Parks & Recreation Master Plan
The Park and Recreation Commission oversaw a public planning process to update its Park, Open Space and Recreation Strategic Plan. The Plan is intended to serve as a 20-year vision, plan and framework for decision-making regarding indoor and outdoor recreational amenities, programming, levels of service, field and facility management, maintenance, (re)design, support infrastructure, funding, policy, land acquisition, permitting, programs and partnerships.
The last Strategic Plan was published in 2006 and included several recommendations that have been accomplished, in full or in part, such as the addition of athletic fields (1 multi-purpose field in Skyline Park and 1 multi-purpose field in Fisher Hill Reservoir Park), the incorporation of synthetic turf into the portfolio (accomplished at 4 athletic fields), the creation of a driving range, an increase in outdoor spray grounds (accomplished at several parks throughout Brookline) and additional walking paths. Needs identified by the community that have not yet been met include an indoor ice rink, outdoor pool, community center with indoor gym space, outdoor event space, skate park facilities, and more athletic fields to meet the current demands. Since 2006, the community has seen a marked increase in the school population, an increase in participation in sports, and an increase in awareness around the benefits of healthy recreation for all ages. Subsequently, the public has expressed a desire for greater access to multiple indoor and outdoor recreational opportunities.
For the updated plan, the Town retained the services of GreenPlay, LLC, a national consulting firm specializing in parks, recreation, and open space, to guide the planning process. The initiative, led by the Park and Recreation Commission, Parks and Open Space staff and GreenPlay, LLC, included public, staff and stakeholder engagement; analysis and assessment of current park, recreation and open space facilities; program review; surveys; and analysis of field and facility usage data against needs, population and national trends. The goal was to accurately determine the current level of service provided by Brookline’s parks and recreation fields, facilities and programs. The final plan will guide the delivery of park and recreation amenities, services, programs, maintenance, management, policy, capital improvements and future development within the Town of Brookline and ensure that decisions made today support not only the greatest needs now, but the Town’s vision for the future.
The data gathering on the updated Plan was primarily completed in 2019. Final editing between the Town staff and GreenPlay occurred through the better part of 2020, though somewhat delayed during Covid-19.
The final document given its overall size, was divided into two documents:
- 2020 Athletic Fields Needs Assessment and Master Plan
- 2020 Strategic Master Plan Update