Creating a regional vision for recreation will foster collaboration and cooperation between communities that will better meet the needs of residents and visitors alike. A regional plan will identify regional recreational priorities and strategies that will strengthen our existing assets while improving access and connection. A plan can also help secure funding for project implementation.
What are the benefits of improving recreation in the region?
Economic Development : Unique recreational resources, like trail networks and the Great Lakes, attract tourists who spend millions of dollars per year in our region. Expanding recreational opportunities also creates opportunities for small businesses. Park and Recreational assets also enhance property values, increase municipal revenue, and attract retirees.
Placemaking : More people want to live in places where they can walk, dine, shop, and recreate in one central location. Amenities, such as waterfronts, parks, and trails, help create active and vibrant places to live. Communities with diverse recreational assets are more attractive to young professionals and tourists. Recreational areas can also help to protect our unique environment.
Non-Motorized Transit : Creating more transportation options through the expansion of trail networks has many benefits for people and communities including reduced transportation costs, improved physical fitness, better options for non-drivers, user enjoyment, reduced pollution, and higher property values. When people spend less money on fuel, more money can go to supporting local businesses.
Big Picture : Planning for recreation is important as it is integrated into other regional strategies to attract top talent to our region, develop the economy, attract investment, improve health and wellness, and maintain our quality of life. Increasing collaboration on these issues maximizes the use of resources and increases opportunities for all.