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COUNTY PARK and REC PLAN: An urgent need

| November 17, 2023 1:00 AM

I am writing to express my concern about the lack of a comprehensive park and recreation master plan in Kootenai County, a critical issue highlighted by the recent rejection of the open space bond proposal on Nov. 7. While I voted against the bond proposal due to the absence of a publicly supported plan, I commend our Board of County Commissioners for putting the matter to a vote.

Balancing economic growth with the preservation of our natural resources is a challenge, but it’s one that demands our attention. We must collectively address this challenge by creating a long-term plan that safeguards our recreational resources.

Our love for North Idaho is intrinsically tied to the gifts of Mother Nature. Yet, these treasures often take a back seat to other pressing issues. We must commit to publicly planning for open spaces, trails, parks and recreation areas that reflect our collective values.

The recent 2020 county comprehensive plan update underscores the urgency for a comprehensive county park and recreation master plan that provides pragmatic solutions for coordination, acquisition and maintenance of our public resources. Many neighboring communities have successfully implemented park and recreation master plans, providing a blueprint for Kootenai County. 

I urge the citizens of Kootenai County to come together and formulate a plan that secures the future of our home. Our county and community leaders must take the initiative in leading this charge. 

COLLIN COLES, retired

Coeur d’Alene