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            [title] => City of Merritt Activity Guide Winter 2019
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Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan

What is it?
The City is in the process of conducting a Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan. The purpose of the plan is to engage the citizens of the City including; City facility user groups, cultural and sports organizations, seniors and youth organisations and the general community at large, in a comprehensive process that will assist in determining what the community wants in terms of parks, trails, recreation and cultural facilities and services over the next 8 - 10 years.
Some opportunities for the Parks, Recreation and Culture Master Plan include developing better linkages between parks, expanding the trail system, determining the needs for upgrades to existing recreation and cultural facilities, and determining the needs for new facilities.
What will it give us?
It will give the community an eight to ten year plan that will:
- Clearly identify what parks/trails, recreation and cultural facilities and services are the most important to the citizens of Merritt.
- Exactly what do the citizens of Merritt currently want in terms of recreation, culture and parks/trails facilities and services.
- A clear vision as to what the communities’ priorities are for the future development of parks, cultural and recreation facilities for the citizens of Merritt.
- To what level are the citizens of Merritt prepared to fund future development or to maintain parks/trails, cultural and recreational services and facilities. 
How do I make my opinion heard?

Public Open House

Community engagement is the key component for developing this plan. To that ends, the City is inviting and encouraging all interested citizens to attend the Public Open House at the Merritt Civic Centre on Thursday, October 29th from 7:00pm to 9:00pm. At the Public Open House, the plan Consultants – LEES and Associates, will be soliciting feedback as to what the community wants for the current and future development of parks/trails, recreation and cultural services and facilities.

Stakeholder Meetings
The consultants are also planning to meet with over fifty (50) various community stakeholder groups and organizations, City Council and staff, SD 58 representatives, and local Area Regional Directors, as part of the information gathering process.

On-line Survey
There will also be an on-line survey on the City’s website – , (hard copies will be available as well), that local residents are encouraged to fill out. The survey will be available on the City’s website (and in hard-copy form at City Hall, Merritt Civic Centre and the Nicola Valley Aquatic Centre) from October 26 to November 13th.

Phone Survey
Finally, there will be a random phone survey of local citizens conducted by the plan consultants to augment the information gathering process. This survey will be taking place during the weeks of November 2nd and will involve a series of short questions relating to parks/trails, recreation and cultural services and facilities.
When will the Community see the final result?
It is anticipated that the final draft report (along with the consultant’s recommendations based on the feedback and comments they receive from the Community), will be available to present and receive final feedback from the Community, at a second open-house early in the new year.

The final report along with recommendations will be presented to City Council for their consideration by the end of April 2016. If Council adopts the report and its recommendations, it will become the guiding document for the future plans, services and facilities for Parks, Trails, Recreation and Cultural services and facilities for the community for the next 8-10 years.