Parks Asset Management Plan
Parks in many communities are often forgotten, underfunded or both and can easily become derelict. Many communities use the Band-Aid approach to their park systems only fixing things when they are many years past their useful life or are a safety liability.
Prein&Newhof is working with Park Township, a community of 17,579 people north of Holland, to develop their first-ever Parks Asset Management Plan (AMP). The idea for the project came from Matt’s experience at Ottawa County Parks developing their park database for future expenditure planning. Prein&Newhof had seen the benefit to communities of having asset management plans – long-term strategies for prioritizing and funding system improvements – for wastewater, stormwater, and road systems. A community’s park system is no different. Keeping track of all the physical assets that make up a community’s park system helps park managers achieve the lowest long-term cost of maintaining those assets.
P&N used GPS units and a digital camera to inventory and map fixed assets, including:
- Parking Lots
- Boat launches
- Basketball courts
- Maintenance equipment
P&N then uploaded the location, age and condition of park assets into a database linked to GIS mapping software. GIS is a valuable tool that allows data layering and big-picture visualizations that helped Park Township answer questions such as:
- What recreational opportunities are available?
- How many miles of hiking trails are available? What kind of trails are they? Are they accessible?
- Where are protected natural areas and how big are they?
- How much asphalt or boardwalk are we maintaining?
- What are our capital improvement needs and do we have enough money to pay for them?
The information from the asset management plan will become part of the Township’s Five-Year Recreation Master Plans and Capital Improvement Plans.
Matt Levandoski, PLA, Project Manager
- (616) 394-0200