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Mecklenburg Park & Recreation Master Plan

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Park and Rec site: http://www.charmeck.org/Departments/Park+and+Rec/Home.htm

Master Plan information: http://www.charmeck.org/NR/rdonlyres/euway...AllFindings.pdf

Park & Rec. Master Plan Workshops

02/08/08 at 08:08:08 Quote

Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation is seeking public input for the new Park and Rec. Master Plan. Your input can make a difference in how the county prioritizes future projects and funding through bonds. See the schedule below. Thanks! -Brian

Park and Recreation master plan public workshops schedule

Monday, February 25th at 2:00 pm-3:30 pm, Senior Center at Marion Diehl Park, 2219 Tyvola Road, Charlotte NC 28210-2922

Monday, February 25th from 6:30 pm -8:00 pm at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church, 3301 Beatties Ford Road, Charlotte NC 28216

Tuesday, February 26th from 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm at Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave, Cornelius, NC 28301

Wednesday, February 27th from 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm at Matthews Town Hall, 232 Matthews Station St., Matthews NC 28105

Thursday, February 28th from 6:30 pm- 8:00 pm at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Government Center in Room CH-14 (basement level), 600 E. Fourth Street, Charlotte NC 28202

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The Zoo is up against an aquarium and a botanical gardens. I am all for a zoo!

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Given how well Park and Rec bonds have fared in past Novembers, I would agree that they have a good shot at getting an entirely new program approved by voters.

Which one to pitch is the tough one for me ... I give a zoo a slight edge because it would be a bigger tourist draw, but would really like botanical gardens closer by than Daniel Stowe ... I'm thinking of Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, much bigger scale than we could pull off, but a great place!

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Given how well Park and Rec bonds have fared in past Novembers, I would agree that they have a good shot at getting an entirely new program approved by voters.

Which one to pitch is the tough one for me ... I give a zoo a slight edge because it would be a bigger tourist draw, but would really like botanical gardens closer by than Daniel Stowe ... I'm thinking of Phipps Conservatory in Pittsburgh, much bigger scale than we could pull off, but a great place!

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How about a zoo WITH an aquarium ? :D

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Don't we already have a botanical garden and zoo in the area?

I'd rather use that money to build more parks that people can enjoy for free. Or how about use the money we'd spend on a zoo to finish building out the greenway system?

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Free parks don't bring in money like a destination does in order to fund things like free parks. I haven't been to it, but I have heard that the NC Zoo isn't great. There is a nice zoo in Columbia, SC. Not sure about the Botanical Gardens. I love parks and all, but I'd really love to see some money go towards tourism (revenue generator) and something new for the city to do.

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Check this out. This is Richmond's zoo/gardens. I don't really know what to call it because it has so many aspects that can't be lumped in as "just a zoo" or "just a botanical garden." It's central to the city along the James River and free access.

http://www.maymont.org/

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I'd like to see numbers on how many city zoo's generate substantial profits. From what I have found, zoo's are losing money across the country:

San Fransico, Atlanta, D.C., Memphis, Quebec City, Honolulu, and even San Diego have have been losing money for years. How many more "white elephants" does the city need to be involved with? have we not learned our lesson from the arena and white water park?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/conte...5080601118.html

http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html...754C0A961948260

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If the money is there for it, I'm all for a zoo. However, I'd like to see something different than the same old same old zoos where people pay to gawk at animals. I'd like to see anything we do have a strong science component, perhaps even tie in with a new curriculum track at UNCC, and truly have public education as a dominate focus.

...and no cages. None.

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^^ The Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens in Columbia is a great zoo. Its regularly rated among the best in the nation. The botanical garnden portion is good (maybe not great). That doesn't mean Charlotte shouldn't pursue one, but is that really the best investment? I suppose it makes sense for Charlotte to operate a zoo just given the size and expected growth in the city. But then, are zoo's always publicly funded? That also begs the question- where would a zoo go? I'm guessing somewhere waay out of town.

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NC Zoo

Asheboro

1 1/2 hours away

Riverbanks Zoo

Columbia

1 1/2 hours away

Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens

Belmont

30 minutes away

Georgia Aquarium

Atlanta

3 hours away

Myrtle Beach Aquarium

Myrtle Beach

3 hours away

Where would we put a zoo? To do it right, you need hundreds of acres for the animals. I wouldn't want cramped pens like they have at the Bronx Zoo.

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For the record, I don't have anything against the arena or whitewater center, I just don't think our tax dollars should be spent building things like that when we still can't seem to fund basic items like good roads, sidewalks, and parks.

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Honestly, I don't think Charlotte should pursue a zoo unless a large, central city park is being pursued as well (3rd Ward Park is too small to be the signature park of a city of ~650,000 and 280 sq mi).

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I agree with the comments to hold off on a megaproject like an aquarium or zoo. I don't think the existing projects like that are too far away.

Instead, Mecklenburg Park & Rec has actually been behind the curve on providing the basics of parks and greenways. We have been stuck for far too long with park land created purely by being undevelopable land, like completed landfills or floodplains.

Here would be my priorities:

- Purchase the land of as much remaining natural areas as possible.

- Identify current city or county land that is not utilized but could be used as a small pocket park or a larger park.

- Get the message that greenways and trails are a very very high priority and create a plan to build the network as soon as possible.

- Start making arrangements now to provide a First Ward park, almost certainly in the spot that the Levine has 'reserved' for it between UUNCC and Imaginon.

- Make arrangements for parks on the fringes of the county where the land is still available and inevitable growth will cause the need for them.

- Develop a strategy for adding a multitude of 'tiny' pocket parks in denser and densifying neighborhoods. 1/2 acre parks in those neighborhoods are great for area dog walkers or for building playgrounds like the pocket park in 4th Ward.

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I really don't think a botanical garden should be built, any available resources for that should be put into expanding the already existing Daniel Stowe Botantical Gardens. As far as a zoo, there are nice zoos just an 1/1.5 hours from Charlotte so that's a bit overkill. An aquarium however, would be the best option of the three IMO considering the nearest one is in Myrtle Beach that I'm aware of. My wife and I would absolutely become members to support a true aquarium in Charlotte if one were ever built.

Having said that, I agree that resources should be spent on expanding the park and greenway system. I'd love to see some really nice parks in Charlotte, perhaps to the extend of Millenium Park in Chicago that contains art, a mini botanical garden, ice skating (winter), restaurant, place for vendors to setup for hot dogs and other items, etc.

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I have evolved in my thinking to the point where I don't believe a zoo should be constructed unless it's free range. We don't have the space or money for that. The conventional zoo is a prison for animals.

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I have evolved in my thinking to the point where I don't believe a zoo should be constructed unless it's free range. We don't have the space or money for that. The conventional zoo is a prison for animals.

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If an aquarium is built, it had better be really good to compete with regional competition. The Ripley's Aquarium in MB is excellent, the Chattanooga Aquarium is a notch up from that, and the Atlanta one is just brilliant. It would be an embarrassment to step into this race with anything short of a world-class facility, and I don't know if that's a realistic expectation.

I've long wondered why Charlotte doesn't have a zoo. The NC Zoo is well below average and located in a small, depressed town (Asheboro) that nobody would ever visit otherwise. It's a nice attempt, I suppose, but frankly it's an embarrassment to the state to have so many large cities and not a decent zoo to be found. Personally I've made the drive to Columbia many times just to go to a better facility, and due to the length of the drive it becomes a day-trip where I end up doing other things in the city. I'm sure I'm not the only person who does this, meaning SC is drawing an awful lot of regional money into its tax coffers that might otherwise be going to Charlotte. Much like the rail line, the question is not about "money making" but about producing growth in visitor spending.

A botanical garden would be cannibalistic, so I'm surprised it's on the table. Of the three, a zoo makes the most sense to me provided an adequate amount of space can be found -- perhaps this could be a catalyst for redevelopment in the eastern middle ring?

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It would be very nice if downtown Charlotte had an aquarium/wax museum/planaterium combination near Discovery Place. It would be sort of like London with Madam Tussaud's wax museum/planatarium. That would be so cool. What a great draw it would be for the city. What is so sad is that I never see advertising for the city of Charlotte. My wife gets Southern Living and other cities are advertised, but not Charlotte. Are hotels doing so well that advertising isn't needed?

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It would be very nice if downtown Charlotte had an aquarium/wax museum/planaterium combination near Discovery Place. It would be sort of like London with Madam Tussaud's wax museum/planatarium. That would be so cool. What a great draw it would be for the city. What is so sad is that I never see advertising for the city of Charlotte. My wife gets Southern Living and other cities are advertised, but not Charlotte. Are hotels doing so well that advertising isn't needed?

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The NC Zoo is actually a pretty decent place and is one of the largest in the country. They actually give their animals room to roam like they would in their natural habitat.

A planetarium would be pretty cool and could be used for educational purposes with the schools. It would be great to have an observatory but the city lights pretty much nixes that.

Seems the leading vote getter here is an aquarium and is the one thing that isn't anywhere closer than 3 hours. Perhaps one of the sights on the northend of downtown could be utilized and that could be the northern anchor and draw more consumers and tourists to that section? Maybe some of the Levine lands could be used and create another namesake for himself?

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