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Preliminary Parks Master Plan unveiled, input now sought

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Last Thursday, Germantown’s Parks and Recreation department, in cooperation with a team led by Lose & Associates, unveiled the draft recommendations for the city’s parks master plan.

The recommendations come after months of extensive research, public engagement and work with a citizen-driven steering committee.

In fact, representatives from Lose and Associates commented that Germantown is the most engaged community they have served.

“Germantown residents were quick to respond to the online survey we conducted, indicating a high interest and pent-up demand in voicing their needs and priorities for improving their parks and recreation system,” said Carlos Perez, principal of Perez Planning + Design who managed the public engagement strategy for the project.

“The response was consistent with what we observed about Germantown – residents desire to improve, enhance, and expand their parks, public spaces and programs so they match the City’s premier reputation as a high-quality place to live and shop” Perez added.

Keep reading for additional information about how you can continue to provide input related to the plan.

Key findings from the community survey revealed the following priorities:

Improve, enhance, and expand existing parks and recreational facilities, focus on urban leisure trends.

Enhance pedestrian/bicycle connectivity and access to nature.

Provide and market organized opportunities for the community to come together.

Complete results are available in the draft recommendations presentation.

The draft plan proposes significant enhancements to three large existing parks and acquisition of additional park land to accommodate sports fields.

Highlights include:

Municipal Park

Improvements to Municipal Park would allow the space to serve as a sort of city center, serving as the hub for special events and providing a place for people to gather and connect.

Significant enhancements include the addition of a flyover pedestrian bridge, amphitheater, food truck parking, splash pad and a destination playground.

Improvements to Exeter Road would make the roadway more pedestrian friendly and add on-street parking. Improvements to the Kiwanis Pavilion and the Suburban Garden Meditation Garden are features in the new park design.

Parks on Poplar

Including the Germantown Civic Club Complex, Oaklawn Gardens, Cloyes Soccer Fields and the Bobby Lanier Farm Park, the Parks on Poplar would be connected with a drive that begins on Poplar Pike and continues throughout the entire complex.

The proposed plan honors the existing Farm Park Master Plan, while adding expanded facilities for the Germantown Charity Horse Show, an open air pavilion, an Oaklawn Gardens visitors’ center, a splash pad and a new tennis court complex allowing players access to all City courts in one place.

The Parks on Poplar would also become the home to the historic John Gray house currently located at Municipal Park. The final plan will also address the needs of the Germantown Festival event.

Cameron Brown Park and Bob Hailey Athletic Complex

Proposed improvements would convert the two parks to a comprehensive youth baseball complex including five new fields at Bob Hailey. A dog park, pickle ball courts and new connections to the existing greenway trail are also included in the plan.

Crestwyn Hills Drive Soccer Complex

This park would require the purchase of identified land along Crestwyn Hills Drive, ideal due to its location away from residential areas. The complex would include multi-use sports fields designed to serve soccer, lacrosse, football and more.

Other significant improvements include:

Johnson Road Park would become home to a two-field adult softball complex.

Houston Levee Park would become part of the Houston High School property to be developed by the school to meet the growing needs of the school’s athletic programs if additional parkland acquisition is realized.

Several options for youth football fields exist within the scope of the preliminary plan.

Riverdale and Dogwood Parks would receive upgrades that include perimeter fitness trails and multi-purpose fields for open play.

Completion of the Germantown Greenway and implementation of the city’s bike and pedestrian plan are priorities.

Residents are asked to review the draft recommendations and then provide additional input using the online survey, which closes at 5 p.m. on Oct. 27.

Next steps in the process include compiling the results of public input related to the plan, presenting recommendations to the Parks and Recreation Commission and then to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen for approval.

The goal is to have an approved plan prior to the start of the city’s budget planning season in January.