The Merrillville Parks and Recreation Master Plan is the Town’s official document that guides allocation of resources for the parks and recreational services for the community. The plan further directs the department’s acquisition, development and expansion of facilities for the next five years and beyond.
The Arsh Group has developed these master plans for the Merrillville Parks Department since 2005. The focus of the 2020 Plan was to focus on expanding park and program offerings, while creating strategies to help the Department grow and adapt as the Town expands. With a new community center planned to begin construction in 2019, a significant part of this Plan focused on how this new facility can help expand the programming options for the Park Department, as well as how to expand the user base for the Town’s recreational programming. The Plan also dealt with how to expand programming and activity in existing parks by designating three parks – Pruzin, Forest Hills, and Stefek – as primary recreation nodes that should be more intensely programmed and developed. The acquisition of new parks and trails was also a key element in the Plan to ensure adequate park space and connectivity as the Town continues to grow.
The Arsh Group worked closely with the staff, the Park Authority, various stakeholders, and the Town residents to develop several strategies which will help assure long term viability while embracing prudent investment. The final plan supports use of sustainable practices in operation, marketing, and facility maintenance. It also supports an investment strategy which meets the economic conditions and budgetary constrains of the Town, while identifying new sources of funding to assist with the plan’s implementation.