Action 1: Identify and remedy gaps within your city's system of parks, offroad trails and open spaces.
The city has a parks and trails system plan as part of the city’s Comprehensive Plan that identifies future park and trail development as the city grows and expands. The city also has a five year capital program for investing in and reviewing their parks and trails system that is updated annually.
Action 2: Plan and budget for a network of parks, green spaces, water features and trails for areas where new development is planned.
The Comprehensive Plan provides a Greenway Map in the Parks, Trails and Open Spaces section that “reflect preferred opportunities for protecting and preserving continuous open space throughout the City.” Funding possibilities are listed in the Comprehensive Plan, but parks are generally financed through new development dedications (Section 21-116, Dedications Required, in the municipal code).
Action 3: Achieve minimum levels of city greenspace.
Woodbury’s park system consists of more than 2,240 acres of park land and 130 miles of recreational trails. The population of Woodbury in 2012 was reported at 63,621, resulting in approximately 35 acres of park land per 1,000 residents.
The city has planned for and provided pathways along major roadways, through neighborhoods and within parks and open space to provide and alternative transportation opportunity. The Comprehensive Plan states that parkland makes up 10% of the City’s area currently. Approximately one-third of the city is not yet developed, so that percentage is expected to go up as the development continues.
The Comprehensive Plan sets minimum areas in its design standards for neighborhood parks (1-2 acres per 1,000 people) and community parks (5-8 acres per 1,000 people). Within the developed area of the city, over 90 percent of residents are within ½ mile of a park or open space.
Action 5: Create park management standards/practices that maximize at least one of the following: low maintenance turf management/native landscaping; organic or integrated pest management; or sources of non-potable water or surface/rain water, for irrigation.
Ninety percent of the lake shore surrounding the city’s lakes has been preserved in native vegetation and is owned by the city. The city has converted many acres of manicured turf and agricultural land in parks and open space to native vegetation to reduce mowing and maintenance requirement. The city has a tree management ordinance and an integrated pest management policy that the park and forestry division follows. Stormwater has been used for irrigation at the Bielenberg Sports Center since its initial construction in 1995. A rain water reuse system was installed in the Thames Road fire station pond to irrigate the adjacent Windwood Park in 2012. A rain water reuse system is being installed at the Eagle Valley Golf Course and Prestwick Golf Course as part of the stormwater management system for the County Road 19 expansion project in 2013.
Action 8: Develop a program to involve community members in hands-on land restoration and stewardship projects.
The city hosts an annual Buckthorn Busting Event each October where volunteers gather to remove buckthorn from a city park. Although the event has continued for several years, in 2011, Woodbury initiated a partnership with Great River Greening to utilize the organizational capacity and volunteers offered through a Great River Greening event. The annual event is publicized in the city’s Parks and Recreation brochure, as well as on the city website and its newsletters. Promotion of the event is expanded to motivate residents to borrow city-owned weed wrenches and remove buckthorn from their private property as well. In 2012, approximately 130 volunteers participated in the annual event. In addition to the annual event, buckthorn is removed from city parks by staff and local service groups on a regular basis.
The city hosts an Adopt-A-Park program that encourages volunteers, with assistance from the Parks and Recreation Department, to adopt a lake or park in Woodbury for regular maintenance and cleanups, including picking up litter and planting flowers. As of February 2013, twenty-four of the city’s parks are adopted.
Woodbury also has a Spring Cleanup Week that takes place in early spring. The purpose is to clean up litter from the city parks, trails and schools. Garbage bags are supplied for trash, and filled bags can be deposited near the trash receptacles for pickup by parks maintenance staff.