                                                                         Construct new observation platform at existing wetland/pond.
                                                          8    New Wetland/Pond Observation Platform                                                                                           2                           $10,000
                                                                                                                         Include benches and signage and make accessible.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Vol, PB
                                                          9    Connection to other Trail Systems                         Work in conjunction with Northwest Trails to connect park             1        TBD       TBD       TBD        TBD         TBD        TBD

                                                                                                                                                                                 SUB TOTAL - PAYTON    $18,000   $28,000   $18,000    $40,000       $0




Page 62
                                                           #   COOK'S LANDING                                                                                                                           PRIORITY    2013        2014       2015        2016         2017
                                                           1     Boat/Canoe Landing Reconstruction                               Reconstruct boat and canoe landing area                                   1                   $30,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               PB, Vol
                                                           2     Picnic Tables and Benches                                       Purchase and install new picnic tables and benches                        1        $5,000                                                     PB
                                                                                                                                                                             SUB TOTAL - COOKS LANDING              $5,000     $30,000      $0          $0           $0

                                                           #   LAND                                                                                                                                     PRIORITY    2013        2014       2015        2016         2017

                                                           2     Large parcel north-northwest (250 acre target); LANDBANK                                                                                  3                                         $5,000,000
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               ADMIN, LWCF, HI, PF, GD
                                                           3     Large parcel southeast (250 acre target); LANDBANK                                                                                        3                                                      $5,250,000   ADMIN, LWCF, HI, PF, GD
                                                                 Acquire Deer Run Academy property from Board of
                                                           4                                                                                                                                               3                                                         TBD
                                                                 Commissioners                                                                                                                                                                                                 ADMIN, LWCF, HI, PF, GD
                                                                                                                                                                                            SUB TOTAL - LAND         $0          $0         $0       $5,000,000   $5,250,000

                                                           #     ADMINISTRATIVE PRIORITIES AND ACTIONS                                                                                                  PRIORITY    2013        2014       2015        2016         2017
                                                                 COMMUNITY GROWTH; land expansion and acquisition                Monitor city growth and acquire land - develop properties
                                                                                                                                 accordingly. The board will need to act to expand existing
                                                                                                                                 properties when possible and acquire additional property as
                                                                                                                                 needs, opportunities and economics warrant.
                                                                                                                                 It is always prudent to expand popular parks when contiguous
                                                           1                                                                     land becomes available, and acquire parkland in growth areas.             1
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         Priorities and Action Plan




                                                                                                                                 The board has followed this policy in the past.
                                                                                                                                 Explore the potential to partner with the city parks for joint
                                                                                                                                 property acquisition and development.

                                                                 GOALS AND OBJECTIVES                                            Revisit and review G&O at the January Board meeting and
                                                           2                                                                     revise as needed annually.                                                1

                                                                 CONNECTIVITY – TRAILS                                           CONNECTIVITY; continue to support Community interest in




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan
                                                                                                                                 development and expansion of area greenways and trails.
                                                                                                                                 Encourage awareness and focus on the need for annual
                                                           3                                                                     maintenance funding and daily care. Additionally, half-life and           1
                                                                                                                                 full life capital renewal funding should be planned for initially by
                                                                                                                                 all entities involved in this endeavor

                                                           4     COMMUNITY ATTITUDE AND INTEREST SURVEY                          Prepare in advance of Five-Year Master Plan                                                                          $30,000

                                                           5     FIVE YEAR PARKS AND RECREATION MASTER PLAN Prepare the 2018-2022 Master Plan; start April 2017                                            1                                                       $25,000     PB
                                                                 Examine this plan for revisions annually                        Review in January at Regular Board meeting.
                                                           6                                                                                                                                               1
                                                                 Develop natural resource management plans and train staff for
                                                           7     precribed burns                                                                                                                           1        $3,000      $3,000                                         PB

                                                           8     Develop interpretive plans for each park                                                                                                                      $10,000    $10,000                              PB
                                                                                                                                                                                                           1

                                                                                                                                                                                          SUB TOTAL - ADMIN        $111,000    $172,250   $164,500   $5,285,500   $6,774,500

                                                                                                                                                                         GRAND TOTALS:                               $85,513   $157,264   $327,575 $10,609,580 $13,582,585


                                                          PRIORITY DEFINITIONS:
                                                          1 = Of Primary concern and feasible to implement in the next 5 years.
                                                          2 = Of Secondary concern, but still feasible to implement in the next 5 years.
                                                          3 = May be of Primary or Secondary concern, but the feasibility of the project is questionable during the next 5 years.

                                                          POTENTIAL FUNDING KEY:
                                                          CC=Cumulative Capital Funded; CDBG-Community Development Block Grant; CEDIT-County Economic Development Income Tax; CO-County Source; FED-Federal Source; FA-Force Account (In-House); GOB-General Obligation Bond; GD-Gifts &
                                                          Donations; GRA-Grant Approved; GRP-Grant Pending; L-Lease; MISC-Miscellaneous; PF-Park Foundation; RB-Revenue Bond; TBD-To Be Determined; UF-User Fee; VOL-Volunteers; LWCF-Land & Water Conservation Fund; HI-Hometown Indiana; PB-
                                                          Park Budget (Annual Operating Budget); CFD-Capital Fund Drive; ADMIN-Administrative Decision Req'd; TEA-Indiana Transportaion Enhancement Fund.




Page 63
Sources
www.city-data.com

STATS Indiana, Indiana Department of Workforce Development

U.S. Census Bureau, 2010 American Community Survey

www.allencountyparks.org

2008-2012 Allen County Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Indiana Statewide Outdoor Recreation Plan 2011-2015 (SCORP)




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan       Page 64
Appendix
APPENDIX CONTENTS:

April 2012 issue of The Wild Grapevine newsletter listing various park programs

Completed projects

Public input meeting notice posted on Allen County Parks website

Public input meeting press release/public notice in newspaper

Public input meeting invitation distribution list

Public input meeting attendance list




Allen County Parks and Recreation 2013-2017 Master Plan                           Page 65
Projects completed from 2008-2012
Metea

                                                          Construct concrete floor to replace dirt floor, new overhead doors to replace sliding units, relocate service Concrete floor constructed 2011, Service      Floor - IVY Tech
Maintenance Barn Improvements                             door from southwest corner to north side for better access from maintenance.                                  door added on north side                      Door - ACP Maintenance
New Open Shelter - Open Field Area                        Construct new open shelter in Open Field Area                                                                 Project to be complete Fall of 2012           Eagle Scout Project
                                                                                                                                                                        Vehicles replaced with newer county
Replace exisiting vehicles                                Replace two existing vehicles (1 passenger, 1 maintenance)                                                    vehicles                                      County Commissioners Office
New Park Signage                                          Construct new signage at entry and directional signage throughout park                                        New signs constructed at entry points         ACP Maintenance
North Metea Trail Construction                            Construct new trails on northern portion of property                                                          New trails constructed (2)                    Eagle Scout Projects
Soft Shell Turtle Trail Bridge                            Replace handrails on bridge, inspect and replace structural members as necessary.                             Handrails and other members replaced          Eagle Scout Projects

Window Treatments                                         Purchase and install window treatments for Park & Education Manager/Naturalist Office                       Window treatments purchased and installed ACP Maintenance
Bird Observation Room Furniture                           Purchase furniture for bird observation room                                                                New furniture purchased
                                                          Work in conjunction with Great Tree Canopy Comeback program, Trees Indiana, and Hoosier ReLeaf to
Reforestation Projects                                    plant and maintain trees to buffer south and east property lines                                            100 + new trees purchased and planted           ACP, Lions Club, GTCC, donations
Road and Parking Improvements                             Pave roadways and parking lots. Investigate pervious alternatives.                                          Road and parking area chip and sealed           AC Highway Dept.
                                                                                                                                                                      Union Chapel Road improvements
                                                                                                                                                                      complete, old gatehouse moved for storage,
                                                          Work in conjunction with the Allen County Highway Dept. & Union Chapel Road Improvements to                 new gatehouse constructed, native               AC Highway Dept., ACP
Entrance Improvements; including moving old gatehouse     enhance entrance to the park.                                                                               plantings placed                                Maintenance

Fox Island
Repair or remove driving stand for remote control boats at
the lake.                                                  Determine if needed                                                                                         Usage determined not feasible, removed         ACP Maintenance
                                                                                                                                                                       Cut, removed and treated over 20 acres of
                                                                                                                                                                       honeysuckle from various areas in park,        ACP Maintenance, ACP Staff,
Honeysuckle reduction project                             Start annual honeysuckle and invasive plant removal projects                                                 ongoing project                                Volunteers
                                                                                                                                                                       Study completed, pilings determined
Reconstruct Marsh Observation Platform and Boardwalk      Totally remove and replace pilings, support structure                                                        suitable, all deck & handrail replaced         AEP volunteers
                                                                                                                                                                       Many plants removed and replaced,
Landscape Reconstruction Project - Nature Center          Replace non native plantings with native plantings                                                           ongoing                                        ACP Staff
                                                          Determine if existing location is appropriate, reconstruct area to be user and dog friendly, construct pier, Enhanced existing area, added signage to
Beach Enhancements-dog beach - Bowman Lake                signs promote use to general public                                                                          promote use                                    ACP Maintenance
                                                          Construct 1-2 fishing piers at Bowman Lake, construct at appropriate locations away from swimming and
Construct New Fishing Piers                               dog                                                                                                          New fishing pier constructed north side        Eagle Scout Project
                                                                                                                                                                       Relocated butterfly garden to better
                                                                                                                                                                       location, renovated existing area to prairie
Butterfly Garden Reconstruction                           Renovate existing butterfly garden with ALL butterfly plants                                                 garden.                                        ACP Staff, Volunteers
                                                                                                                                                                       Determined best location in park, FWAS
                                                                                                                                                                       found a better location in Jefferson Twp and
New Astronomical Observatory                              Working with FW Astronomical Society to determine appropriate location for a new observatory building. have relocated.                                      ACP Staff, FWAS
                                                                                                                                                                       Removed and replaced roofs on two lake
                                                          Remove and replace roofs on two existing open shelters, access existing structural components and            shelters, replaced many strucutral
Picnic Shelter Renovations                                replace if necessary                                                                                         components                                     IVY Tech
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Fox Island Alliance purchased
Replace existing vehicles                                 Replace two existing vehicles (1 passenger, 1 maintenance)                                                  Replaced one passenger vehicle                  used mini van.
New tractor mounted blower unit                           Blower unit for removal of leaves                                                                           New unit to be purchased fall 2012
                                                                                                                                                                      Resided and replaced roof on storage
Garage Reconstruction                                     Reside and reroof existing storage garage.                                                                  garage                                          IVY Tech
Combine efforts to control of invasive species and natrual Work in conjunction with LRWP so that both organizations are complimenting each other on invasive
resource management with Little River Wetlands (LRWP) species removal                                                                                          Discussions and implementation ongoing      ACP Staff, LRWP
                                                           Work in conjunction with Great Tree Canopy Comeback program, Trees Indiana, and Hoosier ReLeaf to
Reforestation Project along I-69 and railroad tracks       pland and maintain trees to buffer north and west property lines                                    40+ trees planted in park                   ACP, GTCC, donations

Cooks Landing
                                                                                                                                                               Removed and replaced roof and structural
Open Shelter - Improvements                               Remove and replace existing roof and inspect and replace structural members as needed.               members                                     IVY Tech

Payton Park
                                                                                                                                                               Currently working with FW Trails on
Connection to other Trail Systems                         Work in conjunction with Northwest Trails to connect park                                            connection                                  ACP Staff, FW Trails

Land
                                                                                                                                                               While no new acreage has been added,
                                                                                                                                                               lands adjacent to park properties at Metea
                                                                                                                                                               and Cooks Landing County Parks have been
                                                                                                                                                               acquired by ACRES Working in conjunction
Acquire additional park acreage and acreage adjacent to   Remain aware, purchase or acquire new park lands (especially NW and SE) and additional acreage       with this organization allows parks users to
existing parks                                            adjacent to existing parks                                                                           utilize these acquisitions                   ACP Staff, ACRES
         PUBLIC INPUT MEETING NOTICE POSTED ON ALLEN COUNTY PARKS WEBSITE

Master Plan UPDATE

We are currently in the process of updating our Five Year Master Plan.
The Allen County Parks and Recreation Board is pleased to announce an upcoming Public Input Meeting
on October 9, 2012 at Metea County Park Nature Center from 6:00 to 8:00 pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend the meeting and provide ideas, opinions, and concerns regarding the
county parks. Your input is critical in preparing a comprehensive master plan which will provide
guidance for future park improvements and program development.
Let us know what we can do to improve your County parks!
For more information, contact Jeff Baxter, Superintendent of Parks at 260-449-3180.
Our past plan Allen County Parks Master Plan 2008-2012 (pdf 11MB)
OUR REASONS FOR PLANNING?
Our purpose is not simply to produce a plan, but to…
1. Improve agency management.
2. Establish direction and set constraints.
3. Define goals, objectives and priorities.
4. Communicate direction to staff.
5. Allocate agency resources.
6. Facilitate delegation of responsibilities.
7. Manage change.
8. Assure public accountability.
9. Evaluate success.
10. Promote consistency in decisions.
11. Promote cooperation and unity.

GENERAL PLANNING GOALS
   Fulfill the original and primary purpose for establishing the Allen County Parks andecreation
     Department…to provide needed parks, recreational opportunities and open space facilities
     throughout the county which fill the void between those provided on a state-wide basis and those
     provided by local governments.
   Provide for the comprehensive outdoor recreational needs of the county to extent possible within
     resources constraints.
   Provide healthful and safe recreational pursuits, facilities and programs that reflect the area’s
     unique composition of persons, physical setting, and local resources.
   Preserve and enhance the county’s diverse natural and human resources and encourage greater
     public awareness and education of our attributes.
   These attributes include scenic resources, cultural antiquities, historical places and unique
     geological and environmental settings. These features should ideally be linked by trails or other
     means.

To comment, contact Jeff Baxter, Parks Superintendent:

phone: 260-449-3180
email: superintendent@allencountyparks.org
                      PUBLIC INPUT MEETING INVITATION DISTRIBUTION LIST



Fox Island Alliance

Friends of Metea

Soarin Hawk Raptor Rehab

Youth Services Center

Leo Cedarville Park Board

Cedarville Elementary School

Leo Jr/Sr High

Save Maumee

Red Cross

Little River Wetlands

ACRES

Ecology Kids of Northeast Indiana

Allen County 4H

Allen County Extension Office

Boy Scouts of America

Girl Scouts of America

Cedar Creek Church of Christ

Allen County Neighborhoods Association

Allen County Township Trustees
PUBLIC INPUT MEETING ATTENDANCE LIST

				
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