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Chapter Two

City of Raleigh’s Annie Louise Wilkerson, MD Nature Preserve

Office of Raleigh Arts supported art class

existing system overview


the creation of the Neuse River Greenway Trail, a $28

million regional recreational destination. Volunteerism,

nonprofit and private corporate opportunities have

continued to grow over the last several years. A long list

of projects have been completed in the park system with

assistance from Kaboom, AT&T, Target, Methodist Home

for Children’s Alumni Association and the Fred and

Margie Fletcher Volunteer Award Fund of the Triangle

Community Foundation. These are just a few examples of

various organizations’ continued commitments to parks,

recreation and cultural resource services in Raleigh.

In 2009 the City of Raleigh adopted the 2030

Comprehensive Plan. This visionary plan provides the

overall guidance for the city’s services and development

over the next two decades. More specifically the Parks,

Recreation and Open Space Element of the plan provides

framework for the direction that the department should

move in. Additionally the parks, recreation and cultural

resource services and amenities are referenced in both

the Raleigh’s Vision Statement for 2030 and action items

throughout several other elements of the Comprehensive

Plan including Environmental Protection, Arts and

Culture andmore. A primary recommendation of the 2030

Comprehensive Plan was to update the Parks, Recreation

and Cultural Resources System Plan.

In response to the action items from the 2030

Comprehensive Plan was the creation of the Nature

Preserve park classification. Specific criteria were created

by an ad hoc committee of local experts, Parks, Recreation

and Greenway Advisory Board Members and staff. These

criteria help determine if a park should be classified as a

Nature Preserve. The Raleigh City Council approved four

parks to be classified as Nature Preserves.

The long history of parks, recreation and cultural resource

services and facilities in the City of Raleigh is the result of

overwhelming public support. In return the City Council

adopted a comprehensive Public Participation Program

in 2012. The program provides the department with

guidelines and best practices for involving the citizens

of Raleigh in park and recreation planning and design


Two recent programming areas that have grown in the

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Resources Department

are the Arts and Historical resources. In 2011 the Office

of Raleigh Arts was moved from under the overview of

the City Manager’s Office to the formerly named City of

Raleigh Parks and Recreation Department.

With a staff of 11 full-time and several dozen part-time

staff and instructors, and an annual operating budget of

about $3 million, the Office of Raleigh Arts administers

the programs of the Raleigh Arts Commission and the

Public Art and Design Board as well as manages the

Pullen and Sertoma Arts Centers.

Current Office of Raleigh Arts programs include:

• Partnership grants to nonprofit arts organizations

(FY14: 40 grants to 32 organizations totalling about

$1.7 million);

• Temporary and permanent public artworks installed