If you have any ideas at about changes and improvements that would be good for Guilford County’s parks – or things you don’t want to see happen to the parks in the future –  you’ll have plenty of chances to offer your input, starting on Saturday, Oct. 14.

The Guilford County Parks Department is inviting area residents to help shape the future of Guilford County’s parks, trails and open spaces as part of what county officials describe as the department’s “exciting community engagement initiative.”

The comprehensive master plan will be a 10-year plan that will evaluate Guilford County’s seven regional parks – five of which the county operates.  There are ten passive parks in Guilford County that will also be shaped by the plan, as well as over 60 miles of trails and greenways.

Between now and the end of 2024, Guilford County is asking residents to engage with parks officials through a series of community workshops, online surveys and social media sites.

Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Skip Alston said this week that he and other county leaders want to hear from everyone who has thoughts on the parks.

He said that, when residents actively participate in helping to shape the community’s future, “we create a stronger, more vibrant place to live, work, and thrive.”

He added, “Every voice matters – your involvement is not just appreciated, it’s essential.”

Residents will have their first chance to provide input on Saturday, Oct. 14, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Annual Fall Fest at Bur-Mil Park at 5834 Bur-Mil Club Road in Greensboro.

Guilford County’s consultant for the Parks Master Plan will be on-site to talk with people about the project.

Going forward, there will be plenty of other opportunities to offer input as well.  Here are some of the ways the county will hear from people…

• Community Workshops. Guilford County Parks will host a series of interactive workshops – both in-person and online – meant to encourage dialogue among residents.

• Online Surveys. To ensure everyone’s voice is heard and to let people participate from the comfort of their homes, the county will take input online. Future  surveys will cover a wide range of topics, from park amenities to environmental preservation.

• Stakeholder Consultations. Guilford County Parks is also going to seek input from local organizations, nonprofits, businesses and other stakeholders to “foster collaborative partnerships and garner diverse insights.”

 • A Social Media Campaign. This is meant to encourage ongoing conversations about the future of the parks. You can follow the discussions by checking in on the county’s social media sites and channels.

Guilford County Parks Director Dwight Godwin said this week that the feedback his department receives will “directly inform” the development of the parks system’s master plan.

Residents are encouraged to stay up to date about upcoming engagement opportunities by visiting www.guilfordparks.com.