In 2017, Allan Witt Community Park, the City of Fairfield’s largest community park, was noted by the City as a core civic park in need of improvements. Once a well-used park, the park had noticed a significant decline in use over the years. Throughout the public process, comments regarding safety were a primary concern for park users and became a high priority item for the City.
Using CPTED (Crime Prevention Thru Environmental Design) principles, CALA developed a multi-phased Renovation Plan that focused on the safety and the reactivation of spaces. In order to bring the park back to its original glory and change the perceptions of park safety, the plan focused on creating fun, new spaces for community activity, as well as fully accessible paths, wayfinding, signage and sufficient amounts of parking adjacent to the park amenities.
One of the first sets of improvements included the realignment of the park road and an addition of a dog park. The realignment of the park road provides the police with better circulation and surveillance and the placement of the dog park brings activity and “eyes on park” in an area that was originally unsafe. Views through the park were opened up by lowering mounds, removing structures that blocked views of active spaces, and pruning up the existing tree canopy to open sight lines and help eliminate additional hiding spots.
Other improvements consist of a skate park, sport court renovations, and a future large scale all inclusive community playground for children of all ages and abilities. The playground will feature restrooms designed to reduce vandalism and loitering, picnic shelters, parking, and a large iconic play area that will be situated at the main entrance of the park.
I am most excited about the play area and look forward to climbing up the custom rocket ship tower (inspired by the original play structure at the park) and sliding down the 12’ slide! Construction for the play area is anticipated to start in 2024. With 3 phases already completed, the park has increased daily usage and the community is once again excited to recreate and enjoy this jewel of a park in the heart of Fairfield!