Step-by-Step Planning Process

A town forest recreation plan offers a voice to the community and a roadmap for community leaders and volunteers toward sustainable recreational use of the town forest. This step-by-step planning process (and printable pdf) is a framework to develop a community vision, invite robust community engagement and create actionable strategies.  The process is designed to be flexible and can be adapted to meet your community needs and capacity.  

Get started creating a town forest recreation plan.

Step 1. Select a Community Steering Committee

This diverse group of local stakeholders and community representatives will help guide and serve as plan ambassadors to champion the planning process.

Step 2. Determine Existing Conditions and Natural Resources

Start compiling baseline information about the community and the town forest, including existing plans and maps.

Step 3. Hold a Steering Committee Kickoff Meeting 

The first official meeting of the steering committee should be used to share the planning process and begin to solicit ideas and input about recreation in the town forest. 

Step 4. Hold a Visioning Workshop

The first public outreach event in the process, this workshop is designed to collect community input on needs and vision for the town forest.

Step 5. Conduct a Community Survey 

This survey is designed to capture broader input on the town forest vision from across the community. 

Step 6. Create a Draft Vision Framework

Once the initial round of input has been collected, it's time to distill the community’s ideas into a vision framework that may be called upon to guide this effort as well as future decision making for the town forest.

Step 7. Hold a Draft Strategies Workshop 

Now it's time to go back to the community, present the community feedback heard in the visioning process, and prioritize strategies to support the community in achieving its vision.

Step 8. Develop a Draft Plan

From the initial list of strategies developed with input from the public and steering committee, the next step is to craft a draft plan well-suited to the community’s interests, needs, and capacity. 

Step 9. Present the Draft Plan to the Community 

Once the draft plan is complete, the steering committee should present the draft to the community and community leaders for feedback.

Step 10. Implement the Plan

Now that the plan is complete, it's time to get to work on the strategies.  Fortunately, there are lots of resources to help.