Community weighs in on future of San Luis Obispo parks and recreation

Posted at 9:23 PM, Sep 13, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-14 00:23:57-04

Dozens showed up to a community workshop Thursday to give feedback on the future of parks and recreation in San Luis Obispo.

The Parks and Recreation Department hosted the interactive workshop at the Ludwick Community Center to talk about the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and General Plan Update. The department was looking for ideas and feedback from community members regarding city parks, facilities, and recreational options.

The department is currently planning for the next 20 years, including building new parks in residential projects in the city.  The City Council says its current plan is outdated, and the city wanted to make sure it was addressing the current needs of people who use city parks and facilities.

"When we heard it hadn’t been done in 20 years or somewhere around there, and they were planning out the next 20 years of the big plans, and they wanted the community’s involvement, we just thought that our input was just as important as voting. Our say is going to create whatever there is for the next generation," said David Waller, who attended the workshop. "I think it’s really beneficial to see everybody’s different ideas up and displayed in the open. What everybody else wants kind of starts stirring, and the melting pot of ideas gets going, and I can see as we start going around the room, more ideas are starting to flow."

Waller says getting people to use parks has more benefits than just getting people outdoors. "If there was more activity in the parks, as far as positive games and things, and a lot of people showing up on a regular basis, then it would influence these places not to be taken up by people that want to just hang out there all day and maybe keep it unsafe. It would be a lot safer environment."

Other attendees said it is important to utilize parks, so open space doesn’t disappear. "If we lose a park, if that goes down and something else pops up, we’re not going to get that park back again," said Rebekah Dobbs.

There were eight interactive stations where community members could share ideas and bring up issues.  All of the comments will be used to develop the new Master Plan and Element Update.