ROANOKE COUNTY, VA (September 30, 2015) – Tonight marks the beginning of a series of community meetings to hear public input about the future of Explore Park. 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
In addition to these community meetings, Roanoke County has launched an online survey about Explore Park as part of the master plan process. These survey results, along with input from community meetings and stakeholder groups, will define the park's future development for years to come. Staff will be collecting responses to the survey now through October 31. Links to the survey can be found on Roanoke County’s home page and also on the Explore Park Master Plan page.
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.
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.