BPRW Releases System-Wide Master Plan

This just released from the Mayor’s Office:

Plan Identifies Seven Areas for Continued Investment and Strategic Initiatives to Continue Revitalizing and Enhancing the City’s Parks System


Burlington, VT – Mayor Miro Weinberger and Burlington Parks, Recreation & Waterfront (BPRW) Director Jesse Bridges today celebrated the release of the City’s first system-wide Parks Master Plan.  The plan seeks to honor and enhance the role of Burlington’s park spaces and recreation opportunities within the City and the region, and brings together community and staff visions for the continued revitalization of our parks, recreation, and waterfront assets.

“Our Parks, Recreation & Waterfront Master Plan builds on the hard work of generations of Burlingtonians to establish a robust system of parks, public spaces, programs, and connections,” said Mayor Weinberger. “The careful planning identifies elements of the parks system that could be improved upon and showcases the renaissance underway in our treasured park system.”

Director Bridges added, “The examination and team workshops immensely benefited the Department by giving us the opportunity to take a critical look at our assets in their entirety; this process served to unify our collective mission by defining a shared vision and values. The BPRW Master Plan is an incredibly useful tool that will help us plan for the resources we need to better serve the public.”

The BPRW Master Plan ultimately produced a comprehensive checklist identifying major strategic initiatives across the Department, including operations, planning, recreation, parks, and the waterfront. Stemming from this master plan, more targeted management plans will be developed for BPRW facilities and parks in the future. The Parks Commission has supported the development of the BPRW Master Plan and endorsed the final product; the plan will go before the Planning Commission in March, then to the City Council for adoption in the City’s Municipal Development Plan.

This master planning effort began in 2013 and is intended to guide the Department through the next ten years and beyond. The process involved staff workshops, focus groups, community surveys, and open forums, combined with extensive research and assessment from consultants Sasaki Associates and Heller & Heller Consulting. The efforts culminated in a 140-page document, as well as the Department’s new branded identity, that articulates seven system themes representing key areas of focus:  People; Wellness; Connection; Stewardship; Service; Community; and Impact. It is upon these seven system themes that the Department’s strategic initiatives for the next ten years are based.

With several strategic initiatives already completed, remaining recommendations have been defined as short-, medium-, and long-term initiatives that will be implemented over the next several years. And even as the master plan was still being refined, BPRW has put many action items into motion, including Department rebranding, restructuring of staff roles, relaunching the website, developing a system of consistent wayfinding signage for the parks system and multi-use paths, and defining new standards for the renovation and replacement of park equipment and restroom facilities.  Other examples of the implemented BPRW Master Plan projects are already visible in the renovated bathrooms in the upper shelter at Oakledge Park, in the new playground equipment and expansion at Starr Farm Park, and in recent improvements to the Burlington Bike Path.

*Please see attached Parks Master Plan Summary
*Recent blog post from Sasaki Associates:
*The Parks Master Plan is available online: