In 2015, the New River Valley Regional Commission assisted Montgomery County in updating its Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The County maintains its own independent parks and recreation department, with dedicated staff, maintenance, programs, and facilities which serve all citizens of Montgomery County. The purpose of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan is to provide a long-term vision for the County’s Parks and Recreation Department (MCPR) in order to meet the recreational needs of citizens over the next 20 years.
To best gauge the perception of residents and users of MCPR facilities and programs, a recreation survey was distributed. A total of 358 survey responses were received in both a hardcopy and online format , with most residents representing the Towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg and the Riner area. Respondents praised the department for the quality of its staffing and programs, and many expressed the desire for a recreation center within the County.
The Commission also inventoried each facility, park, and trail MCPR owns or maintains as well as several facilities it uses in partnership with Montgomery County Public Schools. MCPR also operates recreation programs and events, and maintains partnerships with other recreational entities. Programs include athletics, aquatics, tours, active adults, community programs, and outdoor recreation. MCPR maintains regular and special events each year, and partners with outside entities to provide even more amenities. Volunteers also play a key role in filling coaching and park maintenance roles within the department.
With guidance from MCPR staff and the Parks and Recreation Commission, public input and the data gathered were analyzed to develop short-term and long-term recommendations as well as benchmarks to monitor progress. Local, state, and national trends were also taken into consideration. In April, the Master Plan will be presented to the Parks and Recreation Commission for final review and approval and will be presented to the Montgomery County Board of Supervisors shortly thereafter.