Paulding County Comprehensive Recreation, Parks, Greenspace, and Trail Master Plan

Paulding County Comprehensive Recreation, Parks, Greenspace, and Trail Master Plan

The Paulding County Comprehensive Recreation, Parks, Greenspace, and Trail Master Plan composes system-wide guidelines to assist the Paulding County Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Affairs Department in providing the highest quality recreation opportunities to county residents. Located northwest of Atlanta, Georgia, the county is experiencing steady growth and a shift in demographics with those 55 and older projected to increase driving demand for recreational experiences catering to older adults. 

Barge Design Solutions, Inc., along with subconsultant PROS Consulting, was contracted to prepare the park system comprehensive plan document and began with inventories and condition assessments of all the County park sites, facilities, and trails. The team also hosted stakeholder and public engagement meetings, staff interviews, and developed and administered a statistically valid survey, each of which provided the team with a better understanding of the community’s park and recreation needs and desires. The result of the public engagement revealed demand for community events, outdoor programs like hikes, yoga and tai chi, art classes and water fitness programs and a need to increase facilities like restroom facilities at parks, walking and hiking trails, picnic pavilions, and indoor pools.

Supplemented by their thorough research, the team compared the County’s existing parks and recreation conditions against national standards to determine level of service and park recommendations. The resulting park system comprehensive master plan stems from this process and includes recommendations for staffing, maintenance, programming, park facility improvements, future growth, and funding recommendations. 

Paulding County Parks and Recreation Department has had a lot of success in the past, such as building several large community parks, improving program offerings, and coordinating a significant regional trail that traverses the County; however, in recent years, the Department has been faced with a lack of staffing and funding. These shortages are becoming more noticeable with stressed staff and issues resulting from deferred maintenance. The master plan outlines the challenges to help elected officials and others better understand the need for investment. The plan also prioritizes steps to help the Department move forward and create opportunities to address the growing demand for parks and recreation in the County.

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