Photo by; Amanda Hastings
Photo by: Amanda Hastings

JAMESTOWN, N.D. ( – In a bid to shape the future of Jamestown’s parks and recreational facilities, the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department (JPRD) held a comprehensive town hall meeting yesterday at The Bunker. The primary objective of the meeting was to inform citizens about the ongoing project and to gather public feedback regarding community needs within the Jamestown Parks and Recreation system.

The meeting, which attracted a diverse cross-section of Jamestown residents, focused on the JPRD Comprehensive Park Plan project and the steps taken to date. A key component of the discussion was the concept of Master Planning and its importance in guiding the long-term strategic vision for the parks and recreation system.

Master Planning, as elucidated during the meeting, serves to create a preferred future for the parks and recreation system. It outlines strategies to fulfill this vision, adapts to changes over time, and ensures that resources are utilized wisely. The process involves considering various factors such as community vision, data trends, and public interests to engage in open dialogue about values and aspirations.

An appreciative approach, which emphasizes problem-solving and proactive strategies, was underscored as essential for the success of the Master Planning process. This approach aims to focus on solutions and common ground rather than dwelling solely on current issues or deficits.

The meeting also provided an overview of the project schedule, which included key milestones such as the identification of volunteer groups, strategic planning sessions, and the collection of survey results. The final draft of the plan is slated for release in May or June 2024, after which it will be open for public comment and eventual adoption.

A detailed inventory analysis of the current park system was presented during the meeting, highlighting the diverse range of park properties and assets within Jamestown. With approximately 770 acres of parkland, including the expansive Hillcrest Golf Course and McElroy Park, the system caters to various recreational needs across the community.

Notably, Jamestown boasts over 33 miles of pathways and trails, significantly exceeding the median for similar jurisdictions. However, concerns were raised regarding the significant deferred maintenance costs, which amount to approximately $33.8 million. This underscores the need for strategic planning and resource allocation to address infrastructure needs and ensure the sustainability of the park system.

Throughout the meeting, participants were encouraged to share their insights, suggestions, and concerns regarding the future of Jamestown’s parks and recreational facilities. The interactive nature of the discussion fostered a sense of community engagement and collaboration, reflecting the collective desire to create a vibrant and accessible park system for all residents.

As the Master Planning process continues to unfold, the Jamestown Parks and Recreation Department remains committed to incorporating public feedback and working collaboratively towards a shared vision for the future of parks and recreation in Jamestown. With community input driving the decision-making process, the stage is set for the realization of a dynamic and sustainable park system that reflects the needs and aspirations of the Jamestown community.

A questionnaire, and a coloring sheet that was handed out at the meeting is available here…