Roanoke Parks and Recreation develops specific park master plans for each neighborhood, community, regional, and linear (greenway) park for the city. Our goal is to work through neighborhoods, constituents, user groups, and our Parks and Recreation Advisory Board to define a balanced approach for addressing existing and future needs of a given space.
Countryside: Park, Greenway, Trails, and Natural Areas
The city has embarked upon an unique process to eventually create a livable and active community that is based upon the design characteristics of parks, trails, and conservation areas. As the initial development phase at Countryside, Parks and Recreation has began to design new and exciting outdoor recreational resources that will benefit the community for decades to come. Having held several public input sessions, the priorities for this new opportunity consist of walking trails, park, an extension of the Lick Run Greenway, natural areas, children’s play and adult fitness opportunities, a picnic shelter, and possibly a public restroom. In keeping with the overall intended character of the Countryside Development Plan, this effort shall integrate its design into the natural fabric of the area, complimenting both natural features and residential living. The center of community life can be focused upon a healthy green environment where an areas natural terrain, forests, and active public spaces are the centerpiece of the neighborhood.
Click here to view the final public meeting illustrative plan.
Jackson Park Community Development Block Grant Improvements
The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded the City $207,000 for improvements to upper Jackson Park. These improvements may include ADA accessibility, play areas, safety, public restrooms, and improvements to basketball and picnic facilities. In order to prioritize and gain further insight with regards to neighborhood needs and preferences, Roanoke Parks and Recreation conducted a community input session on Saturday April 28, 2012.
As a result of the input sessions, the most important priorities for the community pertained to:
- Improving outdoor basketball facilities at the approximate location of the previous court
- Provide for ADA outdoor access from the neighborhood into the park facilities
- Install drinking fountains with pet bowls
- Add swings to enhance the play experience for children
- Improve the aesthetics of the combination restrooms and picnic shelter
- Define public park parking areas (stripe)
- Include new play opportunities for older children
- Add additional picnic tables and grills throughout the park
- Add additional park benches throughout the park
- Include play opportunities for children with disabilities
With limited funding, Parks and Recreation shall work with a qualified park design professional to identify an updated park site plan and establish the cost estimates to address the above priorities. Once cost estimates have been established, a second community meeting shall be scheduled this summer to reveal what improvements can be made.
As of January 23, 2013, the plans for upgrades to upper Jackson Park are currently under review for permitting compliance. Once permitted, Parks and Recreation will have a final set of plans ready to bid for construction with development occurring in Summer 2013.
Roanoke River Greenway: Virginia Recreational Trails Grant, Bridge Street Trailhead
Roanoke Parks and Recreation recently submitted a grant proposal for the Virginia Recreational Trails Grant Program to build a small public trailhead parking area for the Roanoke River Greenway in the Norwich neighborhood. The Recreational Trails Grant Program is made possible through the Safe, Accountable, Flexible, Efficient, Transportation Equity Act–A Legacy for Users and the Federal Highway Administration.
As the backbone of the City’s greenway system, the Roanoke River Greenway is possibly one of the most successful public facilities ever created within the City. Walkers, joggers, recreational bicyclists, inline skaters, and parents with strollers all enjoy the recreational and health benefits of the greenways. As the trail is developed further west past Vic Thomas Park, there is a need to have additional public access points. Now that the trail connecting Memorial Bridge Park to Bridge Street is complete, it is the goal of the City to develop a new public trailhead access point where the trail concludes at Bridge Street. Project partners include Pathfinders for Greenways, Roanoke Valley Greenways Commission, Lanford Brothers, and Breakell, Inc.
Click here to view an image of the project.