Jamestown Parks and Recreation to seek input from the community

What do people want the agency to invest in and prioritize here?

kitefest eagle n people from 061122.jpg
The Kite Festival is the largest community event that Jamestown Parks and Recreation provides. In 2024, the festival will mark its 30th anniversary. The event draws kite flyers from around the country.
John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

Editor's note: This story is advertorial content as part of the 2023 Jamestown Sun Progress Edition on "Business, Workforce, Retention."

JAMESTOWN — Jamestown Parks and Recreation will gather input from the community and conduct in-depth planning to determine what the community wants in the future, said Amy Walters, executive director.

“What does the community want Parks and Recreation to be doing and to be prioritizing and investing in so that we can maintain a vibrant and healthy community, whether it’s our facilities or programs, whether it’s continuing things or starting new,” Walters said.

Having a healthy, vibrant community keeps people and the workforce in the community, she noted, and Jamestown Parks and Recreation plays a large role in that.

“We’re really looking to go through a comprehensive process of gathering information from the community and then in turn putting together a strategic plan,” Walter said.


Also planned is an assessment of existing facilities and formulating long-term plans for maintenance of those as well as how that fits with any growth.

“How do we continue to maintain what we already have or look to grow or look to add to what we can provide to the community,” Walters said.

To facilitate the process, Jamestown Parks and Rec will seek an outside organization through a request for qualifications (bid process) with experience in that type of work and knowledge of parks and recreation in general, Walters said. The process will include aspects such as surveys, community meetings and targeted focus group meetings with specific stakeholder groups.

“... then that organization would look to filter that information, compare it with like-size communities and standards within parks and recreation so that we can get a good snapshot of where our strengths are and our opportunities for growth, or opportunities for improvement,” Walters said.

She said they expect to have that organization lined up by June, with work expected to continue in the summer and fall before a plan is formulated.

Input from people in the community will be key, she said.

“I really want them to engage in the process,” Walters said. “Oftentimes as a staff, we think we know what the community wants or would like but we can only go off the information that we have, and so I really encourage people to participate in the process. … If they‘ve had experiences when they’ve either lived in other communities or traveled to other places, we want to know what those are so that we could potentially move forward with those ideas.”

She said the intent would be to take the information learned from the community and compare it to benchmarks within the parks and recreation industry and then put forward a plan to move forward in Jamestown Parks and Recreation.


She noted more than likely they will be looking at a five- to 10-year plan and community engagement will continue to be important.

“While we’ll develop a five- to 10-year plan, we know things happen and changes come about so we will want to kind of begin to create that standard of … soliciting the input from the community to continue to evolve,” she said.

Kathy Steiner has been the editor of The Jamestown Sun since 1995. She graduated from Valley City State College with a bachelor's degree in English and studied mass communications at North Dakota State University, Fargo. She reports on business, government and community topics in the Jamestown area. Reach her at 701-952-8449 or
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