CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -- The City of Chattanooga Parks and Recreation Department  and  the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Regional Planning Agency is conducting a major planning effort titled  "Places for People" to learn how patrons in Chattanooga and surrounding communities utilize the City's parks and numerous facilities.

The City of Chattanooga's goal is to track usage, and user recommended improvements in a large survey conducted both in print and online.

The City of Chattanooga ‘s extensive network of public parks, playgrounds, walking trails, and ball fields, provide residents with over 4800 acres of park space for passive and active recreation. This survey has been developed to perform a needs analysis for the upcoming Park and Facilities 2020 Master Plan, using a summary of the results to better understand the value of the City's parks and facilities to improve their overall level of service and outreach.

The results will strategically address key issues. The result will be a new plan containing principles, policies and strategies for the City of Chattanooga's Parks and Recreation Department. It will provide a current assessment of park and recreation facilities, an examination of some key questions via public input, and recommendations for new long range strategies.

"The public in every community is encouraged to complete the survey." Said Larry Zehnder, Parks and Recreation Administrator.  "This is an opportunity for residents and City staff to work together and highlight the community's needs and requirements in our public parks. "

The survey takes about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. City staff and members of the Regional Planning Agency, will summarize the data gathered from the survey, and provide a full summary to the Park and Facilities 2020 Master Plan Steering Committee. An executive summary will be available to survey respondents.

The Regional Planning Agency has prepared two versions of the survey, online and a hard copy for those without internet access. To take the survey online, visit or by visiting the Facebook group, "Places for People". 

Hard copy surveys will be available at all 17 of the City's Community Centers, Outdoor Chattanooga, Heritage Park, City Hall and the offices of both the Regional Planning Agency and Chattanooga Parks and Recreation. The public is also encouraged to contact RPA at 423-757-5216 and one will be mailed to you.  One survey per household.

The survey period will end October 31st 2012.

As an extra incentive, the City of Chattanooga has agreed to award prizes, at random to individuals who complete the survey. Prizes include 2 Parks and Recreation "Kidz Kamps" passes ($75 for each two week session), 4 Family passes to the Warner Park Zoo (valued at $26 each), 5 sets of 4 passes to the Warner Park Spray Park (passes are $3 each for a total of $60), 10 Outdoor Chattanooga "Outventure" Activities ($30 average per adult).