The future is now

Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism begins work on 10-year plan

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CPRST and PROS Consulting are reviewing current ventures and are looking to the future (Maggie Darnell for The Cullman Tribune)

CULLMAN, Ala. – Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism (CPRST) is in the process of evaluating its functionality in the community by assessing its various sites and facilities, maintenance and staffing plans, standards of service and recreation, sports and services. The tedious process is necessary every 10 years for its continued accreditation by the National Recreation and Park Association’s Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA). 

CPRST Executive Director Nathan Anderson shared that, while the analysis of the systems in place is being performed, additional input will be sought. 

“We will engage the community, stakeholders and leaders to determine the needs of our area. We will do this through engaging the community through open forums and focus groups, as well as a community survey,” he said. “We will also compare notes from the community feedback with demographic and recreational trends. Once we have collected all the data and analysis, we will start formulating a plan.” 

This will include needs prioritization, a capital development plan, a strategic action plan and a maintenance plan. 

The first community forum was held recently, where Anderson and his team, along with PROS Consulting, gathered the public’s input through focus groups. 

He said, “We received a lot of great feedback from the community and stakeholders. People mentioned how thankful they are for the variety of parks and facilities and that our programs address all ages.  

“There were a variety of ideas discussed ranging from the need for more pickleball and disc golf space to more indoor sports and performing arts space. All the feedback was great to hear, and we look forward to developing an action plan for addressing the needs that were identified as the highest priorities.” 

Assisting with the operation is PROS Consulting. Anderson explained why PROS was the logical choice for the nine-month process. 

“PROS Consulting specializes in parks and recreation; their team worked in the field prior to becoming consultants. They are familiar with CAPRA nationally accredited agencies, like Cullman Parks, Recreation & Sports Tourism,” he said. “In 2019, we became the first agency in the state of Alabama to achieve accreditation, which is a huge milestone for Cullman. It is imperative that we go through this process with someone who understands the importance of meeting all the accreditation markers that we are required address in order to maintain accreditation.” 

The public’s input will be sought at the next community forum to be held later this year. For more information on CPRST, visit www.cullmanrecreation.org.  

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