The population of Osceola County is expected to increase by 73 percent over the next 25 years. This growth, combined with the draw of Central Florida, will continue to drive the demand for parks and recreation opportunities. Additionally, the proposed Celebration Island Village, Phase 1 development includes provisions for the School Board of Osceola County, Florida, to be required to build or cause to be built, the Celebration K-5 School Improvements on the Celebration Island Village School Property and complete construction of such improvements by the start of school for the 2021/2022 school year. In anticipation of these and future growth demands, Celebration engaged the services of Lose Design to develop a 2019 Facilities and Parks Master Plan Update for the community. The goal of this master plan is to assist Celebration in guiding its strategies for future improvements to the community’s facilities and parks over the next ten years. Developing the master plan involved a process of public engagement, facility assessment, examination of community trends in Celebration’s facilities and parks. The report includes five sections: (1) population and demographic analysis, (2) needs analysis and Celebration involvement, (3) phasing and implementation costs, (4) capital layout and funding options, and (5) future leverage recommendations. Across America, and especially in the Southeast, Parks and Recreation facilities and parks have taken on a new role. Gone are the days of children as primary users of park facilities while parents sit in the outfield and watch. Park facilities and programs now serve all residents, all ages and all segments of the community. This fact has led to a diversification of services, which is based on sound research, demographic data and market conditions. Shrinking open space, increased property values, and residents with busy schedules have collectively placed a demand for well designed and efficient facilities and park space and recreational opportunities that serve the wide and varied needs of Celebration. Park facilities have become social gathering spaces, health related improvement opportunities and benchmarks for the quality of life within individual communities.’ Prospective residents select or eliminate communities based on the quality of Parks and Recreation facilities available. Parks and recreation agencies have become a “big deal.” So, how do American communities’ step up to the plate and make a home run with their parks and recreation facilities and parks – Good Planning.
Questions must be asked and carefully answered: • What facilities and parks do the residents of Celebration want? • What are the demographics of Celebration? Understanding a community’s wellness profile is critical to design recommendations. • Do they live in Celebration year-round; how do they travel? • What do they need to lead a robust high quality of life? • What capital programs will be developed that promote the quality of life expectations Celebration residents desire? This planning process will address these questions asked, fully analyze and answer them, but more importantly, will provide guidance on a plan structure so that the needs and desires of Celebration residents be met through a well-developed Facilities and Parks system.