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Davis

Davis, California

Thursday, April 18, 2024

Davis Department of Parks and Community Services seeks feedback to improve parks, amenities

The department has released a survey which will be open until Feb. 20

 

By EMMA CONDIT city@theaggie.org

 

The city of Davis’s Parks and Community Services Department has released a survey to receive input about the city’s parks and recreational programming. The survey is open to the public and will remain live until Feb. 20. 

The short survey asks questions about how to improve park amenities, how to increase outreach and what services are most valuable to park users. The survey’s responses will determine how the Department of Parks and Community Services will allocate its resources in the coming year. 

Deanne Machado, the director of Davis Parks and Community Services, explained that the survey is not geared toward any particular group. Rather, her department hopes to receive feedback from all groups around Davis to better cater their services, facilities and amenities.  

“We want to reach all the groups,” Machado said. “Every single demographic uses our green spaces or our amenities.” 

This survey is part of a larger effort to assess the needs of Davis. As the Parks and Community Services website states, the most recent Parks Master Plan was completed in 2011, nearly 13 years ago. The plan has been modified over the years but is in need of community feedback to receive a proper update. 

Machado explained that master plans are intended to last 10 years. They are forward-looking and are not a report card of the work the department has done.

“One way to do a master plan is to not just look at the way your outdoor space is designed, but to look at what program’s you’re offering,” Machado said. “We offer programming to many different demographics. Everything from active adults to our teeny-tiny preschoolers. […] We want to understand how we can make our programming more effective, reach a broader community, be more accessible.”

In the last 10 years, the enrollment of UC Davis has increased by 22% and the population of the city has increased alongside it. Davis parks have changed along with its growing population. Machado cited a major recent success of the Parks department called “Inclusive Parks, Inclusive Hearts: United Communities Through Recreation,” which responded to a gap in recreational enrollment programming. 

“This project was to gather up a larger cross section of our underserved or under-resourced youth in the community and get them to participate in our recreational programs,” Machado said. “We brought programming to one of our low-income family housing locations in town and conducted the recreational programs on site so that we could remove the barriers around cost and transportation.”

Parks play a major role in Davis, and the city is heralded for its abundance and attention towards green spaces. Davis’s public information officer Barbara Archer explained the large responsibilities held by the city’s parks department. 

“The parks and green belts are integral to Davis,” Archer said. “The department manages and maintains 42 community parks and nine dog parks. They also manage 25 athletic fields. The total area of landscape they maintain is 485 acres.”

Davis resident Ben Preskitt thinks that Davis parks are less accessible than many of the amenities offered by UC Davis, where arts and athletics are usually free and in a central location. Preskitt wishes there were more visible parks in the city, as well as facilities for people in his mid-twenties age group. 

“The closest park to me is the one on F St., Community Park, and it’s not very pedestrian friendly,” Preskitt said. “Davis has approached the walkability issue well, but there’s a reason I visit Central Park the most. I don’t see a lot of things where 24-year-olds are gathering at the park.”   

To give your input, fill out the Davis Parks and Community Services survey here.   

 

Written by: Emma Condit city@theaggie.org

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