Recreational activities are an important way to keep kids active and for people to find balance in today’s hectic world. The need for more recreational opportunities in Greene County was a hot topic not only this year during the visitor center purchase debates, but also the year prior during the Ruckersville Area Plan’s public comments.
The Community Recreational Opportunities Draft 2030 Strategic Plan was developed by a subgroup of the Ruckersville Advisory Committee, which was born of the Ruckersville Area Plan, approved in June 2018. However, now the committee needs to hear from the residents directly.
Planner Stephanie Golon told the Greene County Board of Supervisors Nov. 12 that there are economic, environmental, social and health benefits associated with offering recreational opportunities within a community.
“With 40% of the nation being obese and mental health issues becoming more evident in all age groups, the health benefits from recreational activities offered are important to community development. Studies have shown that physical activities and opportunities provide a facet for physical and psychological issues may be lessened with those activities,” Golon said. “It provides a quality of life for the citizens in our community.”
Golon said during the Ruckersville Area Plan development the need for recreational opportunities was identified as the second priority by the community as a whole. Economic development and beautification were first on the list.
Public comment during the plan development, Golon said, noted more recreational areas are needed in Greene County. A multigenerational recreational center was also mentioned, as was the development of a bike trail. While Greene County does have one community park off Jeri Allen Way in Ruckersville, the request came for additional parks, as well.
“The main goal tonight is to kick off our community survey with the board,” she said.
The online survey takes no more than five minutes to fill out.
“We’re partnering with the Virginia Cooperative Extension to utilize the online survey software,” she said.
There will also be paper copies of the survey available at the county administration building for those who do not have internet access; however the Greene County Library will have the link to help visitors find the survey.
“We’re seeking further input from the community and we encourage citizen input in the planning,” Golon said.
People can fill out the survey until Dec. 30. She said she hopes to have results for the board the beginning of January and to hold an open house toward the end of February or beginning of March.
A desire for a Ruckersville-specific area planning guide came out of the 2010 comprehensive plan and extended into the 2015 plan update.
The Ruckersville Area Plan took more than a year to complete as a partnership with the county and the Thomas Jefferson Planning District Commission, as well as a workgroup with business owners and residents in the area. Three public meetings were held throughout the writing of the plan. The 10-year plan outlined 26 recommendations for the area between the intersection of U.S. Routes 29 and 33 and the intersection of Matthew Mill Road and U.S. 29. With five immediate recommendations, including the marketing and branding of recreational opportunities, and 17 short-term. The plan was adopted by the board of supervisors as an addendum to the comprehensive plan in summer 2018.
“I love the community involvement,” said Ruckersville Supervisor Michelle Flynn. “I love the way you’re going about seeking input from the community with the survey and the open house.”
“The citizens, this is their community, we need to make sure we have everyone’s input,” Golon said.
Visit https://bit.ly/2CKdAkR to take the survey.