By Sophie Braccini
Moraga Parks and Recreation Director Jay Ingram just announced that a survey about the future of Moraga Commons Park is now online. Ingram expects about 1,000 residents to participate and provide direction in the development of the park's three key areas: the "back forty," the bocce ball courts and the sand volleyball courts. The survey will be available until April 12.
"We should be able, as a community, to maximize the use of our park acreage for as many residents as possible," said Ingram. In general the park is widely used; except for the zone dubbed the "back forty"-the easterly part of the park that's home to the disc golf course-and the sand volleyball courts. The director believes that residents should have a say on what the future use of these two areas should be; he also wants to know what they think about increasing the area dedicated to the bocce ball courts.
"We wanted to design an open survey so people can dream of what the ideal use should be; about what they think is most needed in Moraga," said Ingram. Chris Chamberlain, an assistant professor of hospitality, recreation and tourism at Cal State East Bay, and his students, designed the survey pro bono. Chamberlain and his team are experienced in providing such services to area cities, and after the survey closes students will come to community events and parks to collect additional input from residents.
The survey is composed of about 20 questions with a series of choices and additional space for comments. "For example, the back forty people can choose between leaving the area as is, transforming it into a sports field, a dog park, a meditation trail, tennis courts, and more," said Ingram. "There is also a field where people can suggest a different use or indicate what they do not want to see happen there." All user groups are invited to participate: youth, sports groups, adults, seniors, service groups and schools. "We also invite Saint Mary's students to fill out the survey," added Ingram.
Ingram will present the survey results and a plan, with financing options, to the parks and recreation commission this summer. A final plan should be presented to the town council in the fall.
The survey can be found on the town's website, www.moraga.ca.us.