Thursday, April 17, 2014

Public Invited to Participate in MT State Parks Strategic Planning Process

Montana State Parks ( announced yesterday that the public is invited to participate in focus groups as part of its strategic planning process. There will be eight focus groups around the state starting Monday, April 21 through Thursday, May 1.

Working with the public, stakeholders and the Montana State Parks & Recreation Board, the Parks' Division aims to address challenges related to resources, system capacity and gain insight on the public's interests in services and recreation needs.

The strategic planning process will take a year to complete and will result in an updated vision for the Montana State Parks' system and recreation programs for the next decade. There will be a public comment process on the draft strategic plan, later this year.

The most recent strategic plan was created in 1998.

As part of the strategic planning process, Montana State Parks is hosting focus group sessions in communities around Montana. These sessions will provide an opportunity for participants to learn about the current status of the Montana State Parks' system and provide feedback on challenges and opportunities, including: what makes a state park significant?, what services are needed for the future?, how does the state parks' system sustain adequate resources to handle demands?

Individuals are welcome to attend one of the focus group sessions listed below. Each focus group will last about three hours and refreshments will be provided. The public is encouraged to RSVP by calling the Montana State Parks Helena office at (406) 444-3750.

Focus Group Sessions:

• Glasgow - Monday, April 21, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm Cottonwood Inn, 45 1st Ave NE, Glasgow

• Glendive - Tuesday, April 22, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Dawson Community College, Ullman Center (UC 102), 300 College Drive, Glendive

• Billings - Wednesday, April 23, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Pictograph Cave State Park, 3401 Coburn Road, Billings

• Kalispell - Monday, April 28, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Lone Pine State Park, 300 Lone Pine Rd, Kalispell

• Missoula - Tuesday, April 29, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Travelers' Rest State Park, 6717 Highway 12 W, Lolo

• Whitehall - Wednesday, April 30, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park, 25 Lewis and Clark Caverns Rd., Whitehall

• Helena – Thursday, May 1, 10:00 am – 1:00 pm, Carroll College, Campus Center (Rice Avila DeSmet Room), 1601 North Benton, Helena

• Great Falls - Thursday, May 1, 4:00 pm - 7:00 pm, First Peoples Buffalo Jump State Park. 342 Ulm-Vaughn Rd., Ulm For more information about the focus group sessions, call the Montana State Parks’ Helena office at (406) 444-3750.

Hiking in Glacier National Park

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