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Make your voice heard on open space/recreation.

Byline: Jan Gottesman

CLINTON - How should Clinton handle and plan for open space and recreation?

To voice your opinion, attend the public forum on Tuesday, March 5, at 7 p.m. in the selectmen's chamber, when you will get a chance to review a draft of the goals and objectives of the Open Space and Recreation Plan.

According to Frannie Hodge, who is chairman of the planning committee for this effort, the current Clinton Open Space and Recreation Plan covers 2007 to 2011 and is part of the overall Clinton planning document.

"Open space and recreation plans include five-year action plans," Hodge said. "They need to be updated every five years to keep this action plan and reflect changes in the community."

An up-to-date plan is also a requirement for grants funded through the state, Hodge added.

"In addition, it provides a great planning tool for the community," she said.

The committee includes Parks and Rec. Director Jessica Brodie; Economic Development Director Phil Duffy; Selectman Michael Dziokonski; Deb Grant and Gloria Parkinson, of the Clinton Greenway Conservation Trust and Rauscher Farm; and Parks Commissioner Yoanna Osborne.

During a public forum on Nov. 15, community members provided a lot of recommendations for new recreational activities.

"The 2007-2011 plan seemed to focus more on preservation, protection and linkages, and not as much on recreation," Hodge said. "We are hoping the new plan will maintain the goals and objectives related to preservation, protection and linkages, but introduce more focus on recreation."

After the public forum March 5, feedback will be incorporated into a draft plan, Hodge said, with at least one more public forum to review the draft plan.

"Making sure the plan gets implemented is a big challenge," Hodge said. "We have noticed that when there is an involved citizens group, a goal or objective is much more likely to be completed."

Hodge urged anyone interested in open space or recreation to participate on March 5.

"This could almost be anybody in town, ranging from someone who simply enjoys the scenery of Clinton or likes to walk around town, to someone who wants to build a new trail or start a new sports activity.

Copies of the Clinton Open Space and Recreation Plan 2007-2011 are available to review at: Clinton Town Hall in the town clerk's office; the Bigelow Free Public Library; the Clinton Senior Center; and the Parks and Recreation Department.

An electronic copy is available on the Clinton Parks and Recreation website:
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Mar 1, 2013
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