Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan

Florida Statutes authorizes the Board of County Commissioners of Manatee County, as the legislative and governing body of Manatee County to provide parks, preserves, playgrounds, recreation areas, and other recreation and cultural facilities and programs.

Manatee County signed an agreement with Kimley-Horn & Associates, Inc., to provide services to act as consultants and develop a Professional Services Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) Master Plan. County staff and the Parks Master Plan consultants conducted public meetings and provided an online survey link to all user groups of park facilities across Manatee County to seek opinions on current and future park projects and programs to develop a plan to create recreational assets and programs citizens' desire.

With the assistance of the consulting firm Kimley-Horn, County staff presented and received Board approval of the Strategic Initiatives and recommended Policies that support the development of a comprehensive 15-year Capital Improvement Plan (CIP). Chapter 7 of the PROS Master Plan represents a 15-year projection of a combination of infrastructure sales projects, both approved and pending, along with projects to be funded through impact fees. These projects will be blended with the approved County-wide CIP, to be implemented following year-to-year review and approval of the Board in conjunction with the annual County CIP review and updated approvals.

PROS Master Plan 2021

PROS Master Plan_Board Approved November 16, 2021

Purpose & Objectives

The Parks, Recreation and Open Space Master Plan (PROS Master Plan) focuses primarily on County maintained parks and preserves. While federal, state, city, and  private parks all play significant roles in meeting residents' recreation needs, their upkeep, programming, quality and quantity are not determined by the County. The plan is made up of the following "Steps to Success" which build towards the ultimate (final) master plan. These steps outline the public process undertaken in the development of this master plan and build on the general goals of this plan.
  • Engage the community, leadership, and stakeholders in a meaningful and creative public input process to build a shared vision for parks, recreation, and open spaces that supports the economic and community goals of the County.

  • Utilize a wide variety of data sources and best practices to identify trends and patterns of use and how to address unmet (future) needs in the County.

  • Determine unique Level of Service Standards for the County to project appropriate and prudent actions regarding program services, parks, open space, amenities, trails, and natural resources.

  • Shape financial and operational preparedness through innovative and "next" practices in revenue generation to achieve the strategic objectives, recommended actions, and implementation strategies outlined in the plan.

  • Align with national (recommended) standards of conservation, social equity, and health and wellness through "next" practices in order for the County to achieve the strategic objectives and recommended actions, goals, and implementation strategies outlined in the plan.
Review of the Plan is expected to take place every five years as stated in the PROS Master Plan.