Master Plan Recommendations
The neighborhood parks in RVMD offer playgrounds and small outdoor areas for children in each of the various neighborhoods. Set within the various neighborhoods, the parks provide walkable access for families and children and more intimate spaces with playgrounds. Analysis of the parks and community feedback indicate the parks are somewhat outdated with older equipment that is not suitable for a wide variety of age groups. Additionally, the parks all share a consistent character and similar play equipment. Due to age and the need to upgrade several of the park features, there is an opportunity to modernize the parks with new forms of play elements, shade and seating so the parks can become celebrated amenities in each neighborhood. General recommendations and goals related to neighborhood parks include:
- Reinforce the role of each neighborhood park as an amenity destination for the various neighborhoods in RVMD
- Explore improvements that provide play structure for different age groups.
- Provide more options for ADA access around play structures for children with disabilities.
- Strengthen the identity of each park to create a variety of experiences for residents.
Chatfield Farms Park
The park, located on the northernmost edge of the Little Willow Creek open space, provides the largest multi-use field space, a small playground, and a seating area with parking. The park serves the broader community as well as the immediate neighborhoods due to the combination of the multi-use field space and small playground area. The multi-use field was a successful addition to the park as an outcome of the 2010 Master Plan. Due to recent improvements to the play structure , and due to upkeep of the fields and other areas, the basic condition of the park is in good shape and does not need any major improvements. Beyond the continuation of basic annual improvements, recommendations include:
- Develop an overall character for the park that reinforces its location near the active multi-use field, such as play elements with a sports theme. This can be implemented over time by replacing older park elements with new features that support a sports theme and character.
- Replace the existing picnic tables with a consistent site furnishings package that match the overall park and open space standards included in this document.
- A specific recommended repair to the upper playground and parking area is the addition of a new exterior finish to the existing wall by installing a wall cap and facade which will create more comfortable seating opportunities.
Crystal Lake Park
Crystal Lake Park is located on the southern edge of Crystal Lake in the Arrowhead Shores neighborhood. The small 1.3- acre park’s recent improvements - including new play area, picnic shelter, open area for gatherings, and improved sidewalks - provide a great amenity for the neighborhoods surrounding the lake. RVMD should continue to coordinate with Arrowhead Shores on the management and programming of the lake area and small park space. The master plan does not make specific recommendations for the parks in Arrowhead Shores as the District does not manage these parks. However, the District does manage the lake and should continue to restore/reinforce its edges and reintroduce native vegetation to help with erosion control.
Imperial Park is situated along Village Circle West at the corner of Stacy Place and Kyle Way. The park currently includes some standard play equipment with soft surfaces and a couple of areas for seating. Based on field observations and conversations with community residents, the park represents an opportunity for RVMD to pilot new playground elements that will modernize the park and make it more attractive to residents and children of all age groups. Using the park as an opportunity to pilot new nature play elements will provide new forms of interactive and immersive play experiences. Adding shade and small shelter for birthday parties, gatherings and celebrations will make it more comfortable and appealing to all age groups. In addition to the basic improvements just mentioned, recommendations include:
- Addition of barriers between the park and adjacent roads to prevents children from running off to the road. Such barrier could be densely planted shrubs or other landscape area or some form of vertical barrier.
- Replacing the existing play structure with natural play elements as mentioned above.
- Providing gathering areas for different age groups, including hang out spaces for teenagers and play elements for infants, toddlers and young children.
- Add more shade, seating and gathering areas so the park is more comfortable and allows residents to socialize and linger.
Mule Deer Park
Located in the northeastern neighborhood along Mule Deer Place, this small park includes a flexible open lawn area and a small traditional playground with minimal seating. Although the park is used by residents, public input indicated the park is outdated and needs an upgrade. Its size and location suggest an opportunity for new playground elements that feature a theme that celebrates the local native wildlife and outdoor play, including the potential for some naturalistic rock climbing features. In addition to basic improvements, recommendations include:
- Replace signage and park bench and add a new trash receptacle to the park.
- Add shading element and consider replacing play structure with a themed play element featuring animals and nature play.
- Consider adding a concrete path around play structure area.
- Improve turf by removing noxious weeds in the lawn area and consider adding native low water use plants to the sloped lawn area.
The park represents an opportunity for new playground features that carry an aeronautical theme to reinforce the park’s name. In addition to basic improvements, recommendations include:
- Providing a new themed play structure or elements for different age groups, including infant, toddler and youth age ranges.
- Adding shade and additional seating for relaxing and gathering.
- Adding playful graphics or art to support the aeronautical theme.
- Landscape enhancements that add native low-water use plants to create more of a garden feeling.
- Potential partnership with Lockheed Martin with aeronautical theme.
Marmot Ridge Park
The 1.25-acre park represents another opportunity for new nature play experience featuring climbing elements and other natural features. It currently includes a small playground, soft surface, standard bench and some hilly open turf area to the south of the play area. The standard play elements and benches are in good condition but need upgrading to modernize the park. Serving residents in the surrounding neighborhood, the park can be improved by integrating new features that take advantage of the sloping area to the south and provide new nature play experiences featuring hill climbing and slides along the slope and other natural features. In addition to the foregoing improvements, recommendations include:
- Updating the park design to provide an experiential series of play elements that promote climbing and exploring a sculpted landscape that’s integrated with landforms and creative play structures that emphasize the local native landscape.
- Long term improvements to include adding a continuous concrete path around playground area.
- Modifying the park planting to add native plants and pollinators on sloped lawn area with educational signage for children to learn about native plants and pollinators.
New Parks and Improved Native Areas
In addition to the existing parks, RVMD can expand its park amenities by adding a new neighborhood park and small local gardens. While a new park can expand the active programming and play areas in the community, small native gardens featuring wildflowers and grasses can offer ecological habitat and tranquil spaces for residents to enjoy the native landscape. Recommendations for a new park and improved native areas include:
- New Little Willow Creek Playground and Play Area – A new playground is proposed in the Little Willow Creek open space area just south of the two ponds that are south of Village Circle West. The playground should be integrated with the trail and pond improvements so residents can have a place for children to play and explore in the center of Little Willow Creek. The central site also provides a great opportunity for immersive play experiences that promote exploration and adventure in children.