Town seeks input from residents on parks plan

McCORDSVILLE — City officials are seeking residents’ input on the future of the town’s parks system, including whether they would support a tax increase to pay for improvements.

Local leaders have posted an online survey where community members can weigh in this month as members of the town’s parks board prepare to update the department’s priorities.

The survey, which can be found on the town’s website, mccordsville.org, is designed to gauge residents’ interest in specific park services and amenities, including trails, landscaping and new facilities, said town manager Tonya Galbraith.

More than 300 residents have taken the survey since it was launched at the beginning of the month, Galbraith said, adding that the majority of early responses have indicated a demand for more trails and park facilities.

The survey, which consists of 13 questions, ranging from multiple choice to open-ended responses, will remain open several more weeks, Galbraith said.

Kim Pearson, one of six members on the parks board, said she’s pleased with the response rate so far, though she’s still eager to hear from more residents as the board aims to guide growth throughout town.

Based on projections, McCordsville’s population, which is currently estimated at about 4,800, is expected to increase to 11,500 by 2020 as development continues to spread to the area from Marion and Hamilton counties.

As more families and businesses move to the area, it’s important for town officials to receive feedback to make sure their plans align with residents’ needs, Pearson said.

Currently, the board oversees one park, Town Hall Community Park, 6280 W. County Road 800N, which sits on five acres behind town hall and features a shelter, walking path and garden area.

Last year, the town also opened a multi-use path for walkers and bikers, which stretches more than two miles and connects to other pathways in Hamilton County.

Though the parks board won’t officially decide its goals until the survey has closed, Pearson said she and other members are eager to expand the area’s trail network, establishing pathways that link between neighborhoods and connect to existing trails in nearby Marion and Hamilton counties.

The board will factor survey results into a five-year plan, Pearson said, using residents’ responses to prioritize certain projects and to apply for grants from local and state organizations.

Pearson said she also hopes to raise awareness of the town’s so-called “Brighter McCordsville Fund,” a community endowment used to collect funds for local projects.

Julie Brown, who moved to McCordsville in 2014 to raise her three children, between ages 2 and 8, said she appreciates that town officials are seeking public input on the department’s goals.

In coming years, Brown said she’s like to see the creation of more parks, especially as subdivisions and retail centers continue popping up throughout the community.

Once the survey is closed, the parks board, which meets monthly, will review results, Pearson said.

At a glance

The Town of McCordsville is asking community members to take a survey as the parks board seeks to plan future growth. The surveys, which can be accessed on the town’s webpage, www.mccordsville.org, will close in coming weeks.

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Daniel Morgan is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. He can be reached at (317) 477-3228 or dmorgan@greenfieldreporter.com.