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Indiana Department of Natural Resources

Outdoor Recreation > Planning > Planning Introduction Planning Introduction

This local park planning information webpage is for individuals, organizations, or communities who intend to submit a local community (County, Township, City or Town) five-year park and recreation master plan to the IDNR for eligibility to apply for grant programs administered by the Division of Outdoor Recreation (IDNR-OR).

There are many reasons to create a master plan, including but not limited to:

  • Formulating a written framework for future action that acts as a guide for sensible facility and service development
  • Providing community input opportunities
  • Ensuring that the public actually wants the facilities that are developed
  • Providing an opportunity to share information about your programs and facilities with the public
  • Giving a clear sense of direction for the park system
  • Improving funding opportunities

IDNR-OR has created a series of free downloadable documents below that detail what we require for an “IDNR-Accepted” park plan, as well as due dates, park plan examples/templates and FAQ’s for park planners of all levels of experience, and lots of supporting information to make your planning process easier and more useful.

Please Note: IDNR-OR is now accepting electronic master plan submissions. Any major electronic file format is acceptable, such as: PDF, Word, WordPerfect, etc. Electronic submissions for review may be submitted via e-mail attachment or by mailing a CD-ROM. E-mail your submissions to Greg Beilfuss, gbeilfuss@dnr.IN.gov. The master plan submission due dates are January 15th for a plan draft and April 15th for a final approved plan. This only applies to communities seeking LWCF eligibility in that same given grant year. Communities not interested in applying for LWCF can submit a plan any time of year.

Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plans:
Planning Guidelines

IDNR Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plans - Planning Guidelines - Updated March 10, 2015
This guide is for individuals, organizations or communities intending to complete a five-year park and recreation master plan for submission to the IDNR-OR to be eligible for Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF) grants. These are accepted year-round for those not interested in LWCF eligibility in the same grant year.

Step 1. Please review the First Draft Submission Guidelines (minimum required standards) for the IDNR Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plans.
These are the MINIMUM required standards of the IDNR Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plans for communities wanting to apply for LWCP grants. The first draft of a community's five-year park and recreation master plan must be submitted by Jan. 15 of any given grant year.
Due: Jan. 15 of any given grant year, for those interested in LWCF eligibility in the same grant year.

Step 2. Turn in the first draft of local park's plan for IDNR review. IDNR will use the Plan Review Checklist (on pg. 55) and return the completed checklist to the community for revisions. Electronic submissions are accepted via e-mail or by mailing a CD-ROM. Any major electronic file format is acceptable, such as PDF, Word, WordPerfect, etc. Email submissions are preferred and highly encouraged.

  • E-mail your submissions to Greg Beilfuss, gbeilfuss@dnr.IN.gov.

    -or-
     
  • Mail your CD-ROM to:
    Greg Beilfuss
    State & Community Outdoor Recreation Planner
    IDNR, Division Of Outdoor Recreation
    402 W. Washington St, W271
    Indianapolis, IN 46204-2782
    Phone: (317) 232-4071

    Please verify that we received your email or CD after you send it.

Step 3. Local planners should follow the IDNR-completed first draft plan review checklist, make revisions and return their finished plans to IDNR for final review by April 15 of the given grant year for LWCF eligibility. For communities not seeking LWCF eligibility, final draft plans are accepted by IDNR at any time of year.
Due: April 15 of any given grant year for those interested in LWCF eligibility in the same grant year.

Master Plan Example/Template

The Anytown, Indiana Master Plan Example is a hypothetical, concise example of master plans for any community. The IDNR Small Town Fill-In-The-Blank (FITB) FIVE-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan template is for communities with populations under 7000. Please note: Any community can follow the Anytown, Indiana Master Plan Example, but the Small Town Fill-In-The-Blank Master Plan template is ONLY FOR USE by communities with populations under 7000.

Statewide Recreation Plans

Planners may find the following background information helpful while writing their IDNR Five-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plans.

Additional Information

Frequently-Asked Questions

Frequently-asked questions about local park planning

How to form a Park and Recreation Board

County Park Boards

Municipal Park Boards

Township Park Boards

Indiana Facility Inventory Form

The IDNR-OR planning staff asks that park and recreation providers complete the Indiana Facility Inventory form for each facility in their park and recreation system. The IDNR-OR planning staff compile the data into the statewide facility inventory databases, and use this information in our planning efforts and the Statewide Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan (SCORP).

Relevant Information

New Northwest Indiana Lake Michigan public access data for park planners

Contact Us

For park planning questions, please contact
Greg Beilfuss
State & Community Outdoor Recreation Planner
IDNR, Division Of Outdoor Recreation
402 W. Washington St, W271
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2782
Phone: (317) 232-4071