Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails Plan

Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails Plan

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Draft Plan


Prominently featured throughout this process, public particpation has been the driving force behind this plan and the ideas, goals, and objectives presented within. With an initial kickoff of the Public Paricipation Plan on May 1st of 2019, this effort was first presented to the Shelton community as part of the Spotlight Shelton Semiannual Community Engagement Forum.

Since that time, we have fielded hundreds of comments from across the community with ideas ranging in scale from minor facility-specific updates to citywide objectives. Each comment, recommendation, insight, and idea has factored into the 2019 PROST Plan Draft.

Review the Draft Here

Public Participation Plan

City of Shelton | Parks, Recreation, Open Space & Trails 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 the quality of life by providing open space, wildlife habitat, and ground water 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.


The City of Shelton Parks and Recreation Department in collaboration with the County, the Shelton Metropolitan Park District, local agencies and groups, elected officials, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee and the general public.


We’re drafting a new master Parks, Recreation, Open Space and Trails (PROST) plan for the City of Shelton. This new, integrated 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 parks and recreation services to residents.

When completed, the plan will include:

  • A public involvement processes, including timely communications with citizens 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.


1.       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 help maintain a healthy environment. Access to parks and recreation is an important right of every citizen in the community, 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 clean water in the region, as well as wildlife habitat and agricultural land that enrich our City.

2.        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 of Shelton has updated the Comprehensive Plan (2017) and Mason County has updated and expanded their Parks and Recreation Plan to better address the roles of Open Space for public benefit (2018).

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 this 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.

3.       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 10 years. The new PROST plan will help Shelton to realize its goals while supporting environmental stewardship and sustainable, long-term growth.

When and How

To launch this project, we are engaging in a multi-faceted outreach process that will provide City residents and patrons a variety of opportunities to participate in the plan development. On May 1st, 2019, the City is hosting a community Open House that will function as the public project kickoff and the start of the community outreach effort. Regular updates and opportunities for participation will also be made available on the City of Shelton website. The following page has a project timeline with a target adoption date in December of 2019.