Reaching Out

Village Park Rehabilitation

Village Park is a well-loved, established park that sits in the heart of Fair Oaks. It’s the home of two parks, a community clubhouse and an amphitheater. The community outreach goal was to receive a broad spectrum of input on the design for the park. Weeks before each event, CALA prepared graphic flyers and posted via social media as well as within the local businesses. A “Save The Date” board was posted at the site which indicated the date, location and time of each upcoming workshop. Vendors were hired to give the attendees free food and treats to encourage attendance (ice cream vendor for children’s workshop; BBQ vendor for site walk; and discounts at the local Brew Pub). Outreach included formal presentations and board meeting but it was the non-traditional events that brought the largest audiences and best input on the direction of the designs for the park. These included:

  • Site Tours: The pubic was divided in groups and included park district board members as well as the public. Site tours are invaluable on rehabilitation projects to hear what improvements are needed from the actual users of the park. Everyone gathered for barbecue food (provided by a local Fair Oaks Village restaurant) and a summary session at the end of the tour.
  • Kid’s Workshop: A children’s workshop allowed kids to vote on their favorite park elements, design their own park, check out playground materials and take a virtual reality tour through a couple playground designs. CLICK HERE for more on the kid’s workshop
  • Brew Pub Live Voting. Another workshop was held at the local Brew Pub. For this event CALA utilized an interactive app called “Poll Everywhere”. This made it easy for the community members to download so they could vote or type in answers right from their phones while enjoying $1.00 off drinks (provided by the venue) during the presentation. Live results instantly showed up on the presentation which provided great feedback and event entertainment during the meeting.
  • Concerts in the Park/Movies in the Park. During two large public events the team set up a booth to further communicate the design. Stickers and treats were handed out that said “I gave my input on” with the Village Park branded logo.
  • Online Survey. “Self-serve” email-based community polling techniques have also been very effective. Survey Monkey is used to send out reminders, gather information, and host all the outreach event flyers, as well as provide a platform for online surveys. Survey links are posted within the client’s website and social media platforms to allow maximum participation.


Ben Woodside

President/Principal - PLA, ASLA

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