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2023-27 Parks & Recreation Open Space Plan 

The 2023-2027 Parks and Recreation Open Space Plan (PROS) has been approved by Ann Arbor City Council, and is being submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. We would like to thank everyone in the community for their support and engagement throughout this process. A final draft, which includes resolutions from PAC, Planning Commission, and City Council will be posted shortly.​ Click here to view the draft plan that was approved.​

Public input session hosted for park improvements​

Thank you to the individuals that attended the virtual meeting to discuss playground improvements at Dr. Harold J. Lockett Park. The feedback received was much appreciated and it will help park planning staff finalize our design. Construction is anticipated to begin next spring. For those who were not able to attend the meeting, you can access the presentation, as well as a recording of the meeting below. If you have any questions or comments about the project, please reach out to Adam Fercho, Park Planner / Landscape Architect at [email protected], or by calling 734.794.6230 ext. 42549.  ​

November 2022 Dr. Harold J. Lockett Park PDF Presentation
Video recording of the virtual meeting ​

Second public meeting hosted for ADA project

A second public meeting was held Wednesday, Oct. 12, 6-7 p.m. (Ann Arbor Downtown Library, 343 S. 5th Avenue) relating to the Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan. 

The feedback is greatly appreciated and will help us design a transition plan that best fits the communities needs.  If there are any questions about the ADA Transition Plan, please contact Adam Fercho, Park Planner at [email protected]

Thank you to all who participated in the the first Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) Transition Plan public meeting. A link to the presentation can be found here.

The ADA Transition Plan Website:
Website with the zoom link:

Based on feedback we have received from the community, we are excited to provide a pin-map to more easily share valuable feedback on accessibility concerns in our parks. Please take a few moments to let us know about specific accessibility concerns that you have within the City of Ann Arbor park system. The pin-map will close on Oct. 16. Click here​ to participate.

Bandemer bridge reopen

The vehicular and pedestrian bridges at Bandemer Park near the Barton Drive entrance are now open after the completion of a construction project. Thank you for your patience. Please email Hillary Hanzel, Park Planner, at [email protected] for any questions or concerns.​

Barton Dam path closures expected during drilling

NTH Consultants, Ltd./DLZ - American Drilling will be performing geotechnical explorations at Barton Dam Aug. 29-Sept. 9. This work is in conjunction with the design of remediation of the right embankment at the dam. Path closures are expected during this time. Questions? Contact Glenn Wiczorek, City of Ann Arbor senior utilities engineer, 734.794.6426 ext. 43958.
Barton Dam map Trail Closings updated.png

First PROS Plan webinar hosted June 29

The City of Ann Arbor is updating the Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) plan to identify goals, needs, trends and priorities for the next five years and beyond. Thank you to everyone that joined staff for the first Zoom webinar, Wednesday, June 29. To view the meeting click here​ (Passcode: r#Z.3qTR ).  Additional meetings are planned and will be posted here and on social media.

​“Community input is very important to defining the priorities that will guide the future of park planning and development. The PROS Plan survey provides an opportunity for the community to voice their opinions and share their ideas for the future," said Park Planner and Landscape Architect Hillary Hanzel.

Updating the PROS Plan helps to facilitate community discussion and evaluation of topics of importance and current issues.  Public meetings, in addition to the completion of a recent online survey, are another way for the community to participate during the PROS plan process. 

The PROS plan also plays an important role in qualifying for state and federal grant funding. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requires that all municipalities applying for recreation grants have a current plan on file with the MDNR and to update that plan every five years.

To view and read the plan, please click here​.  If you have any questions or comments about the PROS plan update, please contact Hillary Hanzel, Park Planner and Landscape Architect, [email protected].​

Barton/Bird Hills project ongoing into August

Short-term construction is ongoing for Barton Nature Area and Bird Hills Nature Area as part of the Barton Pump Station Valve Improvement Project. This project involves intermittent trail closures. The contractor will be doing exploratory digging July 27-29 and performing work in the green areas the weeks of Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. During active construction, trails within Bird Hills trail and a portion of the trail adjacent to the Barton Pump Station will be closed to pedestrian traffic. Closure and detour signage will be posted. After working hours, all open excavations will be fenced off and signage posted. Trails will only remain closed during off hours if there is an open excavation within the trail.  If you have any questions, please contact Emily Schlanderer, PE, [email protected].
Barton PS Project - Impact Exhibit_REV.jpg

Gallup Park bridge replacement and road & trail renovation study

The Gallup Park bridge, road and trail design study explores options to reimagine the vehicular bridge which is due to be replaced. It also highlights cohesive design solutions for the adjacent segments of park road and the Border to Border Trail. Multiple engagement opportunities with the public and a steering committee (of City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County representatives) provided the project team guidance throughout the design process. Community feedback was used to develop project goals and design criteria to guide the design process.  The community also provided input on design alternatives which was used to refine the final recommended design.  The schematic design study report is available below.  The area around the park entrance is currently being studied as a result of this plan. 

Schematic design study report

If you have any questions about this project, please contact Hillary Hanzel, Park Planner and Landscape Architect, [email protected]

Gallup Bridge-On.JPG

Gallup Park Project Area-Website.jpg

Community Orchard Proposal 2021
A resident group from the City of Ann Arbor's Office of Sustainability and Innovations A2ZERO Ambassadors program proposed to plant seven fruit trees in Arbor Oaks Park in spring 2022 - including two peach, three pear and two paw paws (paw paws are a native North American tree and their fruits have a unique, tropical flavor).​ To learn more about this project visit the Abor Oaks Park websi​te​​. 

West Park Band Shell Update

We apologize for the closure of the West Park Bandshell that occurred this past summer.  During our routine inspections, we noticed cracking taking place in the foundation of the structure. We hired a consultant, Hubbell, Roth and Clark, to perform a structural analysis of the structure and make recommendations on possible repairs. The report was released this month, which we have shared with the Park Advisory Commission at the October 2021 meeting. The report is available to the public and can be viewed here​. 

As the report mentions, the bandshell has a foundation that is no longer considered safe for use and will need to be repaired. The needed repair does provide us, as a community, the opportunity to look at the bandshell and envision what the future could be. Prior to any potential moves, we will be reaching out for public feedback and input. It is important for us to have a clear understanding of what our community wants to see happen. The Parks and Recreation Department will begin planning an engagement strategy, and look forward​ to hearing from you over the coming year.

Any questions or comments can be directed to Adam Fercho, Park Planner/Landscape Architect at [email protected] or 734.794.6230 ext.42549.​
Bandemer Park/Barton Nature Area Pedestrian Connection Update​
A public meeting by the City of Ann Arbor and the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission was held Wednesday, Dec. 2 about the proposed pedestrian tunnel beneath the railroad by Bandemer Park.  If you have additional feedback before staff move onto the next steps on this project, please contact Hillary Hanzel, Park Planner at [email protected] or call 734.794.6230 ext.42548.

View the presentation.
Watch the public meeting​.
Review the meeting summary.
Review the feasibility report.

Tunnel Rendering.JPG

Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) Plan 2016-2020 

The 2016-2020 PROS Plan was adopted by City Council on Jan. 17, 2017. To view and read the plan, please click FINAL 2016-2020 PROS PLAN.pdf  (15MB).

The PROS Plan is the City’s vision for parks and recreation in Ann Arbor. The Plan provides an inventory of existing parks and facilities; describes the relationship between the park and recreation system, surrounding municipalities, and recreation providers; identifies park and recreation needs and deficiencies; and proposes major capital improvements for existing and new parks.

The 2016-2020 Plan facilitates discussion and evaluation of major issues, problems and potentials, sets priorities for the next five years, and identifies goals and objectives that reach further into the future.  The plan establishes background information while delineating system needs that may qualify for state and federal grant funding. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requires that all municipalities applying for recreation grants have a current plan on file with the MDNR and to update that plan every five year.

Public Engagement Process

• A public hearing was held Tuesday, Nov. 15 at the Park Advisory Commission Meeting to be held in City Council chambers, 301 East Huron St. 2nd floor.  
• Parks and Recreation received 1034 responses to the online survey. A survey summary was posted in February 2016.
• A public meeting was held on Wednesday, March 23 at the Ann Arbor Senior Center.

To view the PROS plan click below:
PROS Plan 2016.pdf (7MB PDF)


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