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Posted on: November 19, 2020

City of Norfolk Refreshes its Parks and Recreation Master Plan

Virtual Public Input Meetings Scheduled December 9 and 10.

NORFOLK, VA – The City of Norfolk is embarking on a journey to refresh and update its comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan to provide guidance on how to meet the demands for future recreational, programming, environmental and maintenance needs. The new master plan will also establish priorities for facility improvements, future park development and land acquisitions. Norfolk residents are invited to join the process, led by PROS Consulting Inc. and the Department of Recreation, Parks & Open Space (RPOS). The city seeks feedback from all ages and perspectives on how to recreate the future of Norfolk parks and recreation. 

“Diverse and equitable opportunities for recreation, and vibrant parks and facilities are essential to our thriving community,” said Mayor Kenneth Cooper Alexander, Ph.D. “Norfolk is an innovative community, as we continue to address the COVID-19 pandemic and other challenges, this refresh and update of the Parks & Recreation Master Plan will help better position our city as the premier destination for families and businesses for years to come.”

The City hired PROS Consulting, Inc., a national leader in parks and recreation consulting. Principal Neelay Bhatt will serve as the project lead. Bhatt states, “Norfolk RPOS is a top-notch agency, selected as a National Gold Medal Finalist in 2019. Having worked with parks and recreation agencies nationwide, I have no hesitation positioning RPOS staff and team with the best of the agencies across the country. With this plan, we will implement industry trends and exceed the needs of the growing Norfolk community.”

The City will host two virtual public input meetings to gather resident feedback. Open to the public, these meetings will engage the Norfolk community and gather input through live polling, Q&A and public comment collection. Below is the meeting schedule.

“During these meetings, we will introduce the master plan and engage the community through creative online mediums designed to boost public input. We look forward to the Norfolk community and key stakeholders participating to help guide our efforts to improve and redefine Norfolk’s park system, and plan for future parks and recreation services, including prioritizing projects, maintenance, policy, and funding,” said RPOS Director Darrell R. Crittendon.

The consulting team provided an ADA-accessible, multilingual crowdsourcing website to guide this project. “This virtual engagement is critical in the current times to ensure everyone is able to participate in the planning process in an inclusive manner. This website provides all project findings and allows residents to participate in the virtual public meetings. Survey results and recordings of the virtual meetings will be available on the site,” said Bhatt.

A statistically valid direct mail survey to a random sample of Norfolk residents will follow the virtual meetings.

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