Mariposa County Recreation and Resiliency Master Plan
Developing the Plan
In early 2020, Mariposa County began developing its first Parks and Recreation Master Plan. In addition to helping articulate community recreation needs and devising a strategy for developing and maintaining new and existing parks, open spaces, trails, and other recreation amenities, the plan applies a resiliency framework to identify opportunities for investments to support climate change adaptation and mitigation. The first of its kind, the Recreation and Resiliency Master Plan will explicitly explore strategies that leverage parks and recreation resources to reduce the risk and impacts of wildfire, support response activities, and grapple with the impacts of a changing climate on our landscape. The plan addresses these issues through a parks and recreation system that promotes the county’s public health, economic development, and creative placemaking objectives.
The planning effort used extensive stakeholder engagement to understand our community’s needs for current and future park and recreation programming, and preferences for park and recreation aesthetics and character. The county hired a team of landscape architects, planners, and other experts to help facilitate this process.
In March 2021, the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to adopt the Recreation and Resiliency Master Plan.
What's in the Plan?
Recommendations occur at two scales. First, the plan divides the entire county into four geographic districts (North County Zone, West County Zone, Central County Zone, and the Yosemite Zone) and recommends specific projects for each district. These projects are categorized as those related to Park Lands & Open Space; Recreation & Activities; Trails & Connectivity; and Natural Systems. The plan recommends key projects in each of these categories for each recreation district.
Second, the plan recommends three priority projects that were revealed through community dialogue to most effectively blend recreation and resilience, and provide opportunities to achieve Mariposa's public health, economic development, landscape conservation, and climate change adaptation goals. Those projects are a countywide trail network; a multi-functional community recreation center in Mariposa; and a set of guidelines for integrating local wildfire planning and best practices into recreation.
Mariposa County residents drove the decision-making at every step of the planning process. In addition to regular meetings with and input from the project's ad hoc steering committee, which included staff from the Planning, Public Works, Administration, and Public Health departments, as well as representatives of the Mariposa County Arts Council, Mariposa Trails, Sierra Foothill Conservancy, Yosemite/Mariposa County Tourism Bureau, and Mariposa County Chamber of Commerce, the public provided input through a variety of channels.
Now that the Plan has been adopted, the County and its partners have have begun implementing its recommendations. Some of the recommendations that are already being implemented include reintroducing cultural burning the Mariposa Creek Parkway, supporting efforts that protect Williamson Act lands, increasing miles of multi-use trails, and developing the Merced River Trail.