(Riverton, Wyo.) – The Riverton City Council Tuesday night during a work session discussed establishing a citizens committee to develop a parks master plan. Councilors rejected the idea of hiring a consulting company to do the work.
The idea for a parks master plan grew out of an effort to reconfigure Riverton City Park to make it more family friendly and accessible. The “Revitalize Riverton” committee that sprung from that effort evolved to the point that committee members realized an overall “global” effort to look at all the city’s parks and trail needs would be required, and that they should not just look at one park. Resident Craig Bluenshine emphasized the need for such a plan when he called the council’s attention to the dilapidated condition of the Darcy Zimmer Trail, a 2.5 mile long pathway that begins at North 8th West and Sunset and heads north. He noted that since the trail was constructed, it had not been maintained and now was in a state of such disrepair that is is rarely used.
“We may have to consult with an engineer at some point to develop cost estimates, but that would be the only cost to this project,” City Administrator Steven Weaver said Wednesday morning.
Weaver said the direction given to city staff was to develop a committee “with broad representation from the community to focus on our park and trails, but primarily on the parks.”
He said the city will begin advertising for people who may be interested in the parks to serve on this committee, and he said the city council would have the ability to seek out individuals to serve as well. “The charge that we will develop for this committee will first be to inventory all of the parks so we know exactly what we have and where and use that to determine what needs there are,” Weaver said. “We’ll need public participation and input on that. The committee would also be charged with looking at where new parks may be located as the city grows.” Additionally, he said the committee would develop funding needs and a timeline for any improvements they may find are needed.
As a starting point, Weaver said the citizens group would be able to consult with the present City Master Plan, which has a parks and recreation section.
“We’ll not be charging this committee to look at such things as a Recreation Center, that’s a whole different ball game,” he said.
Weaver said the new committee may development into a full time city board at some point in future, “Much like the tree board we have now, to oversee the parks and how to improve them.”