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How do you use Dayton waterways? River planners want to know

Beginning this weekend, the public can take an online survey and wade into the planning process of new project that aims to guide future development along Dayton’s rivers.

The Dayton Riverfront Plan will examine greater downtown’s waterways — the Great Miami, Mad, and Stillwater rivers and Wolf Creek — to determine how they can become stronger magnets for recreation, community building, housing and economic development while preserving their environmental benefits, according to planners.

RELATED: 20-year plan tries to make Dayton’s rivers more accessible, profitable

“Imagine our rivers with more beauty, more things to do, more restaurants,” said Carrie Scarff, chief of planning and projects at Five Rivers MetroParks. “The riverfront should be a regional destination and a catalyst for vibrancy in each surrounding neighborhood.”

Scarff said the plan’s consultant, Boston-based Sasaki, has developed a robust interactive tool for the online survey that will allow people to pinpoint spots on a map of the river corridors and provide information about how they use those places now, as well as what they may envision for those areas in the future. The survey will be live online Saturday, she said.

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The rivers through downtown have already attracted a number of projects along — and within — their banks over the past few years.

RELATED: Hot downtown Water Street District to expand with new apartments

The fast rise of commercial and residential properties in the Water Street District and completion of RiverRun, the kayak play area on the Great Miami River, are among the most recent developments in the river corridors’ evolution.

In addition to the survey, public input sessions are scheduled for later this month.

The plan will be pulled together over the next year by the city of Dayton, Five Rivers MetroParks and the Miami Conservancy District along with the Downtown Dayton Partnership, Montgomery County, Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission, and Greater Dayton Regional Transit Authority.

RELATED: River Run opening pushes more change in heart of Dayton

The plan area extends about three miles from downtown along each of the four waterways:

  • Great Miami River south to Carillon Historical Park
  • Stillwater River north to Wegerzyn Gardens MetroPark
  • Mad River east to Eastwood MetroPark
  • Wolf Creek west to Wesleyan MetroPark

Scarff said the project design team wants input from as many people as possible both through the survey and at the community meetings to learn “how the greater Dayton community wants to use their river corridors — what dreams and aspirations we have for them.”

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