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Posted on: February 3, 2022

I AMesbury 2030: Recreation Goals

News Flash - 2030 Open Space and Recreation

Hi Amesbury, The winter season is here and so much has changed since we last checked in. As the seasons have changed, the cold weather and snow is upon us, it seems like a great time to reconnect. Like many of our city’s businesses and residents, the I AMesbury 2030 task force is ready to look back on 2021 and review all that we have accomplished.

In December 2020, Mayor Gove initiated the I AMesbury 2030 task force and we had our first meeting to discuss our purpose and goals for the two years ahead. One year into our plans and we have made some impressive strides towards developing our City’s master plan. 

We are eager to announce the Recreation goals short document – one of our first, formal documents completed and a huge stride toward our community’s plans for the future. This document provides an overview of the Recreation element, the lenses through which it is viewed, and the goals and vision our City has for the years ahead. 

This is the first short document of many to come – we anticipate one per element – so, I want to take a moment and share how it was created. Our task force has worked hard to gather community feedback and combine that with relevant data from our biggest contributors in these elements. It’s truly a collaborative process!

Here's a look into how the Recreation document and its contents came to be:

  • Public participation and feedback. We asked YOU for input on recreation in Amesbury and focused our efforts on addressing your needs and wants for the future. We connected with the public through listening sessions, polls, surveys, and pop-up events. We also held a Recreation Summit with representatives from more than 20 organizations who use our recreation areas. 
  • Data collection. We collected the data we received from the public and combined it with data we collected in our research of similar and surrounding towns and cities. 
  • Goal Drafting. Our Goals & Vision subcommittee drafted initial goals for recreation in 2030 based on community feedback and collected data.
  • Stakeholder Communication and Collaboration. We shared the goals and vision for recreation with Amesbury’s recreation stakeholders – the departments and people at the helm of making these changes happen. We asked what they need, and what they require, to accomplish these goals. 
  • Recreation Plan Development. The short document we are sharing today is a direct reflection of the efforts and input of all the voices in Amesbury. It shares where we are today, where we want to be tomorrow (in 2030), and the goals we need to accomplish to get us there. 

The best part of this process is that it’s a constant work in progress. We loved creating spaces for residents to share their inputs and new ideas. Understanding what people valued most for themselves and their families allowed us to weave those values into the plans and goals we presented. Seeing the connections between the individuals and the plans has truly made these efforts worthwhile. 

As we're now halfway through our master planning process, I’d also like to take a moment to share a personal perspective as well. Volunteering for I AMesbury 2030 this year has been extremely rewarding. I’ve seen the impact each resident can have on shaping the future of our City. I know a statement like that can sound idealistic and stereotypical, but for me it has been true. It’s been wonderful to be a part of a group that has a pulse on our community, to hear ideas like creating an event for kayak rentals at Lake Gardner, and then watch it come to life within weeks. Your feedback is valued, the efforts are intentional, and these goals are within reach.

I recognize that our task to gather community feedback has become more difficult and may continue to grow more difficult in the future. Our community has seen many changes in 2021, and with big changes can come big opinions. Whether related to an election, a new school breaking ground, or an old mascot retiring its name, our City’s residents have had their share of big opinions this past year. 

I mention these polarizing topics because, my hope and my ask for 2022 is that Amesbury’s residents stay tuned in and connected. The I AMesbury 2030 efforts to gather community feedback are only successful if residents are willing and open to sharing their thoughts. We are eager to continue to explore new ways to engage with our neighbors and friends in 2022 and do everything we can to provide positive places to collect feedback. We have so much more to cover in the next year, and we need your help.

Thanks for reading and see you in 2022!

Peggy

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