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Discussion: Ideas for Parks

The city of Harrisonburg's Parks and Recreation Department will soon be adding a splash pad to Westover Pool. With warmer weather, and park season here, the department wants to hear from the community on other ideas for city parks. Tell us what you think about the splash pad and something else you would like to see in the parks!

The federally funded Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) grant provided funding toward the cost of the splash pad. 


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Ed Justo 4 months ago

No new parks, we have enough as it is and spending on new ones while not using the existing is just ridiculous. Adapting the parks for a purpose: Simms more like a flower, bloom park. One near downtown abilitated for food trucks twice a week (they pay for the space) and for events. One intended for art, with statues and possible art exhibits (charge the artists). And so on.

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Ben Evans 3 months ago

As Ed Justo suggested: art space would be cool and we could even reach out to JMU's art program to get it started. I would suggest events. Organizing community events is a great way to get more people and organizations involved with the parks and rec department. Organizations already have a customer base and we could benefit from sharing our resources. As Ed Justo stated above, food trucks and vendors could be profitable. These vendors could do particularly well with regularly scheduled events such as recreational sports. We could also do well with pairing educational entities. We could have JMU students run programs in the parks or even just field trips. Creating after school programs are also a great way to support working parents in the community and potentially profitable (grants and partnerships are a great way to get started). Prioritizing profit however could create a harmful affect because of the barrier to entry. I believe we should prioritize creating volume and interest in order to rally government support as well.

Taking initiative to write grants and reach out to community organizations can be enormously beneficial to the department and the community.

A specific suggestion I would make is to build a stage in one of the parks. This could help bring organizations to our space and would be a great help in organizing family friendly music festivals and activity days. These events could be profitable as well if we sell vender space there. Fall festivals are great and easy with a wide verity of activities and vendors that could participate (crafty stuff). We could also have adult oriented actives such as a micro brew festival with music and fun (in the summer would be preferable but during the JMU school year could be more profitable).

Thank you for providing this space for community in put. I wish it had more participation. I discovered it though the "City of Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Fall-Winter Activity Guide".

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Erin Bishop 2 months ago

I think the City's parks should continue to prioritize meaningful and authentic opportunities for residents to come together, experience the outdoors, exercise and enjoy recreation; and to use the park system to connect and complement other City projects where concepts like recreation, transportation, revitalization, economic development, and education overlap.

We have an amazing opportunity with the Build Our Park organization ready and waiting to go forward to make a privately-funded park in the heart of Harrisonburg. I know that the setting of the proposed park will add to the quality of so many ways that we come together as a community, and provide a venue for new ways to live, connect, and enjoy Harrisonburg.

We have the opportunity now to make a commitment; to make an improvement; to prioritize quality of life; to recognize how special it is to have this land available at our city’s center; and to have a group of people who are ready to work, and have a community ready to put their - private - money where there hearts are and to act toward creating a place where we can come together in easy, authentic and natural ways.

I can't wait for the vision of the downtown park to become a reality!

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