Mission low on park acreage, but lots of ideas to make existing parks better; trails, volleyball courts, outdoor theater on list

Consultants showed Mission residents some of the suggestions for new park amenities during a parks master plan open house at Sylvester Powell Community Center.
Consultants showed Mission residents some of the suggestions for new park amenities during a parks master plan open house at Sylvester Powell Community Center.

Mission residents Thursday night got a first glimpse of a parks master plan for the city that shows what people want to see in their parks. A farmers market, sand volleyball courts, trails, restrooms and an outdoor theater topped the list of most requested additions to Mission’s current parks.

That list was compiled from citizen comments at previous public input sessions. The list not only has those most requested ideas, but also shows how residents wanted to place them in each of the individual parks. Rounding out the top 10 list – although it goes on for approximately 30 amenities – is a nature center, community garden, Bocce-ball court, ice rink and dog park.

Hank Moyers of the consulting group Confluence said that comments from Thursday night will influence a final set of recommendations for along-range plan that is expected to be unveiled to the public in October. Besides the list of most-requested park additions, residents could review the list of strengths and opportunities of each existing park and the preliminary recommendations, which were plentiful, from the consultants.

Moyes said the plan had identified that Mission is underserved by its current parks. With fewer than 34 acres in parkland, Mission would need to add more than 61 acres of parks to bring it up to national standards of acreage per 1,000 residents. It also was low in acreage and trails to some comparable communities in the metro.

Streamway Park is one of most under-utilized but with the greatest opportunity, Moyers said. “It has more character, but fewer amenities (than other parks).” The opportunities for Streamway include a nature center and trails.

Overall, residents want more trails with greater connections and attractions that will give them opportunities to spend more time in the parks.

To expand offerings, the city could either identify more land to purchase or create signature amenities in each park to draw more people, Moyers said. In Mohawk Park, residents had suggested restrooms, soccer fields, a greenhouse, dog park and a shelter. For Broadmoor, the most requested items were sand volleyball, horseshoe pits, dog park, outdoor theater, and farmers market.

Each of the existing parks was listed with its most requested items. The city this summer opened a farmers market along Johnson Drive.