City of Covington (WA) Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan
Conservation Technix updated the Parks, Recreation & Open Space Plan for the City of Covington. Steve Duh led the project, which entailed a complete inventory of the city's parks, natural areas, trails and facilities, along with significant public outreach including a 300-person random sample telephone survey, a teen-based focus group, open house meetings and several stakeholder discussions. The new PROS Plan focuses on active living and healthy lifestyles as a core theme, with specific outreach to local clinics, health providers and private fitness centers as a means to improve collaboration and communication. The Plan updated service standards, addressed community interests and facility needs and established a 6-year capital improvement plan with specific funding alternatives.
City of Cornelius (OR) Parks Master Plan
Conservation Technix led an update to the Parks Master Plan for the City of Cornelius. The eight-month project included a physical park site inventory, significant grassroots public outreach, community survey design and implementation, needs assessment, plan documentation and plan review/approval with Parks Board and City Council. Additionally, the project team developed an ADA Transition Plan that identified park site and amenity deficiencies, barriers to access, recommended corrections and a prioritized list of capital repairs. The project team also prepared a parks system development charge (SDC) methodology assessment and provided the city with a revised SDC rate schedule, to include residential and non-residential components, along with an adopting ordinance and user manual.
The Intertwine: Portland-Vancouver Metro Regional Park Assessment
Metro, the local regional government and lead agency, has coordinated with over 30 local agency park, trail and natural area providers to examine the aggregate land holdings of the agency affiliates, known as The Intertwine, which includes over 30,000 acres of public park and recreation land and serves over 2 million residents. Conservation Technix is part of a multi-disciplinary team developing a green infrastructure-based regional park assessment for the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan area. The project will examine and analyze this system's resources, extent, connectivity and capacity relating to people's access to nature and special landscapes. The local economic impact of these natural areas will be measured through a hedonic model of property valuation, ecosystem services and benefits, and health and wellness benefits. The resulting plan will establish a communication strategy and messaging to resonate with Intertwine agency affiliates and to lay a foundation for future advocacy and funding.
City of Corvallis (OR) Urban Forestry Management Plan
Conservation Technix managed public outreach and plan development for the city of Corvallis' first urban forestry management plan. The plan provides a 20-year strategic framework to focus and expand the city's Urban Forestry program to meet a range of policy, educational and management goals, while also evaluating staffing needs and addressing program sustainability, funding and ongoing community support. Steve facilitated stakeholder task force sessions, conducted individual stakeholder discussions and designed and implemented a web-based community survey. The Plan will serve the city as a road map to improve its urban tree management and stewardship in a coordinated, cooperative approach with city departments, program partners and private land owners. Plan review included sessions with the Urban Forestry Commission, Parks, Natural Areas and Recreation Board and City Council.
City of Bremerton (WA) Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan
Conservation Technix led the city of Bremerton’s parks, recreation and open space plan with an aggressive public outreach campaign. Interviews were conducted with over a dozen stakeholder groups, including representatives from civic, business, cultural and non-profit organizations. Three public forums were organized in coordination with two concurrent city planning efforts, with formats ranging from charette, small group discussion and formal presentations. The planning effort resulted in a new partnership to expand passive recreation use of city-owned resource lands and engendered strong ownership from the Parks Board, along with approval by the Planning Commission and City Council.
City of Maple Valley (WA) Comprehensive Plan: Parks Element
Conservation Technix prepared a succinct, policy-driven Parks Element for the city of Maple Valley’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan working directly with the departments of Community Development and Parks & Recreation. The project required the review and synthesis of existing planning documentation and fast-paced delivery in coordination with on-going Comprehensive Plan annual review amendments. Additionally, the project team was responsible for developing alternative methodologies for a new park impact fee program. Conservation Technix coordinated these efforts and provided region-specific unit cost data for the rate calculations. Project approval included stakeholder discussions, Planning Commission and City Council.
City of Fife (WA) Parks, Recreation and Open Space Plan
Conservation Technix led the city of Fife's comprehensive plan for parks, trails, open space and recreation facilities which will serve as the guiding document for planning throughout Fife with its population of ~7,180 people and will enable grant eligibility through Recreation and Conservation Office certification. The team aided staff strengthen a rapport between the Parks Commission and Planning Commission and focused the project on goal development, survey design and implementation, system demand analyses, and capital planning.
City of Lake Forest Park (WA) 100-Year Park Legacy Project
The 100-year vision and 20-year plan for Lake Forest Park emphasizes the expansion and protection of the city's green infrastructure and natural corridors. As a subconsultant, Conservation Technix was responsible for developing a financing and implementation toolbox and programming matrix for critical projects. The toolbox consisted of local and regional taxing options, state and federal grant programs, and creative methods such as incentive measures, sponsorships and trusts. Task force committee discussions about program finance engendered a detailed funding strategy for specific projects.
City of Centralia (WA) Parks and Recreation Master Plan
Conservation Technix prepared the city of Centralia’s first park and recreation plan update in over 15 years. The new plan establishes a road map for providing high quality, community-driven parks, trails and recreation facilities throughout Centralia and enables grant eligibility through state certification. Services entailed public outreach (including a web-based survey), demand and need analysis, existing facilities assessment, capital planning and finance approaches. The participation process involved input from the public, along with local and state agencies.
City of Vancouver (WA) Urban Forestry Management Plan
Conservation Technix led the development of the city of Vancouver’s first urban forestry management plan. The forestry plan establishes strategy and policy to improve and expand the city’s forestry program. Steve’s role as project manager was to design and lead public outreach, policy development, implementation measures and financing strategy. Plan review included SEPA and CTED processes and planning commission, with final approval by City Council in December 2007.
City of La Center (WA) Recreation Needs Assessment
As a subconsultant, Conservation Technix completed an initial recreation needs assessment for the city of La Center (pop. 2,500) in preparation of La Center’s update to its parks and recreation plan. Redundant online and mail surveys were compiled for this project, with an overall return rate of approximately 30%. An analysis of local trends, levels of service and standards from comparable jurisdictions broadened the survey results to identify community demand for services and issues requiring additional attention.
Greater Clark Parks District Feasibility Study and Implementation
Steve led the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation (WA) management team through a series of program and financial analyses and authored a feasibility and program development plan based on the establishment of a metropolitan parks district. In 2004, the unincorporated urban area surrounding Vancouver, WA held 110,000 people who had access to five small parks. Clark County owned 35 other undeveloped properties acquired and dedicated as parkland, but lacked the resources to maintain these properties if developed into parks. The overall plan included a full analysis of viable funding options, an assessment of tax rate and revenue implications, a discussion of various development program choices, and complete financial modeling for a ten year park construction build out. The plan enabled the creation of the Greater Clark Parks District, which was successfully passed by voters in February 2005, as a means to fund on-going maintenance for 35 new parks and 8 miles of trails. Steve also led the implementation of the $40 million program by providing program management and oversight, communication with elected officials, streamlining development review processes within Clark County, and managing eight professional staff responsible for park design, public involvement, and construction management. Steve's work was conducted as staff to the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation.
Parkland Acquisition and Development Grant Writing
Since 2006, Conservation Technix has prepared and presented grant applications for public clients that resulted in over $4.6 million in program funding. Grant programs included the Washington Wildlife and Recreation Program, National Recreational Trails Program, Community Development Block Grants, among others.
City of Vancouver & Clark County Park Impact Fee Update
Conservation Technix prepared the 2008 update to the city of Vancouver's and Clark County's joint park impact fee program. As the first major update since 2001, the firm compiled regional real estate valuations by sales and assessment, analyzed recent and pending park development costs, conducted outreach with critical, building industry stakeholders and prepared ordinance revisions to include an annual indexing component.
Vancouver (WA) Urban Parks Recreation and Open Space Plan (2002)
Steve led the update of the comprehensive park plan to include public involvement, policy development, demand and needs assessments, capital facility planning, and an extensive update to the Park Impact Fee system. This project was a major update and a consolidation of two previous park plans for the Vancouver area into a single plan document. The City of Vancouver had recently doubled in size through annexation, and the urban area had grown to support 250,000 people. The plan was also approved by Washington's grant agency for parks and enabled $7 million in grants to be secured between 2002-2005. Steve's work was conducted as staff to the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation.
St Johns Vision 2020 Neighborhood Revitalization Plan
Steve led a grassroots, community revitalization planning project in the St Johns neighborhood funded by the City of Portland (OR) Bureau of Housing & Community Development. The project entailed the coordination of an active 15-member steering committee, facilitation of community meetings, and the development of multi-language brochure and survey to assess community desires and needs. The community-based plan considered the redevelopment of the downtown core of St Johns. The plan was successfully adopted plan and resulted in a $200,000 grant to conduct continued neighborhood planning and specific improvements projects.
Real Property Acquisitions
Successfully closed dozens of real property acquisitions of park and open space lands for Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation. With a comprehensive understanding of property acquisition process, from property investigation through closing, Steve effectively negotiated sales and further leveraged public dollars through donations and partnerships. Separately, Steve also led the development of an informational brochure that described various property sale options, such as life estates, exchanges, conservation easements, partial donations, and others, as tool to communicate with property owners. Steve's work was conducted as staff to the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation.
Vancouver (WA) Urban Off-Leash Dog Area Program
Steve creatively developed strategies and policy for providing lands for off-leash areas within the Vancouver (WA) urban area. Providing space and programming for sanctioned off-leash dog areas (aka, dog parks) is one of the most challenging current demands on park departments nationwide. Recognizing the potential and perceived conflicts between dogs and other park users, the adopted program leveraged, through partnership agreements, the landholdings of other governmental agencies. Steve negotiated the use of nine acres of Bonneville Power Administration property and aided in the formation of a non-profit organization to develop and operate the off-leash area. Clark County opened the gates on its first official off-leash dog area in 2005 to an ecstatic crowd of 500 patrons and dogs. Steve's work was conducted as staff to the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation.
Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation Marketing Plan
Steve oversaw the development of a marketing and communication plan for the parks department which included focus groups, stakeholder interviews, staff retreat, SWOT assessment, and goals and action steps. Upon completion, the plan guided the implementation of a monthly electronic newsletter, refocused web-based customer service to include on-line program registration, and provided a clear strategy for staff media training. Steve's work was conducted as staff to the Vancouver-Clark Parks & Recreation.