Darren Dunkle

The Washington City Council approved the Parks Department’s Strategic Action Plan during Monday’s meeting.

The 14-part plan will help provide guidance in the development, operation and maintenance of the city’s parks and recreation system. The council said the primary purpose of the plan is to establish a planning tool that will serve as a guideline for the development and improvement of the parks and recreation system and the creation of new opportunities for the department.

Parks and Recreation Director Darren Dunkle and the park board spent several months putting together the plan. At workshops, the board broke down and reviewed each section.

Once the sections were reviewed individually, the board reviewed the plan as a whole before sending it along to the council.

At Monday’s meeting, the council voted to support the plan.

The ordinance to support the plan said the plan is a means to carry out the parks and recreation comprehensive plan that was approved last year.

The plan offers guidelines for things like community engagement, maintenance operations and department staffing.

Putting together the plan was one of Dunkle’s goals when he took over as parks director in 2011. His goal was to finish the plan and get it approved this year.

The plan will set guidelines for the department for the next 10 years from 2014-23.

Dunkle said the plan will have annual reviews. Changes and alterations could be made on a yearly basis, but a major overhaul wouldn’t be needed until 2023.

Dunkle said this way it would be another 10 years before the board would need monthly meetings to go over each section in great detail.

The ordinance encourages the parks department to conduct a thorough review every five years.