Vienna turns to community for guidance on parks and recreation plan update

The Vienna Community Center (staff photo by Angela Woolsey)

The time has come for Vienna residents to take a stand on the town’s parks and recreation facilities, events and programming.

The Town of Vienna will host an “interactive” community meeting next week to solicit public input on its new parks master plan. Dubbed “Our Plan to Play,” the document will establish a vision for the town’s parks and rec system, identifying existing gaps and amenities that could be added in the future.

Organized by town staff and the consulting firm Kimley-Horn, which was hired last fall to help develop the master plan, the meeting will be held on Thursday, May 16 from 6-8 p.m. at the Vienna Community Center (120 Cherry Street SE).

“Participants should come prepared to share their ideas and provide their perspectives through various independent and small-group planning exercises,” Vienna Parks and Recreation Director Leslie Herman said in a press release. “Our goal is to understand how residents currently use the Town’s parks and recreation offerings, what works well, what needs improvement, and what priorities they want to see in the future.”

The master plan development process kicked off in December with an evaluation of Vienna’s existing facilities and services, according to the project website. It moved into the public engagement phase in late March, when the town mailed out a survey to randomly selected residents.

An online survey available to all community members is expected to launch later this spring. The town says a link will be posted to the master plan webpage and its social media channels. It will also be mentioned in the June issue of the town’s monthly Vienna Voice newsletter.

The plan’s recommendations will include possible uses of available town-owned properties, such as the former site of the Faith Baptist Church, which was demolished in April, and the Robinson family property at 124 Courthouse Road SW.

The master plan is being developed in conjunction with a feasibility study on the Annex, the town’s name for the former Faith Baptist Church site at 301 Center Street South. The results of a study to determine the operating costs of different short and long-term uses are scheduled to be presented to the town council on Monday (May 13).

The town estimates that the entire master planning process will take 12 to 16 months, with the town council potentially approving the plan next March.