, Newburyport, MA

March 22, 2013

Survey rates city's open space, recreational offerings

By Mac Cerullo
Staff Writer

---- — AMESBURY — City officials are seeking residents’ take on how Amesbury’s parks should be used, what public projects should be funded and whether the community’s open space should be preserved.

Mayor Thatcher Kezer announced earlier this week that an Open Space and Recreational Survey would be made available so residents can express their opinions concerning conservation, recreational and growth issues. The survey will be available in both paper form and online and residents will have until Monday, April 7, to fill it out.

Kezer said Amesbury is in the process of updating its Open Space and Recreational Plan so the city can qualify for state funding for open space acquisitions and recreational facility development. The purpose of the survey is to offer the public an opportunity to provide input, and Kezer encouraged all residents to fill it out.

The survey is divided into seven sections. The first six deal with how important residents believe it is to preserve Amesbury’s open spaces, what kind of development they’d like to see, which initiatives the city should pursue, what recreational spaces they use the most, what activities they most enjoy and whether the city adequately funds the recreational facilities.

The last section focuses on demographic information, though nobody who fills out the survey is required to sign his or her name.

Once the results of the survey have been compiled, the Community and Economic Development Department will take the results to the Merrimack Valley Planning Commission, which is helping the city write its new Open Space and Recreational Plan. The survey findings will be worked into the final plan.

Residents can find the survey posted on the city’s website at under the “News” section, where the “Amesbury Open Space and Recreational Plan Survey” link appears.

For those who prefer to fill out hard copies, paper surveys can be picked up at the public library, the city clerk’s office and the Nicholas Costello Transportation Center. Those can be mailed to the Community and Economic Development office at City Hall.

The survey results will be presented at a public hearing on April 24 at 6 p.m. in City Hall Auditorium and will also be posted on the city’s website.