2011 Annual Report

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STAFF REPORT
Town Council, August 25, 2011

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board Annual Report (PR12-02)
Summary of recent activity and actions made by the PRCR Advisory Board
Speaker:  Mr. Dennis Hoadley, PRCR Advisory Board Chair

From:  Danny Hopkins, Director, PRCR
Prepared by:  Gail Taylor, Administrative Specialist
Approved by:  Benjamin T. Shivar, Town Manager
Approved by:  Michael J. Bajorek, Assistant Town Manager

Executive Summary:  The mission of the Parks, Recreation & Cultural Resources Advisory Board is to provide representation for the citizens of Cary in partnership with the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department and the Town Council in promoting understanding, appreciation, participation and support for open spaces, parks, recreational opportunities, cultural activities, programs and facilities.  The board’s work greatly enhances offerings and programs throughout the Town and reduces demands upon staff and budgetary resources.

Background:  The Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board (PRCR) consists of 10 citizen volunteers from within the Town’s corporate limits.   Current members are listed below along with their term ending year.

Jeff Boucher (2011)
Robert Bush (2013) – Chair of Greenways Committee
Sal Cammarata (2012)
Dennis Hoadley, Chair (2012)
Ed Langan (2013) – Chair of Athletics Committee
David Lindquist (2012) – Chair of Cultural Arts Committee
Tullie Johnson (2011)
Neema Patel (2011)
Kay Struffolino (2013)
Lindsey Chester (2013)

The Board conducted 11 regular meetings and, in March 2011, adopted the 2011 Work Plan.

2011 Work Plan

  • As specified in Section 8 of the LDO, review and make recommendations related to the recreation land dedication/payment in lieu requirement for each residential development plan submittal.
  • Review, comment, and make recommendations as necessary related to PRCR policies, initiatives and capital projects brought forward by staff.  Appoint Board members to serve as liaisons on design committees for capital projects.
  • Interface with other citizens for input.  1) the Public Speaks Out portion of the agenda, serves as a conduit for citizen input related to Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources’ initiatives; 2) board members reach out to neighbors and other community contacts to seek input.
  • Collaborate, as necessary, with the three Board committees (Athletics, Cultural Arts and Greenways) relative to current issues and initiatives.
  • Provide volunteer support for PRCR programs/events.
  • Develop, implement, and track donations for funding the scholarship program.
  • Continue to promote awareness and support future planning efforts for Safety Town.
  • Actively participate, review, and make recommendations related to the update of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Master Plan.
  • Provide ongoing input and guidance on issues relating to open space protection, historical preservation and environmental sustainability and communicate our goals to other Town committees.
  • Work collaboratively as needed, with other Town appointed Boards and Commissions on those issues related to the mission of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

Report

  • As specified in Section 8 of the LDO, review and make recommendations related to the recreation land dedication/payment in lieu requirement for each residential development plan submittal.

    • The Board reviewed three rezonings and made recommendations related to the recreation land dedication/payment-in-lieu requirement.
    • The Board also received an overview plan to update the land dedication ordinance to include fees for multi-family housing.
  • Review, comment, and make recommendations as necessary related to PRCR policies, initiatives and capital projects brought forward by staff.  Appoint Board members to serve as liaisons on design committees for capital projects.

    •  Received updates on current capital projects including:
      • Cary Arts Center
      • WakeMed Stadium Expansion Project
      • Lions Park Renovation Project
      • Dunham Park Restroom Replacement Project
      • Black Creek Greenway (Credit Union Segment)
      • Black Creek Greenway (Bond Park Segment)
      • Swift Creek-Regency Parkway Pedestrian Improvements Project
      • Annie Jones Greenway Renovation Project, Ph I
      • White Oak Creek Greenway, Ph V (Apex Segment)
      • Green Level Church Road Grade Separated Crossing Project
      • Tryon Road Greenway Project
      • NC 55 Multi-use Trail Project
      • Higgins Greenway Renovation Project.
    • Reviewed and recommended approval of PRCR Long Range Program Plan.
    • Reviewed and provided feedback on evaluation of PRCR Program Brochure.
    • Reviewed and made recommendations to the PRCR Departments’ 5 year business plan.
    • Reviewed and provided input into potential smoking restrictions in Town parks.
    • Reviewed and provided feedback on the Town’s Recycling Plan for PRCR parks, facilities and events.
    • Reviewed and received monthly updates on the status of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Master Plan.
    • Provided input related to the Volunteer Awards Program.
    • Reviewed and recommended the adoption of the WakeMed Soccer Park Master Plan supporting action for an expansion of the park to meet NCAA requirements for event space.
    • Reviewed the FY11/12 proposed CIP budget reports.
    • Reviewed the FY11/12 PRCR operating budgets.
  • Interface with other citizens for input.  1) the Public Speaks Out portion of the agenda, serves as a conduit for citizen input related to Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources’ initiatives; 2) board members reach out to neighbors and other community contacts to seek input.

    • David Dini/Carolina Copperheads – Presentation to the Board on December 2010
    • Leslie Huffman/Cary Scavenger Hunt - Presentation to the Board on June 2011
    • Cara Lewis/Cary Dog Park - Presentation to the Board on June 2011Attended Veteran's Freedom Park Public Meeting, December 2010
    • Attended Pamlico Dr. Neighborhood Improvements & Higgins Phase II and III Projects, Public Meeting, January 2011
    • White Oak Creek Stream Restoration Public Open House, March 1, 2011
    • Attended series of Master Plan Focus Group meetings in June and July 2011.
    • Attended Master Plan Public meetings held on July 18 (Green Hope Elementary School Gym) andJuly 19, 2011 (Cary Senior Center).
    • Attended Public Meeting for the Multi-family Land Dedication Ordinance Update held on August 8, 2011.
  • Collaborate, as necessary, with the three Board committees:  Athletics; Cultural Arts and Greenways relative to current issues and initiatives.

    • Board

      • Board members served as chairs of the Athletics, Cultural Arts and Greenways Committees. Chairs reported monthly to the PRCR Advisory Board.

      • Approved Committee member appointments to the Greenways, Athletics, and Cultural Arts Committees;

      • Hosted a Master Plan “Kick-off” meeting with all three committees to meet with the master plan consultant team and reviewed and discussed the scope of service for the plan.

    • Athletic Committee

      • Reviewed and provided feedback for the WakeMed Master Plan.
      • Developed a plan for the spring 2012 season to improve sportsmanship among coaches and players.
      • Reviewed the PRCR Business Plan.
      • Provided feedback for marketing of athletic leagues and sport venues.
      • Identified new and returning league coaches for evaluation.
      • Provided reviews of the athletics sports program special request during the year and assisted with team placements.
      • Reviewed new athletic sponsorship benefits for businesses that sponsor Town sports leagues.
      • Supported the 2012 Master Plan update providing focus group and public meeting support.
    • Cultural Arts Committee

      • Reviewed funding requests from cultural non-profit organizations and made recommendations to Town Council for funding support for 24 performing, visual and cultural arts organizations.
      • Worked to improve the activity reporting process for funded organizations through recommended changes to funding application form and the creation of a new funding report form to be implemented in FY12.
      • Continued to support and provide feedback on the Cary Arts Center project including policies pertinent to use of the new facility.
      •  Worked with staff in developing resident criteria and application form for cultural groups at CaryArts Center.  Reviewed applications and approved resident status for 13 organizations through 2013.
      • Met with six community cultural organizations to learn more about them.
      • Participated in the 2011 economic impact survey program in cooperation with Americans for the Arts and United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County.
      • Improved feedback system as part of evaluating arts events, and initiated and a process to systemize data collection and employ findings on behalf of cultural arts programming.
      • Supported and provided feedback on staff proposals for recognizing October as Arts and Humanities month in Cary.
      • Provided feedback to staff on concert series, festivals, volunteer events, volunteer awards, and arts policies and standard procedures.
      • Provided representatives for the Festivals Committee and the Booth Amphitheatre Advisory Committee.
      • Participated in public outreach on behalf of cultural arts programs at the Spring Daze and Lazy Daze festivals.
      • Continued to support development of the 2012 PRCR Master Plan update.
    • Greenways Committee

      • Reviewed and prioritized future capital greenway in preparation of the FY12 capital improvement budget.
      • Reviewed current greenway design and construction projects, including:
        • Black Creek Greenway (Credit Union Segment)
        • Black Creek Greenway (Bond Park Segment)
        • Swift Creek-Regency Parkway Pedestrian Improvements Project
        • Annie Jones Greenway Renovation Project, Ph I
        • White Oak Creek Greenway, Ph V (Apex Segment)
        • Green Level Church Road Grade Separated Crossing Project
        • Tryon Road Greenway Project
        • NC 55 Multi-use Trail Project
        • Higgins Greenway Renovation Project.
        • Approximately 4 miles of existing greenway trails were refurbished, and 5 miles were either under construction or in design. One grade-separated crossing was designed and a second crossing (Green Level Church Road and McCrimmon) was constructed.

  • Provide volunteer support for PRCR programs/events.

    • Members attended the North Carolina Parks and Recreation Association’s (NCRPA) Commission Board Member (CBM) forum in Greensboro.
    • Members served on the Volunteer Award Selection Committee.
    • Members participated in the greenway user count project.
    • Members provided volunteer support for Lazy Daze and Spring Daze Arts & Crafts Festivals, Marvelous Music Series, Cary Road Race, Booth Amphitheatre Guest Services Booth, Sertoma Series, Town Tree Lighting Ceremonies, Page-Walker Herb Garden.
    • Members attended and assisted in the dedication of the Cary Arts Center.
    • Board members provided an average of 93 hours per month in support of PRCR programs, events, greenway surveys and other activities in addition to monthly meeting times.
  • Develop, implement, and track donations for funding the scholarship program.
    (Town policy provides that no Cary resident is turned away from registering for recreation programs due to the financial inability to pay.  The Town previously absorbed the cost for the scholarships as requested and determined by Dorcus Ministries.  A scholarship fund was established to pay for the scholarship program.)

    • Solicited and coordinated the Silent Auction gift items to benefit the PRCR Scholarship Program. The silent auction, held in conjunction with the Annual Volunteer Awards banquet, raised $3,727 for the scholarship fund.
    • Board received quarterly reports that include the number of citizen recipients helped the past quarter as well as the balance of funds available in the scholarship fund.
    • Total contributions for the PRCR Scholarship fund for FY11 were $14,401.39.
    • Approved working with staff to incorporate a scholarship fundraising night in conjunction with the Applause! Cary Youth Theatre production of School House Rocks!
  • Continue to promote awareness and future planning efforts for Safety Town.

    • The Town operates a successful summer Safety Town program at Herb Young Community Center. Many communities across the country have constructed permanent Safety Town facilities used for safety training.  These projects are typically community driven through volunteer donations and workforce.  Middle Creek School/Park’s master plan includes a Safety Town in conjunction with a Fire Station.
    • Ongoing discussions continue in these efforts.
  • Actively participate, review, and make recommendations related to the update of the Parks, Greenways, and Facilities Master Plan.

    • PRCR Advisory Board and Board Committees participated in a kick-off meeting for the PRCR Master Plan and completed a S.W.O.T. Analysis on issues the plan should address.
    • PRCR Advisory Board solicited citizen input via a series of focus group meetings in June and July 2011 with staff, consultants and outside interest groups.
    • Board members attended PRCR Master Plan Public Input meetings on July 18 & 19, 2011 where citizens had opportunities to learn about the process and provide input.
    • Board receives monthly updates on the status and progress of the Master Plan.
  • Provide ongoing input and guidance on issues relating to open space protection, historical preservation and environmental sustainability and communicate our goals to other Town committees.

    • Board received an update by the Planning Department on the current status of the Historic Preservation Plan and reiterated their support for the preservation of historic structures in Town.
    • The Board reviewed the strategic plan to reduce and recycle waste.
  • Work collaboratively as needed, with other Town appointed Boards and Commissions on those issues related to the mission of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department.

    • Board members renewed their support of the Town’s Sustainability Program to include department/event recycling; stream restoration management; facility energy/water conservation; modes of transportation/greenway connectivity; higher efficiency sports lighting.
    • Board received an update on the current initiatives of the Environmental Advisory Board.

Fiscal Impact:  No fiscal impact

Staff Recommendation:  Staff recommends that Council accept the report of the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Advisory Board