Charlottesville seeks firms to conduct comprehensive plan for city parks and recreation

The city of Charlottesville has never created a master plan for its entire parks and recreation system but that could change now that a request for proposals has been issued for such a document.

“The [Charlottesville Parks and Recreation Department] hopes to have clear direction on how to prioritize improvements and connections of current facilities, parks and trails, a buildout strategy, recommendations pertaining to recreation program offerings, recommendations on how best utilize recreation centers as well as recommendations for equitable advancing of recreation and health throughout the City,” reads the proposal

Work to guide changes and additions to city parks have been guided by individual master plans and needs assessments. According to the proposal, the city’s parks and recreation department has an operating budget of 12 million with over 70 full-time equivalents who work in 27 parks. There are between $1.5 million and $2.6 million in capital funds allocated to the park system each year. 

Here’s a further description:

“[There are] over 3,443 acres ranging from small pocket parks of less than one acre to 300 acres of natural area, 2 large reservoirs and nearly 6 miles of paved trails, and about 30 miles of nature trails, 4 recreation centers, 2 indoor pools, 2 outdoor pools and 4 outdoor spray grounds, a skate park, an 18-hole golf course and multiple farmers market and other co-owned assets with Albemarle County,” the proposal continues. 

The work will include a needs assessment but also includes two optional add-ons. Alternative A would ask for conceptual plans for Market Street Park and Court Square Park and Alternative B would ask for a list of improvements at Benjamin Tonsler Park and Booker T. Washington Park. 

Bids for firms to complete the work are due on May 9. 

A description of four parks that have optional add-ons (Credit: City of Charlottesville)

Before you go: The time to write and research of this article is covered by paid subscribers to Charlottesville Community Engagement. In fact, this particular installment comes from the April 4, 2023 edition of the program. To ensure this research can be sustained, please consider becoming a paid subscriber or contributing monthly through Patreon.

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