Making Healthier Communities with New Parks and Open Spaces
City of Leavenworth and the Upper Valley Parks and Recreation Service Area
Residents and visitors in the communities we serve love access to high-quality parks and outdoor spaces. Well-planned recreational areas allow families and individuals to enjoy fun events like family gatherings, artistic performances, a pickup basketball game, or experience innovative playground designs like splash parks. These public amenities promote neighborhood pride and provide community members of all ages and abilities a safe place to be physically active and enjoy the natural environment.
The City of Leavenworth, in Chelan County, boasts a Bavarian-style downtown and has a tourist-based economy supported by 2 million annual visitors. The City and a service district, known as the Upper Valley Parks and Recreation Service Area (PRSA), have been hard at work exploring community interests and needs for recreational facilities and prioritizing future needs for their next legacy project. It has been over twenty years since the PRSA was originally formed to fund the construction and maintenance of a community pool, which is a key community asset located in Leavenworth’s busy downtown area.
As part of this work, the PRSA and the City selected AHBL to perform a recreational needs assessment, gathering important input from the community. Planners from AHBL have assisted with community engagement and outreach throughout the summer months. Additionally, AHBL collaborated with the ETC Institute, a national firm based out of Kansas City, to design and administer a statistically significant community input survey. AHBL planners analyzed and synthesized the data by key findings and prepared and presented a summary to the PRSA Board and to the Leavenworth City Council.
Public engagement and feedback are always important, but especially imperative when developing a roadmap for future projects that ought to be based on known community needs and when local support needs to be maximized. The AHBL community planning team used a robust community outreach approach, which was tailored for this project and included a community open house event, direct outreach to a neighboring community council group, presence at farmers market events and focus group meetings with key constituents.
The AHBL office in Pasco, Washington affords our teams the base from which to serve clients in Central and Eastern Washington, including local communities in Chelan County.