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Sep 23

The Future of Derby’s Parks

Posted on September 23, 2022 at 8:27 AM by Kristy Bansemer

Derbyites, in early 2022 the City began collecting data and feedback for the new Parks Master Plan. It has been apparent during this process that you love your parks! 

During this process we have talked with residents at public forums, had a cookout at English Park, went to DHS basketball games, and engaged at the City’s Spring into Art event. We asked residents to point out their favorite park features and amenities. Benchmark analyses were also conducted with other community park systems such as Garden City, Lenexa, West Des Moines, Iowa and Westerville, Iowa. Stakeholder meetings were conducted with Derby Public Schools, Derby Recreation Commission, Derby Senior Center, Derby Health Collaborative, Parks and Urban Forestry Board and the City Council. 

An inventory and analysis of existing park amenities and conditions and a statistically valid needs assessment survey were completed over the summer. A few fun facts we learned from the survey…the Farmers Market is the most important amenity with 42 percent of households ranking it at the top. The pandemic gave 56 percent of our households an increased perception of the value of parks, and 81 percent of households agreed that parks improve quality of life. Finally, 76 percent of households think parks improve mental health and reduce stress.

The 2022 Parks Master Plan will be our roadmap to guide, revitalize and reimagine our existing parks for the next 15 years. The prior plan, completed in 2008, with funding from the Derby Difference Sales Tax, helped lead to the construction of Madison Avenue Central Park, Warren Riverview Park and Decarsky Park. 

I invited you to attend the final public forum on Thursday, Sept. 29 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Venue at Madison Avenue Central Park. New concepts for four parks (High, Hand, English and Garrett) will be on display for the public to comment on. Join us for a fun evening of new ideas, discussions and future possibilities. 

Steve White
Director of Parks

Published in The Derby Informer on Sept. 21, 2022.