As park systems age, deferred maintenance of park amenities has increased. There has been so much growth in park systems in Northern California that agencies need a better understanding of facility conditions to start building schedules/budgets around repairs, maintenance, and replacement of used and “loved” park facilities. Over the past few years, we have had the opportunity to showcase our unique park assessment services to many northern CA agencies. Our staff have visited all of the parks in the City of Santa Rosa, City of Napa, City of Stockton, Cameron Park Community Service District, and the City of Watsonville.
The sheer amount of data we gathered for each assessment initially seemed overwhelming, but through development of a logical, comprehensive, and flexible approach, combined with the learned experience of completing multiple studies, they have become less daunting. By using GIS, photo logs, a system of graphic symbols, templates, and detailed cost estimates we identify, evaluate, log and then communicate priorities and potential long term costs for the improvements. Our template is used to methodically evaluate the overall condition of parks across an entire parks system, summarizing priorities for renovation and estimated renovation costs for each park, and is customized to meet the unique needs of the client.
Beyond evaluating park conditions, we work closely with each agency to identify client-specific factors that help quantify the priority of each park’s needs. This collaboration is what makes each assessment unique and effective in meeting different client’s specific goals. These factors include social equity, safety, environmental health, neighborhood income, population density, tree canopy health, accessibility, recreation needs programming, etc. It is rewarding to hear how the results from our assessments greatly aid staff to better allocate their limited maintenance and funding resources in a data-driven manner to bring attention to parks that were not initially on their radar.
Overall, I’m really excited to see how the cities we’ve worked with are going to evolve their parks systems utilizing the park assessment data we helped collect and analyze! Want to know more about our Parks Assessment services? Give us a call!