As Brookfield’s administrators work toward updating the village’s open-space plan, one thing has become clear: Few of Brookfield’s residents are actually engaged in the effort.
The village has held a couple of public meetings regarding open-space planning, but apart from members of Brookfield advisory commissions and a handful of residents, local leaders have precious little input from citizens on how they’d like to see the village approach open-space planning.
On Wednesday, the village moved to engage more residents by launching a website where residents can provide input. The site, which will also have a link on the village’s website, can be found here.
Assistant Village Manager Keith Sbiral said the site is set to launch officially at 1 p.m. on Wednesday, but the site was already up as of 10 a.m. when the Landmark checked the web address.
“We don’t have a lot of engagement,” said Sbiral. “As many public hearings as you can have, having meeting on Saturdays, everyone is busy. This is a way to let people do it whenever they want.”
According to Sbiral, the site will be active for a month.
The site contains seven topics at this point, ranging from trails and parks to open space improvements, park utilization and dog parks. It also allows people to provide as little or as much input as they want to provide.
People can simply check boxes or leave detailed responses in fields provided for comments. Anyone wishing to leave comments must register via email or through social media.
Some questions also allow people to drop pins on maps in order to target specific areas of the village and there are links to more detailed maps of the village to give people more information on which to base their responses.
The site is not a survey in the traditional sense but rather an interactive portal where the village can compile information in order to inform the final open space plan, which is being developed by Hitchcock Design Group.
“We thought of doing a survey, but we’re trying to get more and more people involved so this can build on itself,” said Sbiral.
Hitchcock pitched using a Nebraska-based company called MindMixer to customize a web portal for the open space planning effort. MindMixer specializes in “creat[ing] a place where people can have a more meaningful conversation with their leaders and peers,” according to their website.