In the fall of 2018, the Centerville-Washington Park District embarked on an effort to get neighbor input and opinion about two local, neighborhood parks — Pelbrook Park and Willowbrook Park. The process began with guided discussions with park neighbors. The main question was, “What would entice neighbors to visit the park more often?” Two different consultants led the group conversations and followed up with a compilation of the comments and the data about each of the immediate neighborhoods.
Both consultants presented a report to the Park District showing the desired elements, ranked in order of importance. The report was accompanied by a concept layout of the park, based on residents’ comments.
In May of 2019, neighbors were invited to come to the park to have a look at the concept layout and to take a look at the priorities from the fall event. They were asked to look at pictures representing possible improvements, and the concept drawing.
While there were specific differences and preferences regarding the future of the two parks, there were many similarities. Patterns from the two groups’ input may give good overall direction for the future of all neighborhood parks. The similarities are as follows:
- Un-interrupted, lawn space for open play is valued for a variety of self-directed play (Frisbee, touch football, tag, etc.)
- Both groups see the neighborhood parks as places for children to play, and for parents/grandparents to visit with children
- People like shade trees in the parks, especially around the playgrounds
- Where the playground is set well back from the street/sidewalk, a paved path from the sidewalk to the playground is highly desired (for strollers, toddlers, older people, bicycles, wagons, etc.)
We will begin work soon on improvements to each park, and follow a similar process in the future for neighborhood park improvements!
For more specific information, you can review a summary for each park.