Parks department seeks public input in survey about future plans

Mike Wolanin | The Republic A sign reminds player to share pickleball courts at Donner Park in Columbus, Ind., Monday, July 22, 2019.

The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department is looking for public input as it plans for the future.

A Columbus Parks Department Strategic Plan public survey is available through Dec. 17 at, an ADA-accessible, multilingual crowdsourcing site. Translated copies of the survey can be requested through the parks department.

The survey comes as Columbus is developing its first Strategic Master Plan and an update to its Park System Master Plan.

“Please take the survey so your voice is heard as we plan the next 10+ years for our parks,” parks department officials said.

The survey will help the department create a strategic master plan that guides future parks, recreation and “trails/open space needs.” Officials are looking for public input to help them envision what the future of these facilities, as well as special events and programming, might look like.

“The Columbus Parks and Recreation Department would like your input to help determine park, recreation, and wellness priorities for our community,” the survey states. “Parks and recreation facilities contribute significantly to our quality of life in Columbus, and your opinions are very important to us.”

The survey takes an estimated 10 to 15 minutes to complete. It includes questions on usage and quality of parks facilities, as well as recreation programming. There are also questions regarding the services provided by the parks department, personal priorities regarding amenities and programming, the value of parks and recreation of light of the pandemic, and funding preferences.

Some questions that focus specifically on NexusPark, the city and Columbus Regional Health’s joint venture to turn the FairOaks Mall into a wellness and recreation center.

The survey presents potential programs and amenities, then asks how often these would be used by the respondent’s household and which they’d be most likely to use.

There is also a question regarding how NexusPark operating costs should be paid for — 100% through existing city taxes, 100% through user fees or some combination of the two. Respondents can also select that they don’t have a preference between the options.