Millcreek Township Parks and Recreation Department launched their strategic planning process for the future of their outdoor spaces.

Parks and Rec director Ashley Marsteller said they have not done a master plan in a few years and wanted to change that. This was identified during their Embrace Millcreek comprehensive plan in 2018.

“We’re kind of starting with a bird’s eye view and then I think that’s going to help us guide some decisions that we make. I’m sure there will be some consultants involved with doing a larger scale in-depth master plan of our parks system,” said Marsteller.

According to Marsteller, there are 29 parks and green spaces in Millcreek that offer 30 different types of programs.

“Particularly over the pandemic a lot of people re-found us. Everyone was going outside. Everybody was trying to find a way to socialize, but safely, and find like-minded people or people of the same interests that they could recreate with. And that was so good for our health,” said Marsteller.

Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday the department will hold public engagement events so residents have the opportunity to express what they would like to see through visual, verbal and written activities.

One Millcreek Township supervisor said he has received feedback from residents with a variety of ideas for future recreational purposes.

“A lot of people have dogs. They’re very popular…a lot of people own dogs and there’s no dedicated space in Millcreek for a dog park at this time,” said Jim Bock, a Millcreek Township supervisor.

The department is planning to have an open house to review trending feedback in early December. They plan to find grant money to make their master plan a reality within the next year.

“I just think it’s so important to have a really vital parks system a part of your township. It does increase home values. It increases productivity amongst the residents,” said Bock. “These next three sessions are merely an extension of what we do here every day, and that’s listen to what the people want.”

There’s a public engagement event happening on Wednesday, Nov. 8, until 7 p.m. at the Erie County Conservation District, 1927 Wager Rd in Erie.