Since March, Roanoke Parks and Recreation facilities have seen a dramatic increase in usage (around 200 percent). This increase causes more wear and tear on park amenities that the current budget cannot address. The 2019-2028 Master Plan mentions funding needs for many of these items; however, the sudden spike in park usage the past six months, the desire for safe programs, and medical experts’ recommendation of outdoor recreation revealed a demand for more immediate funding.
Through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the department requested funds for both park and recreation programming. While not all of the requests were met, we are pleased with the projects that were approved and look forward to making these improvements.
CARES Act Projects
- Fresh Park (Skate Park in a Box)
- Fitness and Fun Mobile Recreation Van
- Virtual Learning at Recreation Centers—wireless internet and laptops for students in P.L.A.Y After School program
- Temporary Maintenance Workforce —six temporary positions to help with outstanding maintenance and new construction projects identified in the Parks and Recreation Master Plan and the Roanoke Valley Greenway Plan
- Park Restroom Hand Sanitizer Stations
- Park Playground Hand Sanitizer Stations
- Greenway Centerline Marking—along the Roanoke River Greenway between Vic Thomas and Piedmont parks
- Park and Trailhead Parking Lot Grading and Resurfacing—proposed locations are Piedmont, Shrine Hill, Wasena, Fishburn, and Grandin Court Recreation Center
- Basketball and Tennis Court Resurfacing and Repair—proposed sites are Washington, Fallon, Horton, Preston, Eureka, and Highland parks basketball courts; Belmont, Preston, Highland, Raleigh Court, and Eureka parks tennis courts; Huff Lane Park roller rink
Once the Department receives its funding, they will begin work on these projects. The temporary jobs are posted currently, and the Department hopes to begin hiring in October.