This article, originally published by Al Zucaro on BocaWatch.org, is preserved for historical purposes by Massive Impressions Online Marketing in Boca Raton.
If there are questions or concerns with the content please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDSA, the firm selected to guide the City in its effort to realize the best use of our waterfront parks, made their second presentation. Last week’s session yielded 15 individual, proposed park configurations for the 14 parks in the study. Two offerings were made for the Wildflower property. Their efforts will soon be featured on the City’s website “MyBoca.US”. Please note – resident input is invited on the City site and will be forwarded to EDSA for inclusion in their park evaluations as the process matures.
It’s important for residents to appreciate just how involved the process will be. There are 14 parks in the study ranging from the largest, Spanish River Park, to smaller waterfront parks located in communities west of Federal Highway and south of Camino Real. Implementing study results requires determining an order in which these 14 parks and their individual needs or improvements will be addressed. Additional sessions with residents will further refine park features park by park. Once an agreed to configuration is determined, funding and development schedules will be brought forward. Hopefully efforts will be made for grants from state and county programs which proved effective for Hillsboro Beach’s Sullivan Park.
However, the meeting was not without its disappointments. An attendee made the observation that each park has its own unique features and residents have their favorites. Therefore, park features and offerings cannot be made in a “cookie cutter fashion”. The EDSA presentation was a bland interpretation showing little creativity across the 14 parks so as to make each more special in its own way. Boca is lucky to have a diverse selection of parks from which residents can choose and use. The study, with thoughtful input and attention by the community, will hopefully yield a result meeting the greatest needs of park goers. However, to reach that end it is incumbent upon residents to work with EDSA in order to incorporate the many options being considered.
RESIDENTS NEED TO GET INVOLVED!!!!
There could have been an illustration showing how the process flows from beginning to end in a study like this. EDSA has significant experience, but, letting residents know how the process works and flows would invite more meaningful participation. Many attendees left underwhelmed.
One of the questions I thought of after leaving the meeting: Is the contract between the city and EDSA long term? Will they be with the park projects past the inventory and initial planning stages? It would be a shame for them to spend time with the citizens creating a satisfying plan and then have another entity come along and implement a somewhat different plan. I have posted information concerning the importance of this process on NEXTDOOR.COM (what I like to call Facebook for neighborhoods). If you are not familiar with this, investigate and hopefully join.