The Johnston County Sports Council is nearing completion of a survey of recreation facilities in the county.
The aim is to identify needs for residents and visitors to Johnston County. And at 10 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 25, the research company of SageDesign will present findings and recommendations in the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium at Johnston Community College, 245 College Road, Smithfield.
The Sports Council embarked on the survey, including research, inventory visits, community input and facility mapping, nearly one year ago. The goal of this ad-hoc committee of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau was to assess facility needs for residential use. Also, the Visitors Bureau wants to bid on sports tournaments that will bring tourist dollars to Johnston.
Among other things, the survey found that more than 48 percent of county residents leave the area for recreation and organized sports.
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“We expect the findings of this study to provide our communities and county leaders a clear view of where the needs for recreation are in the county and the desires of the citizens for greenways, access to the Neuse River for recreation, and what sports facilities the county needs in the near and distant future,” said Donna Bailey-Taylor, head of the Johnston County Visitors Bureau.
The presentation will include the facilities survey and the Live, Work and Play Study. Just like its name implies, this latter study overlays households, high areas of employment and available recreation facilities.
As readers of the study might expect, the need for recreation facilities is greatest in faster-growing western Johnston County. Also, the top demand of residents was clear: They want more walking, hiking and biking trails and wish to see the Mountains-to-Sea Trail completed between Clayton and Smithfield.
This study cost $50,000 and was commissioned and paid for by the Johnston County Visitors Bureau.