Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Plan

PROST PlanThe PROST Plan inventories and analyzes Shelton's existing parklands and numerous undeveloped, City-owned parcels in comparison to demographics, and in comparison to other cities and national recreation standards. This plan also examines the City's open space assets and engages the public in determining the level of recreational service being provided, then outlines recommended improvements to form a basis for future capital improvement planning.

View Prost Plan

Parks and recreation contribute to a high quality of life by providing a full range of recreational opportunities for all segments of the population from competitive activities, such as sports and games, to more passive activities, such as walking and bird watching. Attractive, well-maintained parks also contribute to our quality of life by providing open space, wildlife habitat, and groundwater recharge areas.

The City of Shelton is updating its Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Plan as identified within the Washington State Growth Management Act (GMA) and in accordance with the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Plan.

We believe that an inclusive planning process is vital to the success of any effort to provide recreation opportunities and outdoor amenities within our community. Planning that engages people, supporters and opponents alike, will help ensure that the right actions are taken for the right reasons at the right time.

Fundamental to good planning is the collection of local insights and perspectives. Good, quantitative information will strengthen the results of this effort, helping to inform decisions, and leading to the development of a plan that is truly representative of our community.

Public Participation Plan
The Parks and Recreation department, in collaboration with the Shelton Metropolitan Park District, Mason County, local agencies and groups, elected officials, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, and the general public.

We are drafting a new Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails (PROST) Plan for Shelton. This new plan will replace the 2008 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan and the 2013 Community Trails Plan with a single, guiding document for the next 10 years of providing parks and recreation services to our community.

When completed, the plan will include:
  • Public involvement processes, including timely communications with residents and elected officials through web updates, presentations, and various forms of public outreach
  • Community-driven evaluation approaches and comprehensive needs assessment
  • Identification of potential inter-agency and public/private partnerships
  • Evaluation of land, facilities, and program needs, maintenance services, park management, operations funding, as well as recreation program evaluations
  • Review of local population trends and regional inputs
  • GIS mapping with statistically valid metrics
  • An updated vision intended to guide identified goals and objectives as they relate to Shelton parks, trails, programs, and open space
When and How?
To launch this project, we are engaging in a multi-faceted outreach process that will provide community members with a variety of opportunities to participate in PROST Plan development. On May 1, 2019, we hosted a community open house that will function as the public project kick-off and start of our community outreach effort. Regular updates and opportunities for participation will also be posted on our website. The Parks, Recreation, Open Space, and Trails Plan was adopted by City Council on June 16, 2020.

Parks, recreation, open space, and trails are important to our community.
Parks, trails, and open spaces are an essential part of each day for our community as they provide opportunities for recreation, transportation, connecting with nature, and helping maintain a healthy environment. Access to parks and recreation is an important right of every community member, and proximity to these resources is an important factor in increasing physical activity which results in a healthier population. In addition, the natural resources conserved by open lands help provide clean air and water in our region, as well as wildlife habitat and agricultural land that enriches Shelton.

It's time to update and integrate existing plans.
Currently, two primary plans guide the development of parks, trails, and open space: the 2008 Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Plan and the 2013 Community Trails Plan. In the years since these two plans were adopted, the City has updated our Comprehensive Plan in 2017, and Mason County has expanded their Parks and Recreation Plan, in 2018, to better address the roles of open space for public benefit. 

The Washington State Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan has also been updated through the Washington State Recreation and Conservation Office, complete with a 2019 manual for the development of planning policies and guidelines. At the same time, Shelton's undeveloped land is coming under greater pressure to accommodate new growth, and existing parks, trails, and open space are experiencing increasing recreational use.

Growing populations, levels of understanding, and evolving needs.
Since 2010, some 4,000 new residents have moved into Mason County, with many of them settling in and regularly visiting the City of Shelton. In this same time period, new studies have come out regarding level of service needs; the roles of corridors and buffer zones that provide wildlife movement between areas; changes in technology; environmental health; social equity; and changing demographics and related needs.

We believe that it is our responsibility to respond to these changes, and in order to better serve the community, our guiding plans need to reflect the needs of our residents and their vision for the future. Many of our 2008 and 2013 goals and objectives have also been accomplished or shifted in the past decade. The new PROST Plan will help Shelton to realize its goals while supporting environmental stewardship and sustainable, long-term growth.