Recreation was introduced to Harrisonburg, VA following World War II. In the years to follow Harrisonburg's parks were created and facilities such as the Community Activities Center were built. Additionally, Parks and Recreation acquired the National Guard Armory and Simms School (now known as the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center) for community recreation.
The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department strives to meet its mission of enhancing the quality of life and meeting the needs of every citizen by providing comprehensive leisure service opportunities. The Parks and Recreation Department also strives to develop and maintain a safe system of open space and public facilities for the use and enjoyment of the public.
New Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan Study
The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation is working with Land Planning and Design Associates in a study to develop an updated Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The last study was completed in 2003, and needs updating based on the growth of Harrisonburg, new trends, and new desires. The 2003 Comprehensive Master Plan can be found below for anyone who is interested.
[16MB] Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2003 - This plan for Parks and Recreation outlines policies and actions that will need to be implemented to ensure that Harrisonburg's Parks and Recreation system continues to meet the needs of the community. The plan provides a framework for implementing new programs, facilities and funding in the short term and long term future.
[5MB] Smithland Road Park Master Plan 2004 - The Smithland Road Property has been chosen to be the site of a new community park and athletic complex. The site is located in the northeast portion of Harrisonburg, along the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County line. Much of the background information and initial public input for this project was developed during the City of Harrisonburg’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The plan was completed in 2003 and included planning and input regarding the development of the Smithland Road Property. The process to decide what functions the park would hold and what program elements would be incorporated
included much community involvement. This was accomplished through public meetings and mailed questionnaires.
[3.7MB] Ramblewood Park Master Plan 2012 - The master plan incorporates in-progress recapping operations for the closed landfill cells within the property, a current Police Training Facility, and an active league-play, lighted softball program into a long-term park planning goals for the 147 acre park property. The master plan provides a range of park programs for residents of Harrisonburg that expands upon the current single use of softball on site. The master plan provides strategies for new lighting and the impacts of additional fill material over the closed landfill cells. The master plan also provides discussion of the Police Training Facility and its activity and development strategy within the property, development of a trail system as part of the comprehensive city trail network, cost projections for individual park program elements and park regions, and potential phasing.
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