The Community Facilities chapter focuses principally on improving the City’s parks, open spaces, and recreation programs. Equitable access to these amenities is of principal focus, particularly the expansion of public access to the waterfront. Additionally, there is an opportunity to merge our recreation and parks resources with our network of natural resources, bikeways, and trails, to create a comprehensive park system for the City.
Merge Annapolis' parks and recreation system with its evolving network of conservation areas and trails to create a comprehensive greenway system.
- Publication of a comprehensive park system map that includes active parks, waterfront access points, passive natural areas, as well as connecting trails and bikeways.
Action 1: Revise the mission of the Annapolis Conservancy Board to include regular coordination with the Department of Recreation and Parks
Action 2: Refine and publish an official park system map that includes detailed information on access to conservation areas, water access, and trail connections.
Action 3: Design, adopt and implement a Greenway Plan that identifies lands which provide significant environmental, recreation, aesthetic, and/or health benefits and details strategies to maintain the values these lands provide; The plan should be managed jointly by the Annapolis Conservancy Board and the Department of Planning and Zoning, updated regularly, and coordinated with Anne Arundel County’s Green Infrastructure Plan. (also listed with the Land Use element under goal LU 6)
Action 4: Explore training opportunities for Parks maintenance staff to include habitat restoration and conservation land management.
Action 5: Prioritize the development of a dedicated parks maintenance facility at Truxtun Park, or at another feasible location.
Expand parks facilities strategically to achieve equitable access for all.
- All residents are within a ¼ mile of a mini-park, a ½ mile from a neighborhood park, and 1 mile from a community play field.
- The Parks and Pathways Master Plan is updated by 2024 and regularly updated every 10 years.
Action 1: Update the Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance to meet this goal’s performance metric of proximity to parks by clarifying the level of service standards, updating the fee-in-lieu structure to reflect current park development costs, and simplifying the process.
Action 2: Prioritize the update of the 2004 Parks and Pathways master plan, with future updates to occur every ten years; The master plan will not only serve to update equitable level of service standards, recreational program priorities, and opportunities for park and trail enhancements, but also opportunities for new diversified funding sources, as well as updated maintenance guidelines and efficiencies.
Action 3: Identify opportunities for enhancements to existing parks, such as at Annapolis Walk Community Park, that will expand use to more diverse users and activities.
Action 4: Work with Anne Arundel County Recreation and Parks, and the Board of Education, to implement enhancements to various Anne Arundel County facilities within the City, or create new facilities, that could help to address equity goals.
Prioritize equitable waterfront access by investing in new and improved public open spaces, and the connections to them.
- Double the linear feet of publicly accessible waterfront by 2040 from approximately 10,000 LF to 20,000 LF.
Action 1: Continue to work with the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) and other community partners to restore and activate the open space area at Hawkins Cove as an accessible and functional recreational amenity, and improve trail connectivity to Truxtun Park.
Action 2: Work with public and private property owners along College Creek to create a parks and trails master plan for the area that will create new and improved water access opportunities, preserve existing open space and cultural sites, restore habitat, and improve bicycle/pedestrian connections throughout the area.
Action 3: Update the adequate public facilities ordinance to require public waterfront access for all new waterfront development, excluding single family parcels.
Action 4: Create straightforward signage requirements to be included in all future public access easements not maintained by the City; The signage should be easily visible to passersby, clarify that public access is permitted and that the easement is maintained by the adjacent property owner, and should be coordinated in appearance with other trail signage maintained by the City.
Expand recreational program offerings to reach more residents, particularly under-represented populations.
- The Recreation Associate position at the Stanton Center is filled.
Action 1: Explore the feasibility and return on investment of developing a modern multi-use sports complex at the former Public Works facility at Spa Road as a revenue-generating asset for the City.
Action 2: Support the creation of an independent parks foundation that can help to aggregate private donations, manage fundraising campaigns, and spearhead new parks initiatives.
Action 3: Explore new opportunities for revenue-generating concessions within existing parks including paddle craft rentals, food service, and other complementary uses.
Action 4: Prioritize the hiring of the Recreation Associate position at the Stanton Center to allow for additional programming.
Action 5: Ensure that updated Parks and Pathways master plan includes an emphasis on clear level of service standards and equity in the development of recreational programs.
Leverage opportunities for expanded recreational use of Waterworks Park.
- Activate the historic pump house by 2025
- Complete all approved bike connections by 2025
Action 1: Continue to work with passionate volunteers such as those from Mid-Atlantic Off-road Enthusiasts (M.O.R.E.) and other partners to expand access to the park for users of all ages and interests.
Action 2: Continue to work with Anne Arundel County to create the necessary bike and pedestrian facilities to connect the park to nearby residential communities and commercial centers.
Action 3: Expand the trail network around the Solar Energy Facility and explore a potential parking area at N. River Road.
Action 4: Explore using an RFP process to solicit developer interest in the restoration and activation of the historic pump house building.
Action 5: Expand program offerings at the park to reach more youth who have limited access to the types of activities that happen there such as fishing, hiking, mountain biking, and outdoor education.
Action 6: Continue to work with Anne Arundel County and nearby property owners to create new parking options that will help to expand park use and eliminate parking conflicts.