ROANOKE COUNTY, VA (September 9, 2015) - Over the next two months, Roanoke County will be seeking input from area residents, leaders and stakeholder groups to create a master plan for Explore Park. When complete in early 2016, this plan will make specific recommendations for future park improvements while serving as a guide to manage the facility’s development over the next 20 years.
Four community meetings have been established to gather public feedback:
- Wednesday, September 30 - 7:00 PM at Vinton War Memorial
- Thursday, October 1 - 10:00 AM at Green Ridge Recreation Center
- Monday, October 19 - 7:00 PM at Penn Forest Elementary School
- Tuesday, October 20 - 7:00 PM at Salem Civic Center
Roanoke County will also be reaching out to representatives from community groups that have a special interest in the park and elected officials for topic-focused discussions such as outdoor recreation, arts, heritage, economic development, and education. Citizens living near the park are invited to attend a meeting at Mount Pleasant Elementary School on Thursday, October 1 at 7:00 PM to discuss neighborhood specific issues.
Roanoke County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jason Peters has said a high level of citizen engagement is instrumental in creating a plan that works for our community. “Explore Park is a unique asset that should first and foremost guarantee a clean, safe, fun and beautiful
environment for citizens to play. We’re relying on public input to guide the process as we work to create a regional attraction that fits into the Roanoke Valley’s outdoor tourism brand, creates a positive economic impact and improves the overall quality of life for our area.”
Online resources about the master plan are available at ExplorePark.org/MasterPlan. This site will be updated frequently with information about community meetings and overall progress. Email and text message updates are also available. A public survey will be published on the site in late September for individuals who can’t make it to the public meetings, or wish to add further comments.
Explore Park is a 1,100 acre facility located on the Blue Ridge Parkway and operated by Roanoke County, Virginia under a 99-year lease with the Virginia Recreational Facilities Authority established in 2013. The County has contracted with design firm Wallace Roberts & Todd, engineering firm Balzer & Associates, and ProsConsulting to develop a master plan for the park, which will be presented to the Board of Supervisors in March, 2016.