Work on new Roanoke City Parks and Recreation master plan underway

First new master plan in nearly two decades

By Erin Brookshier - Virginia Today Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Parks in Roanoke City will soon be getting a facelift as a new master plan is now in the works. The upgrades are part of the first master plan in nearly 20 years.

City leaders are still in the early phases of creating the plan, which is expected to be completed and approved by the City Council early next year. Right now, the city is looking for community feedback in a series of public meetings that kick off this week.

The new master plan will be focused on the parks, greenways, blueways and other facilities. A consultant has already been called in to look at the more than 60 parks throughout the City of Roanoke, analyzing each one and noting the changes and upgrades that need to be made.

It's been years since a major overhaul of the parks in Roanoke City took place, since the last master plan was adopted back in 2000. That plan led to some new parks and major improvements for the city.

"We did the renovation at Elmwood Park, which was a big project for us," said Michael Clark, the director of Roanoke City Parks and Recreation. "We have the new park at Countryside, we've done various neighborhood park improvements, shelter renovations, new bathrooms and new playgrounds and those types of things."

Since that plan was put in place, it has been updated every five years.

One of the biggest changes is the push for neighborhood and local parks where families are a short walk away from nearby green space instead of having to drive across town to get there.

With changes coming to Wasena Bridge, which is set to be replaced, Clark said the city expects a lot of interest in the creation of a new skate park.

Other outdated facilities are also set to get a facelift.

"Renovations to our pools and indoor recreation space" will be included, Clark said. "For instance, our newest recreation space in the city was built in 1965, so they're a little dated. We anticipate getting some feedback on those and other large ticket items."

Once in place, the work will be spread out over the next 10 to 20 years, with updates to the plan coming every five years.

If you'd like to attend the meetings or give feedback, click here for more information.

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