Highland Dog Park Closed for Repair

Starting Monday March 30, 2015 the dog park in Highland Park will be closed for renovation and repair. The repairs will last approximately two weeks. These repairs should help create a better more sustainable dog park for all. In addition to the repairs to the Highland Dog Park Roanoke Parks and Recreation will soon be opening another dog park so be on the lookout for more details. We apologize in advance for any inconveniences.

Parks and Recreation Programs Cancelled on Feb. 20, 21 & 22

Due to continuous ill weather, here are out current cancelled programs and facility closings:

– All Athletics programs for the weekend are cancelled.
– Saturday’s Discovery Center Maple Tapping is cancelled.
– Mountain View will not have open hours on Friday.
– The Mill Mountain Discovery Center is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
– The Fleet Feet 100 Miler walk is cancelled.

And as a friendly reminder, if you have a 4-legged friend who resides outside, please bring them in for the night.

City and Schools Partner to Bring New Playground to Highland Park

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Roanoke, VA — The City of Roanoke and Roanoke City Public Schools (RCPS) will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, Feb. 3, at 12:30 p.m. to celebrate the opening of a new playground in Highland Park. The ceremony will be open to the media and general public, and will take place at Highland Park directly across from Highland Park Elementary School. Students from Highland Park Elementary will be on site for the grand opening.

This playground is a cooperative effort between Roanoke Parks and Recreation and RCPS, and will serve as the main play area for the students at the Highland Park Elementary School, as well as for children in the neighborhood.

“Our partnership with the schools allowed us to build a playground that has a 25 percent greater play value than the previous play area,” said Steve Buschor, Director of Parks and Recreation. According to Buschor, the combined funding allowed planners to add better amenities to enhance the overall play experience. “It’s really a winning outcome for everyone because the school children get full use of this new area, and the community receives another wonderful amenity to this neighborhood park,” he added.

This project is just the beginning of larger playground replacement and renovation plan for city parks. The overall goal is to upgrade or replace eight more playgrounds by the end of 2015.

As a nationally accredited agency, Roanoke Parks and Recreation strives to deliver parks, recreation facilities and activities that are attractive, accessible and provide memorable experiences that move the body, mind and emotions. For information about our best-in-class services and facilities, visit PlayRoanoke.com.


Elmwood Park Receives Award

Fountains at Night Elmwood LR


Roanoke, VA — Over 350 delegates from around the state gathered last week at the Annual Conference of the Virginia Recreation and Park Society at The Homestead in Hot Springs, VA. Highlighting each year’s conference is a formal presentation of awards, and Roanoke’s Elmwood Park won the Best New Renovation/Addition award.

The awards ceremony is a state-wide program that honors individuals, agencies and organizations throughout Virginia who have demonstrated excellence in several areas during the previous calendar year. Over ninety applications were received vying for awards in 13 different categories. “Entries in every population category, from around the state, allow us to recognize the best in our business while raising the standards and quality of programs, facilities and events in every region,” said VRPS President Art Thatcher.

Elmwood Award“We knew Elmwood Park was going to be a huge hit amongst our citizens, but it’s nice to receive such a prestigious award from our fellow peers as well,” said Steve Buschor, Roanoke’s Director of Parks and Recreation. “Winning this award just further solidifies all of the hard work our citizens and staff put in over the past several months to make Elmwood a prominent and vital part of downtown Roanoke,” he added.

The award submission focused on many key features of the new park including the 4,500 capacity amphitheater with its cascading grass terraces for seating and array of fountains that line the walkway and stage.

As a nationally accredited agency, Roanoke Parks and Recreation delivers best-in-class parks, recreation facilities, events and activities while providing memorable experiences that move the body, mind and emotions. For information about our services and facilities, visit PlayRoanoke.com.


New Soccer Fields at Countryside Park

Roanoke, VA — Roanoke Star Soccer Club (RSSC), in conjunction with Roanoke Parks and Recreation will be hosting an inaugural “kick-off” to celebrate the upcoming development of the new soccer field complex at Countryside Park just off of Ranch Road. This event will take place on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m., and staff members from the RSSC will be joined by city officials as they all line up to take the first shot on goal.

Danny Beamer, Executive Director of RSSC, is extremely pleased to have the opportunity to add fields to the area. “Based on the number of players in the city, Roanoke definitely has a deficit of rectangular fields,” he said. In a lease agreement with the city, RSSC will construct and maintain the fields. “Our plan is to build five full-size, regulation fields that can transform into 11 junior fields,” he added. At this point the tentative date for completion is between fall of 2015 and spring of 2016.

According to Steve Buschor, Director of Parks and Recreation, these new fields will add to the overall popularity of the new Countryside Park that officially opened last January. “We’ve been amazed at the amount of visitors to this park. The new soccer fields will only bring more excitement to the playground, outdoor musical trail and shelter house that already exist at this location.” Alongside those amenities, Buschor added that there is also a small section of the Lick Run Greenway that travels through the park. “The planned layout includes three fields adjacent to Ranch Road with the remaining fields alongside Highland Farm Rd. and these two areas will be conveniently connected by the greenway,” said Buschor.

The inaugural kick-off for the Countryside fields will take place across the street from the playground at Countryside Park. The precise location can be found via Google Maps: 2350 Ranch Road NW, Roanoke, VA 24017.

As a nationally accredited agency, Roanoke Parks and Recreation strives to deliver parks, recreation facilities and activities that are attractive, accessible and provide memorable experiences that move the body, mind and emotions. For information about our best-in-class services and facilities, visit PlayRoanoke.com.

We Made It: America’s Best Small Cities

Roanoke has officially landed on SmarterTravel.com’s “America’s Best Small Cities on the Rise” list. The site mentioned many of the most noteworthy assets the city has to offer, including Elmwood Park’s brand new amphitheater, the newly renovated City Market Building and the spectacular views from the Center in the Square rooftop. The city’s easy access to the Appalachian Trail and proximity to the East Coast also added to the “loveability” factor of the Star City.

The Smarter Travel article was released just days following the unveiling of the Roanoke Valley as one of the “10 Best: Bike-friendly cities” according to USA Weekend, a sub-site of USA Today. Miles upon miles of scenic bike trails, along with the valley’s temperate climate were just two of the factors landing the Roanoke Valley on the list.

View the full Smarter Travel article here.
View the full USA Weekend article here.

Fleet Feet – Named Top Running Store in America!

Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke has been recognized by Competitor magazine and Running Insight trade magazine as one of The 50 Best Running Stores in America for 2013.

Every year, Competitor magazine and Running Insight trade magazine identify the “50 Best Running Stores in America.” It all started in July with runners nominating their favorite stores through www.competitor.com. Those stores are put through a rigorous evaluation process, which includes mystery shopping to assess customer service, credit ratings from vendors and assessments about local programs and community commitment.

The stores that rank among the 50 Best Running Stores in America are the ones that offer exemplary customer service, training programs and group runs. The stores provide knowledge and insights about the latest trends, the newest gear, proper running form and information about local races and trails. Additionally, stores can answer endless questions about racing, training and injury prevention. In other words, it’s a shop that goes out of its way to do everything for local runners, no matter what age, experience or ability.

Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke is locally-owned and operated by Blaine and Robin Lewis. The store opened in 2003 and was known as the “local running store.” That reputation quickly grew and the store has become known as the store for anyone wanting to live a healthy, active lifestyle; whether that means running, walking, or simply finding products to make a person feel better in their everyday life.

Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke is known in the community as the place to go to be “fitted” in quality footwear. Commitment and dedication to providing healthy solutions to customers is an important daily goal whether someone gets fitted for a pair of shoes, is provided fitness opportunities through the numerous training programs offered by Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke, or is provided advice and guidance about their fitness goals and activities.

Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke is located at 4347 Franklin Road in Roanoke. Learn more about Fleet Feet Sports online at www.fleetfeetroanoke.com or on Facebook (Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke).

A Second Consecutive National Accreditation Awarded to Roanoke Parks and Recreation

Roanoke, VA – Roanoke Parks and Recreation joins the ranks of the elite park and recreation departments across the country by earning their second consecutive accreditation through the Commission for Accreditation of Park and Recreation Agencies (CAPRA) and the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). This distinguished accomplishment was awarded during the 2013 NRPA Congress and Exposition.


CAPRA accreditation is the only national accreditation for park and recreation agencies and is a measure of an agency’s overall quality of operation, management and service to the community. This mark of distinction indicates that an agency has met rigorous standards related to the management and administration of lands, facilities, resources, programs, safety and services.

As part of the accreditation process, Roanoke Parks and Recreation had to demonstrate compliance with 144 recognized standards and document all policies and procedures. Often the process helps identify efficiencies and heighten areas of accountability, all of which translate into higher quality service and operation to benefit the community.

The process for accreditation involves self-assessments, a formal application, a site visit by a team of trained visitors that results in a written report and a hearing with the commission to grant accreditation. Once accredited, the agency must uphold the standards and is reviewed again in five years.
“Our accreditation comes once every five years, but it’s something that stays top-of-mind for all of our employees year round,” said Steve Buschor, Director of Roanoke Parks and Recreation. “There are 5,600 parks and recreation organizations in the country, and I’m proud to say that we are one of only 119 that are nationally accredited.”

As a nationally accredited agency, Roanoke Parks and Recreation strives to deliver parks, recreation facilities and activities that are attractive, clean, accessible and provide memorable experiences that move the body, mind and emotions. For information about our best-in-class services and facilities, visit PlayRoanoke.com.