How Do Parks Become What They Are?

Parks feed our minds and our spirits. We enjoy them while walking our dogs, lapping up some sun, relaxing on a bench, playing with our kids, and sharing picnics with friends and family. How do parks become what they are? If truth be told, a lot depends on each of us and the members of our community.

It’s called ‘park planning’ and it involves park staff, park planning consultants and input from community members – a lot of community input. And while we all love our parks, we frequently differ on issues ranging from what a park should look like, who it should serve, how the land is best used, and what amenities it should offer.

The City of Santa Rosa reached an important milestone this fall when it approved a Master Plan for the Roseland Creek Community Park. A big shout out goes to city council member Eddie Alvarez, who gathered residents and park users into focus groups, where disparate perspectives coalesced to accomplish an amazing outcome.

The resulting plan describes a wonderful asset that will include space for family picnics, a play area for kids, a Nature Center, and a community garden/outdoor classroom. Multi-use trails and bike paths meander through the area. The creek and woodlands will be restored to their natural habitat so that both young and old can enjoy a sense of tranquility and view local wildlife right in their neighborhood. Here is a link to the adopted Park Master Plan:

After our community acquires the Southeast Greenway property, we look forward to a robust park planning process, where all voices are heard, and creative and innovative ideas abound.