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The original item was published from 7/28/2023 12:18:11 PM to 10/1/2023 12:00:01 AM.

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Posted on: July 28, 2023

[ARCHIVED] ‘Parks Make Life Better’: Introducing trailblazing policies to improve parks and recreation services

Napa Parks and Recreation Policies

The City of Napa Parks and Recreation Department is proud to announce the adoption of three new department policies aimed at fostering financial sustainability, social equity, and strategic capital investment. These policies mark significant milestones in the City of Napa’s ongoing commitment to providing a thriving and inclusive park system for the community.

Financial Sustainability Policy:

The newly adopted Financial Sustainability Policy empowers the Parks and Recreation Department to make informed decisions about resource allocation and recommendations to the City Council for approval, ensuring the long-term viability of Napa’s parks for future generations. The policy is structured around three key elements:

  1. Service Categories: The Parks and Recreation programs and services have been strategically reorganized into 10 distinct Service Categories, enabling the team to efficiently manage and evaluate offerings provided to Napa residents.
  2. Beneficiary of Service: The Parks and Recreation team evaluated service categories and ranked them based on their impact on the common good or individual benefit, allowing effective resource allocation. This approach ensures that services with broader community-wide impact receive appropriate funding, while individualized services garner more direct user contributions.
  3. Cost of Service: The Parks and Recreation team comprehensively assessed all program costs, including direct and indirect expenses, which provides valuable insights into funding allocation and cost recovery goals for each Service Category and enables data-driven decision making.

“By implementing this policy, we are laying the groundwork for a park system that will remain vibrant and accessible for generations to come,” said Mayor Scott Sedgley. “It reflects our commitment to responsible fiscal management while enhancing the overall quality of life in Napa.”

Social Equity Policy:

Addressing social inequities is at the forefront of the City’s mission, and the newly instituted Social Equity Policy ensures that equity remains a core consideration in Napa’s park development and maintenance initiatives. Through partnerships with experts and analysis of census data, the Parks and Recreation department developed a rating scale that considers various factors, such as neighborhood density, age, income, and race, to identify and address barriers to access to the parks system. This policy has also been integrated into the department’s Capital Investment Policy.

“Our goal is to ensure that every resident of Napa, regardless of their background, has equal access to our parks and recreational facilities,” said Parks and Recreation Director Breyana Brandt. “This policy reaffirms our dedication to creating a fair and inclusive environment for all members of our community.”

Capital Investment Policy:

The Capital Investment Policy sets the foundation for evaluating infrastructure investments and prioritizing projects within the Napa parks system for City Council approval. With ample parkland for Napa’s current and future population, the City is focused on sustaining and enhancing existing assets. The department’s comprehensive Park Infrastructure Program addresses the ‘Catch Up’ (rehabilitation), ‘Keep Up’ (maintenance) and ‘Moving Forward’ (development) phases of work for each park resource. A key success metric aims to invest 50% or more of the City's capital projects in parks identified as high priority on the Social Equity scale.

“Our parks are the heart of our community, and this Capital Investment Policy ensures that we invest wisely in maintaining and improving these valuable assets,” added Brandt. “It is a crucial step in enhancing our park system to meet the needs of our diverse population.”

The Parks Improvement Program is one of the City’s major ongoing initiatives, responding to the challenges posed by aging facilities and growing maintenance backlogs. By conducting a comprehensive Parks Condition Assessment, the City has gained valuable insights into the condition of park infrastructure that allows the department to efficiently allocate resources and implement improvement projects based on clear priorities and identified funding targets.

The Parks and Recreation Department remains dedicated to advancing the Napa community's quality of life through thoughtful policy development and proactive program implementation. As Napa celebrates the completion and implementation of these policies, the Parks Department is excited to embark on the City's first Urban Forestry Management Plan this summer, a crucial step towards enhancing green spaces across the city over the next 18+ months.

Napa City Council has celebrated the positive impact of parks on the community throughout the month by officially designating July as “Parks Make Life Better Month.” With the recent implementation of three new department policies aimed at financial sustainability, social equity, and strategic capital investment, this celebration comes at an ideal time. These policies reaffirm the City's commitment to providing enjoyable and inclusive recreational spaces for all.

For more information on the Parks and Recreation Department policy development and implementation, please visit Park Planning Documents | Napa, CA (cityofnapa.org)


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