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Master Plan

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On September 7, 2016 the Fort Lauderdale City Commission voted to accept the Parks and Recreation System Master Plan.

Thank you to our neighbors and the community for your input, ideas and time put into the System Master Plan process. More than 1,000 neighbors contributed over 3,300 hours in-person while another 11,000+ participated through the project’s website. Neighbors participated in various outreach events that included focus groups, surveys, community visioning workshops, community meetings, and presentations. This extensive input allowed us to create a System Master Plan based on the community’s values that will guide the direction, development and delivery of the City’s parks and recreation services for the next 10 years and beyond.

System Master Plan Description

The Fort Lauderdale Parks and Recreation System Master Plan is a long-range planning document that is meant to help shape the direction, development and delivery of the City’s parks and recreation facilities. Based on a comprehensive planning approach, this plan considers previous planning documents, department goals, existing conditions, and assessment of needs to provide a framework for recommendations and prioritization strategies. 


The purpose of this plan is to advance the mission and vision of the Parks and Recreation Department to further the establishment of a high quality parks system by establishing a community-defined set of priorities that maximize the effectiveness of the department and its resources.

How to Use the System Master Plan

This plan is intended to serve as a comprehensive guide for the planning, acquisition, development and operations of parks, facilities and recreation programs throughout the City. As such, this plan assists users in identifying programming needs and priorities and long range visioning for the provision of parks and recreation facilities and programs.

This document has been developed in a linear process, building upon previous work; beginning with an overview of the existing parks and recreation system, analysis of public needs and priorities, formation of a long-range vision, and lastly a strategic plan for implementation. The following are descriptions of each chapter of the System Master Plan: 

Community Inventory and Assessment (Chapter 2)

This chapter consists of a snapshot of the current conditions of the parks and recreation system as whole. Information reviewed includes, existing plans and studies from throughout the city, demographic analysis, comparable or peer communities trends analysis, and lastly, a conditional and performance evaluation of existing park facilities. When viewed together, this information provides a comprehensive baseline to analyze the system as it currently exists. 

Needs and Priorities Assessment (Chapter 3)

The third chapter summarizes the community’s needs and priorities for parks and recreation. Work began in October of 2015 and consisted of several public outreach initiatives and participation opportunities; community meetings, focus groups, public visioning workshops, a statistically valid survey, and a public engagement website. The information gathered during this phase of the plan provided the framework for the long-range vision development.

Vision (Chapter 4)

The Vision chapter's goal is to establish and define the communities’ aspirations for the parks and recreation system and department. The Vision chapter reflects input received throughout the entire System Master Plan process, including; extensive public input from a multi-day series of visioning sessions held in January, 2016. This input is combined with the technical review of the existing system and facilities (Chapter 2), and a multi-faceted public discussion of the needs and priorities for parks and recreation (Chapter 3).

The outline for the Vision chapter establishes a set of Guiding Principles that informs a series of recommendations for each Subsystem of the overall Parks and Recreation system for the City of Fort Lauderdale. The recommendations for each Subsystem are meant to be broad enough to stand the test of time, but detailed enough to reflect the needs of Fort Lauderdale. The Vision is meant to set the framework for the next part of the System Plan, the Strategic Plan.

Strategic Plan (Chapter 5)

The Strategic Plan is the final chapter in the System Master Plan document and includes the development of a Strategic Plan that contains action items and timeframes for phasing implementation. The recommendations in this chapter will help the Department to achieve the Vision and Guiding Principles as stated in Chapter 4. The action items reflect input received throughout the entire System Master Plan process. Recommendations are provided for funding sources, potential partnerships, capital investment priorities, as well as overall planning policies.

Approval of Plan

The Park and Recreation System Master Plan was presented to the public during a series of open houses between May 17 and May 19, 2016 at Joseph C. Carter Park, Riverside Park and George English Park. The purpose of the open houses was to gather input from neighbors on the draft System Master Plan document. Comments were collected in-person via written comment card and comment boards.

Following the public open house series, the System Master Plan was presented to the City’s Parks, Recreation and Beaches Advisory Board during a public meeting on May 25, 2016 to gather Advisory Board and public comment for the plan. In addition, the System Master Plan was posted on the project’s website for a period of 30 days for public review and comment. Comments received via in-person, written or email were reviewed and incorporated into the plan.

The System Master Plan was presented to the City Commission during a public conference meeting on June 7, 2016.  Commissioners were provided a copy of the System Master Plan for review and voted to accept the Plan on September 7, 2016.


Parks & Recreation System Master Plan pdf




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