By KAROLYN GEPHART
The City of Pearland Parks and Recreation Department recently completed a new long-range planning document called the City of Pearland Parks and Recreation Master Plan.
The 11-month comprehensive process shapes the direction, development and delivery of parks and recreation services over the next 5 years. It was put together with community input.
The plan is intended to help meet the needs of current and future residents by positioning Pearland to build on the community’s parks and recreation assets and identify new opportunities.
The department has found many opportunities for growth in key areas that could have improvements using the new guidelines.
The department has also been accomplishing much in services delivery for the city.
The department kicked-off an Outdoor Recreation Initiative to address at-risk youth by capturing the audience and exposing them to alternative means of recreation though the Natural Resource Division.
Also, in order to promote public health, the department partnered with It’s Time Texas and the Texas AgriLife Extension Office to offer wellness clinics focusing on preventative medicine.
The City of Pearland has ensured social equity by contracting with a nationally credited Diversity and Inclusion facilitator to develop an intentionally inclusive plan to address diversity.
For programming and service, the Parks Department has worked to increase programming for special needs individuals by hosting the Regional Adaptive Recreation Marathon.
Parks and Rec has also increased Non-Sports Programming for youth by implementing science based summer programs for pre-school to teenage demographics and connected with the community through the completion of a curriculum and implementation of Pop-Up Play. This is a program bringing family style games to parks for residents and visitors to enjoy.
The citizen-driven plan establishes a clear direction to guide city staff, advisory committees, and elected officials in their efforts to enhance the community’s parks and recreation services and facilities.
To provide for the future, the department more than doubled the number of available athletic fields and became more Community Park Oriented by allocating capital plans and funds to all Community/Regional sized park amenities.