Folsom’s scenic waterfront is a much talked about item these days as the City of Folsom’s General Plan calls for the preparation of a River District Plan. As that process us underway, public input is essential and innovation has made it quite simple for the community to share such input in an immense fashion.

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Last year, Folsom City Council appointed a Citizen’s Advisory Committee to guide the development of a Master Plan as representing a broad community perspective was deemed critical to its success. Now, with a simple click of the mouse to the city’s interactive mapping site right here one can become avital voice when it comes to what you would like to see or not see when it comes the future of Folsom’s Water Front. 

Robert Goss, Project Manager for Folsom’s River District Plan, sat down with Folsom Times to give us a tour of their interactive efforts to get the community involved. The design of the webpage, along with its functionality and its ease of use make “getting engaged,” in the discussion enjoyable and easy, even for those that don’t have a, “knack for tech,” so to speak. 

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“The city encourages residents to explore the unique characteristics of the River District and tell us what is important to you and ideas for future amenities, economic development and other opportunities,” said Goss. “Residents can do this from the comfort of their own home and a simple suggestion can help us gauge what the community wants to see, or not see.”

When you visit the official webpage, you are immediately greeted by a welcome message and instructions on how to share your voice for a particular area of the River District, which is greatly detailed in imagery that allows you to navigate throughout the many areas of the waterfront up and down all of its areas in Folsom. 

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At the top of the page you are presented with icons with popular topics, including Parks and Recreation, Trails and Access, Economic Opportunity , Community Gatherings and Other Comments. It is here where you can click the icon that best fits the area you would like to address, drag it to the location you wish to make a comment or suggestion about and do so. 

Once a comment has been made about a specific area within the district, others can join in the conversation on your suggestion or idea, they can also “like,” or “dislike” similar to that of a social media page or an online forum. As an example, you could click an icon for “parks and recreation,” drag it to a particular spot along the river where you would like to see a specific park or a picnic area, make your suggestion. Others can then follow suit on your specific suggestion or add their own. 

In addition to the interactive engagement platform, the city also has an online questionnaire on the topic you can participate in which is more of a traditional format. 

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“Not everyone can make it or participate in a workshop these days, “ added Goss. “This opens up a great discussion and gives us a good way to gauge what our community really would like.” 

The City of Folsom is home to more than six miles of frontage on the American River and Lake Natoma. The area is located on the American River at Lake Natoma and is bound by Folsom-Auburn Road, Greenback Lane, and Folsom Boulevard.

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 A community mapping activity and questionnaire are the first steps to gathering feedback on community preferences, needs, issues, and opportunities within the River District Master Plan area. The online engagement will remain open until Jan. 17.  For more information on the River District visit the city website at www.folsom.ca.us/RiverDistrict. 

Bill Sullivan
Author: Bill Sullivan