DEPARTMENT OF RECREATION AND PARKS NEW PARKS INITIATIVE
Identification of Priority Areas:The Department has analyzed key community demographic statistics, and available park facilities, parkland, and open space in order to identify high priority areas where resources could be focused to make the greatest impact. The Department has identified publicly owned and privately owned sites in these Priority Areas that could be acquired and developed into new parks.
Identification of Project Funding:Based on an anticipated park size of between 5,000 to 20,000 square feet, each park will cost from $250,000 to $700,000 to develop; excluding site acquisition costs, if any. The final cost to develop each park will vary depending on the types of amenities and features included. The Department is working to identify grant programs and funding opportunities that could be utilized to develop new park land and open space. Identifying alternative, non-traditional, sources of funding for this initiative will be instrumental to its success.
Coordination with Community Partners:The Department will identify and coordinate with local partner organizations to conduct outreach and engage community stakeholders. Working closely with local communities in the design and development process for each park will help inspire a sense of “local ownership,” which is a critical component in the long-term success of any public space.
For each new park site, the Department and its community partner organizations will engage in a collaborative planning and design process with the community in order to customize each park to the needs of local residents. Each new park will be designed to include with sustainable landscapes as well as water and energy conservation elements (such as solar powered trash cans, smart irrigation systems, and solar lighting).
Park Construction:Each site will take between four (4) to six (6) months to design and construct. Site acquisition, if necessary, would require an additional four (4) months. If feasible, the construction of each park could include “community build days” where volunteers would have the opportunity help clean the site, install park amenities, and plant trees and landscaping.
The small size of each park, and the use of sustainable design practices, will help limit amount of maintenance required at each park. While the Department anticipates it will be necessary to utilize existing staff and resources to help maintain each park, the Department will work with local partner organizations and non-profits to identify community resources available to assist in the maintenance of each park.