Berlin Township is asking residents to participate in a parks and trails survey.
Parks and Trails Advisory Committee “requests resident feedback to ensure our recommendations align with the interest of our community,” said the Berlin Township website. “While grants and other funding opportunities will be pursued, to effectively plan, it is necessary to understand both what residents want and what we residents are willing to financially support. Both items are vitally important to know so that the committee can effectively advise the Board of Trustees.
“This very brief survey will help baseline initial interests,” the township continued. “Based on the findings, the committee will make recommendations to the Board of Trustees for the level of planning and initial investments to pursue at this time.”
The committee has discussed having a survey at its previous meetings this year. Property taxes and grants could be sources of funding if there were enough interest shown in the survey.
On March 10, Berlin’s Comprehensive Land Use Map was provided to show existing recreational areas at Alum Creek State Park. The Berlin Business Park could provide opportunities for recreation, as well as upcoming developments. Linking trails in surrounding townships, as well as the Ohio-to-Erie Trail, were mentioned, too.
At its next meeting on April 14, Beth Hugh, former parks director in Orange Township, spoke to the committee.
“She (Hugh) said public involvement is very important for a number of reasons, including transparency and grant approval,” the meeting minutes said.
Berlin Township Trustee Meghan Raehll has advised the committee.
“Trustee Raehll said the Board of Trustees isn’t sure of the appetite for parks and trails across the township,” the minutes said. “A question persists that everyone wants parks, but do they want to pay for them? We need clarity with valid and reliable data before we put something on the levy.”
The Berlin Township Board of Trustees approved the creation of its seven-member Parks and Trails Advisory Committee in 2021.
“The Parks and Trails committee acts as an advisory body to the Trustees regarding matters concerning the development, planning and use of the parks, trails, and recreational areas located within, and owned by, the Township,” the township website said. “As of 2022, the township does not own any parks or maintain any trails.”
The survey can be found on the township website at www.berlintwp.us. Responses will be accepted through Oct. 9.
Gary Budzak covers the eastern half of Delaware County. He may be reached at the above email address or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.