Last Thursday, Ogden City Recreation held their second of three community meetings to help develop the Recreation Master Plan for the city at Union Station. The Master Plan will guide Ogden’s sports programs and recreational opportunities in coming years. This follows up on the City Council and mayor’s push to make Ogden the “Recreation Mecca” that has been ongoing for the last eight years. The three meetings are essentially brainstorming sessions for the community to come give their ideas for what kind of recreation they want to see available in the next 5, 10, or 20 years.
The meeting opened with a brief introduction from Ian Hueton and Cass Morgan, a consultant and PhD student that have been brought in to help the city through this process. There are three phases to developing the plan. The first phase, which they are currently in, is a scoping and outreach stage to help gather information. The second phase is preparation of the master plan which involves taking that information and balancing it against the time and resources. The third and final phase is the blueprint for implementation, which will be presented by the end of the year and will give the city a guide for how to implement the suggestions.
About 40 people showed up to the meeting on Thursday to give their input. 400 people responded to a survey that was sent out earlier in the year, and they held a previous meeting on March 1st. They asked for input on four specific areas: individual activities, structured activities (like team sports), trails and river parkway, and facilities (pools, field houses, etc.). There was the most interest in the trails, river parkway, and parks section. Some ideas included connecting more trails together, improving existing trails, and making it easier to find information on where the trails are located. Better access to information, specifically through the web, was a common theme that ran through the other categories as well.
The group putting the plan together recognizes that funding will be the biggest challenge. The Recreation, Arts, Museum, and Parks (RAMP) sales tax for Weber County does get returned to the cities, but the majority of the funding goes towards maintenance and upkeep of facilities. However, they are also looking at partnering with existing organizations, such as the GOAL Foundation which hosts the Ogden Marathon, to help leverage the resources already available in the community. If you haven’t yet made it to one of these meetings, the last opportunity to give input will be on Thursday, March 29th from 6:00 pm to 8:00pm at Ben Lomond High School. If you have questions, call 801-629-8253 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
–John Cline: John is a three plus year resident of Ogden. By days he’s a radar engineer, by night he spends his time developing software, playing video games, and finding a way to become an astronaut.