28 July 2011

CA Aquatics Makes a Virtual Splash with a New Online Commenting Tool

So how is your summer going?  Given the waves of heat that started before school ended and have recently come back with a vengeance I hope a few of you have been able to get out the Columbia Outdoor Pools.  Concurrent with the hot weather, CA is working on the Aquatics Master Plan to improve the Indoor and Outdoor pool experience for the foreseeable future.

To their credit, CA has been reaching out to the public in a number of ways.  As a few of you may remember, CA sponsored two public workshops in March 2011.  CA created a resident-populated CA Aquatics Master Plan Task Force (yes, I am a member and no, we don’t have cool t-shirts or hats) that has been plumbing the depths of SWOT charts and providing feedback to CA staff.  CA has engaged specific segments of the population in focus group sessions.  In addition, CA maintains (and updates) a CA webpage that provides all the background data related to the CA Aquatics Master Plan process. 

Today, the Columbia Association took another step in community outreach.  They have put up on the web the Aquatics Commenting Tool (ACT) (Microsoft Silverlight required to view)  This tool allows the community to provide comments specific to any aquatic facility (either indoor or outdoor) or comments that can apply to all outdoor pools.

I encourage the entire Columbia community to go to the site and comment often.  However, I would like to provide a few personal observations.  Keep in mind that the CA Aquatics Master Plan intends a long horizon.  Comments should reflect what the community would like to see at a particular pool over the long term.  Things like what activities or experiences the community would like to see.  Programs that are missing or could be improved.  Infrastructure (parking, bath houses, shade structures) and amenities that the community believes would improve attendance.  Keep it classy.

I know that not everyone can attend meetings to express their views, so please use this tool to let your wishes and concerns be heard.  The ACT website will remain active throughout the rest of the summer and will close on September 15, 2011.  So take some time to visit and let your voice be heard!