Plain Township and the Stark County Park District, located in Ohio, selected ms consultants to develop a master plan for a 42-acre vacant parcel within their community.
The initial investigation involved the firm‘s planning group as it analyzed the site and its location for possible development. Once the site was evaluated and the existing wetlands delineated, the township agreed to move forward.
After initial discussions with the township, it became clear that the community leaders and residents did not want a traditional park. They were looking for “something different.”
With the site situated in the center of the community and with the potential for becoming a main focal point, four conceptual designs were created that offered a variety of desired park activities and overall themes.
In order to include the local community in the design process, Plain Township presented the four concepts at a public meeting. Residents then voted on the different functions that were offered in each scheme and their input was considered in developing the final design.
The scheme most universally accepted by the public is a “multi-generational” theme that incorporates a variety of recreational activities for all ages. The final master plan includes an entertainment amphitheater that overlooks a fishing pond, a dog park, a skateboard park, 5 miles of walking trails, a sledding hill, picnic shelters, 6 acres of native wildflower and prairie grasslands for nature enthusiasts, and a 1.1-mile bike trail that will link up with the expanding Stark Parks Bike Trail system.
The township has been delighted with the final park design, now known as Schneider Park. One of the Plain Township Board of Trustee members said that the “master plan truly embodies the vision of bringing our community together to enjoy recreational opportunities for many years to come. The park’s focus is family and the Plain Township community coming together. Whether you come to sled ride, hike, bike, fish, or picnic, the design is generational so that children through seniors will be able to enjoy it.”