Lots of changes proposed for the downtown corridor as part of the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Master Plan

by Mike Van Houten / Nov 6, 2023

On Wednesday, the Parks and Recreation Department will  present the Parks, Recreation, and Open Space (PROS) Master Plan to the Reno City Council, for discussion and adoption.

The presentation and master plan are a goldmine of information for everything park related for the City of Reno, including what trails and parks are most popular, the breakdown of types of parks Reno has by percentage, and new concepts for park signs and capital projects for the future, which includes the Reno Riverwalk, the City Plaza downtown, the Keystone bridge and more.

Many of these changes could be happening within three to five years; think about it this way;

1. You have a massive increase in residents due to existing residential construction projects and recently completed projects downtown
2. This coupled with huge micromobility changes coming to downtown
3. Arlington bridges are slated to get rebuilt here soon
4. Barbara Bennet Park and Wingfield Park are headed to public workshops for new concepts to be unveiled on
5. The University and Jacobs Entertainment are slowly moving toward one another
6. A new activation plan in the works for all plaza and alleys.

A lot is about to happen downtown and these new concepts for the river corridor and city plaza are no exception.

The first community survey conducted as part of the Master Plan’s public engagement process found that the top five parks and top five paths/trails are:

Idlewild Park – 70.3%
Wingfield Park – 39%
Oxbow Park – 26.4%
Mira Loma Park – 20.5%
Double Diamond Park – 17.9%

The top two trails also were located in central Reno, with the Crooked Mile at Idlewild coming in at 61.6% and Riverside Drive walkway at 42.5%

The top three reasons people visited parks included to experience nature and physical/mental health and fitness, and the chance to be with friends/family.

94% of the respondents agree that the City of Reno’s parks and services contribute to their quality of life.  Parks are important!

Here’s a map outlining the locations of city parks and neighobrhood parks (usually smaller versions of city parks).

As part of the master plan, Parks and Rec unveiled concepts for new park signs. Love it!

This is Downtownmakeover, so let’s focus on their downtown-specific goals.

That would be Item #4, “Program, Develop and Activate the City of Reno Truckee River Corridor and Downtown Public Spaces to Support the Newly Envisioned Parks System”

According to the July-August 2023 online community survey, respondents indicated that  the relationship between the City, the Truckee River and Downtown are very important and provided feedback on what they see as important items that need to be considered in the design of the Truckee River Corridor and the Downtown public spaces.

The top three items which were highly recommended are more river/water access points, more shade trees, and more shade structures. The addition of more river/water access points not only comes from the responses to the online community survey, this design feature has also be recognized in other planning efforts such as the 2017 City of Reno Downtown Action Plan, The One Truckee River Management Plan and ReImagine Reno.

They key strategies in developing a master plan for the Truckee River Corridor include:

Strategy 1 - Designate the entire Truckee River Corridor as a Linear Park, within the City limits working with agency partners such as NV State Division of Lands and NV Division of Water Resources.
Strategy 2 - Add wayfinding signage to key destinations/ points-of-interests (POI) along the Truckee River Trail
Strategy 3 - Revitalize the Truckee River and Corridor District with activities, events and programs that serve residents and visitors.
Strategy 4 - District-wide, Improve/ Enhance accessibility, connectivity and safety
Strategy 5 - Establish a Public Art and Sculpture Program unique to the Downtown District and the Truckee River Corridor.
Strategy 6 - Evaluate and consider acquisition of future key redevelopment parcels, to expand parkland and to provide natural resource protection of the River Corridor.
Strategy 7 - Integrate natural resource enhancement and restoration measures into all improvement plans for the Truckee River Corridor and associated parks.

What follows in this section includes recommendations and park concepts which can be used as foundations for the creation of future detailed park development plans. Keep in mind the images are purely CONCEPTS and not final plans. I’m sure there would be a public input process before anything is finalized.

You can find the full 100+ page report here and be sure to watch the Reno City Council meeting Wednesday! If you have any input on the Parks and Rec plan, make sure to leave them a comment.

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