Morganton’s Parks and Recreation department has an ambitious vision for the future.

The City Council approved the department’s masterplan at its March 5 meeting, taking the first step in making the vision a reality.

It is the culmination of more than 12 months of public input, which heavily molded the document that lays out the city’s dream for the future of its parks.

A masterplan is a comprehensive, far-reaching document created to provide a conceptual layout that will steer future growth and development. The Parks and Recreation Masterplan includes analysis of existing parks, recommendations on how to create more connectivity for cyclists and pedestrians, updates to existing facilities and proposals to improve landscapes at existing parks.

“All of these improvements are designed with giving Morganton residents and visitors a better recreation experience in mind,” said Parks and Recreation Director Rob Winkler. “This master plan envisions improvements that, if completed, will make Morganton’s park system a premier feature of western North Carolina. I would like to extend a special thank you to our citizens who participated on our Masterplan Steering Committee, and to all the citizens who took part in the survey. ”


Recreational facilities are essential to maintaining and strengthening a healthy community. Recommendations included in the masterplan will help bring the community together, encourage safer and cleaner neighborhoods and create a livelier atmosphere throughout the area.

According to The LandPlan Group South and Toole Design Group, who developed the masterplan, Morganton has more than twice the national average of park lands for a city of its size. The idea of connecting the existing recreation areas with more pedestrian and bike-friendly pathways will help create a more tightly-intertwined community and improve the attractiveness and desirability of the area.

The vision for the future of Morganton’s Parks and Recreation facilities was developed in tandem with a new Master Plan for the city’s downtown. The two plans are similar in their emphasis on connectivity and the desire to link parks to downtown. Both the Parks and Recreation and Downtown Master Plans were developed with a tremendous amount of public input.

“We strive to make sure our parks are top notch for residents and visitors alike,” Winkler said. “Completing the recommendations of this master plan will ensure Morganton remains a destination for those seeking adventure and recreation in Nature’s Playground.”

You can find the full master plan here: 

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305 E. Union St. Ste A100
Morganton, NC 28655 i Google Maps 16x16

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