Project Description

The purpose of the City of Norfolk Recreation and Parks Master Plan was two-fold:

1. To identify improvements needed to meet residents’ top priority recreation, parks and open space needs; and,

2. To help solve some of the city’s most pressing urban problems and improve quality of life.

To achieve this, the project team conducted three (3) days of stakeholder interviews, two (2) public kick-off workshops,

an intensive four (4) day public/staff visioning charrette, and an implementation workshop. Major components of the

Plan included a City-Wide Population/Demographic Analysis; existing System Analysis; Needs and Priorities Assessment

including public workshops, focus group interviews, City Manager and Elected Official Interviews; a City-Wide Boat Ramp

Assessment; and five-tiered Level of Service (LOS) Analysis; an illustrative Parks System Vision Plan; and a feasible Cost

Estimate and Implementation Strategy. The planning process identified nine focus areas, or “sub-systems” to improve the

recreation system: parks, athletic fields, community character, bikeways and trails, water access, community recreation

centers, therapeutic recreation, recreation programs, and operations and maintenance. The vision for the master plan

revolved around three main themes:


The “bones” of a great parks system are already in place in Norfolk, but much of the system needs to be refreshed

and updated with new facilities and additional activities. This section details the vision to refresh Norfolk’s parks and

recreation facilities.


Despite a dense roadway network, Norfolk currently has limited connectivity by bike, foot, or paddle. This section

describes the vision to re-connect Norfolk’s community assets.


Over the years, the City—particularly the Department of Recreation, Parks and Open Space (RPOS)—has taken on a

wide span of responsibilities. To achieve the City’s vision of an excellent parks and recreation system, Norfolk must refocus

its energies and resources. 

The project team worked with the City to develop an implementation strategy that establishes a framework for the implementation of the Recreation and Parks Master Plan by the year 2032. Carlos F. Perez served as the Assistant Project Manager/Parks Planner for the project and David Barth served as the Principal-In-Charge while working with Glatting Jackson/AECOM.