OGDEN — The city has a new strategy that will guide outdoor and recreational activity in Ogden for the next quarter of a century.
Earlier this week, the Ogden City Council adopted the city's Parks, Recreation, and Trails Master Plan — a sweeping action that was solidified after several years of work and has been through several different iterations. The variations of the plan include an initial recreation master plan draft that was developed between 2010 and 2013, an attempt at a countywide recreation master plan between 2013 and 2015, and the work on the current plan, which began in 2016.
The final, adopted plan was developed by Landmark Design and incorporates data from a citizen survey conducted by Weber State University, input from organizations like Weber Pathways and from citizens.
The measure addresses the following major points of interest: parks and open space, recreation facilities and programs, trails, costs, and city goals and policies. According to city council documents, the initial phase of the plan will be implemented between now and 2023. A second phase is planned between 2024 and 2028, with a final phase being developed through 2045.
Mark Vlasic, president of Landmark, said Ogden has more than 1,100 acres of park space. The plan calls for upgrades to existing parks, investment in new maintenance equipment and adding park acreage as possible.
"As a built-out community (adding new park space) becomes more and more challenging because there is less and less space," Vlasic said. "But it is something that should be maintained as a goal."
Vlasic said Ogden's major recreational facilities include the Marshall White Center, the Lorin Farr Pool, the Golden Hours Senior Center and municipal golf courses. The plan says the city needs an improved aquatic center and a new indoor recreational facility.
Ogden's trail system, Vlasic said, is something the city and its residents should be proud of. He said 85% of WSU survey respondents said they used Ogden's trail system. The trail network through the city is held together by three main trails: the Ogden River Parkway, the Weber River Parkway and the Bonneville Shoreline Trail.
"You have a world class trails system in Ogden," Vlasic said.
But continuous maintenance, adding restrooms and lighting at certain trailhead locations are identified as needs in the plan. The plan also calls for an additional 13 miles of recreation trails.
Though the plan has been adopted, implementing all pieces of it would be a pricey endeavor. According to Vlasic, maintaining and updating existing parks while bringing them to minimum standards, as identified in the plan, would cost $7.9 million.
A new recreation center would likely cost between $20 million and $40 million, depending on the size and amenities of the center. Implementing the city's Bicycle Master Plan would cost $8 million.