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Chapter Two

existing system overview


New playgrounds and parks throughout the system have

an increased level of accessibility, which is fully reflective

of the needs demonstrated by users. Parks such as Marsh

Creek and Strickland Road Park are great examples of

newer parks that demonstrate excellent accessibility.

Corresponding 2030 Comp Plan policies and actions:

• PR 2.2 - Park Accessibility

• PR 4.6 - Universal Access

Leading by Example with Stormwater Management:

A system wide approach to stormwater management

is needed. Several older parks throughout the system

lack any kind of storage, treatment and management

system for stormwater on-site. Some parks have erosion

problems due to development of amenities within high

sloped areas and lack vegetation, which adds to the issues

of water quality. Other parks channel stormwater from

parking areas to nearby streets, which tax the existing

infrastructure with additional runoff. In general, parks

should be examples within the community of good

water management techniques. Strickland Road Park

and a number of parks with existing lakes provide good

examples of stormwater management and/or techniques

to improve stormwater quality.

Corresponding 2030 Comp Plan policies and actions:

• PR 6.1 - Innovative Maintenance

• EP 3.12 - Mitigation Stormwater Impacts

• EP 3.16 - Stormwater Management

• PU 5.1 - Sustainable Stormwater

• PU 5.6 - Rainwater Collection and Storage

Economics of Program Flexibility:

Several parks throughout the system provide single-use

facilities and/or programming that requires a high level

of investment for equipment and construction but do not

offer flexibility for multiple uses. Examples include the

large number of baseball and softball fields, particularly

lighted fields that are commonly sited in configurations

or locations that limit use as multi-purpose fields.

Configuring fields to face towards one another with

lighting along the perimeter can provide the opportunity

to locate a multi-purpose field between the baseball fields.

Athletic fields represent a high level of maintenance,

which should be utilized by multiple programs.

Many new community or neighborhood centers are being

constructed with flexible multi-purpose rooms with

moveable walls. Two centers, Barwell and Brier Creek

Community Centers, are directly connected to schools,

which provide a high level of flexibility as the centers

are often used for school programs during the day and

community events in the evening and weekends. Extended

hours for these centers is critical in order to provide ample

community use of the facilities.

Corresponding 2030 Comp Plan policies and actions:

• PR 1.3 - Coordinated Park Planning

• PR 2.8 - Creating Recreation Facilities through Adaptive


• PR 4.1 - Recreation Facilities and Programs

• PR 4.9 - Adequate Indoor Facilities

Leading with Wayfinding:

The city has implemented a new set of standards (Master

Sign Program, 2006) for wayfinding, which is being

implemented as funding allows but was not represented

in all parks observed. There was a clear difference in

the type of wayfinding in parks with the new standards

implemented compared to parks that lack the standards.

Two very helpful features of the new signage standards

are a location map and directional signage for amenities.

As these standards are implemented in all parks, these

features should be included. Wayfinding is an important

part of encouraging users to explore park offerings and

overall branding of the system. Include such features as

website addresses, phone numbers, QR Codes, and bus

route information as part of the signage information to

assist user education.

Interpretive and educational signage is lacking in many

parks that offered exercise stations or contained natural

features.This represents amissed educational opportunity.

The addition of directional signage can inform park users

of nearby community and commercial points of interest,

providing a more meaningful experience.

Corresponding 2030 Comp Plan policies and actions:

• PR 5.3 - Interpretive Conservation Activities

• PR 6.5 - Awareness of Natural Resource Areas

• AC 1.1 - Public Art and Neighborhood Identity

• AC 1.2 - Public Art in Public Spaces and Public Projects