Park Planning

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Allmendinger Park     Barton-Bandemer     Gallup Bridge     South Maple Courts


Gallup Pedestrian and Vehicle Bridge Project


Hillary Hanzel
Landscape Architect/Park Planner
[email protected] | 734.794.6230 ext. 42548



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CLOSED: Gallup Bridge

A decision was made earlier this week to close the wooden vehicle bridge in Gallup Park to all traffic (vehicles/pedestrians). During a routine inspection, the vehicle bridge was found to have significant structural issues that might pose a risk of failure and should not be crossed for any reason. The City of Ann Arbor is working with utmost urgency to find a solution to this issue as quickly as possible, and we are investigating all options, including the potential for a temporary crossing until the new bridge is constructed.
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ABOUT THE PROJECT

Design is complete for the new vehicle and pedestrian bridge and is based on input from the community. It will maintain a single vehicle lane and expand the sidewalks on either side. The new bridge will be built just west of the existing bridge and will be a two-span structure.  During construction, the existing wooden bridge will remain in services, except for a few short, planned closures. Once the new bridge is constructed and operable, the existing wooden bridge will be demolished. The new bridge will also feature bank stabilization around each abutment in the form of stepped stones similar to the condition at the Argo Cascades. This project also includes improvements to the park road approaches, Border to Border Trail crossing, and park pathways. 


This project was selected by a community vote to receive $2.3m in federal Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds.  The City of Ann Arbor was awarded $24.2 million in funds under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA).  Additional funding is provided by the City of Ann Arbor Park Maintenance and Capital Improvements Millage and the parks fund balance.

In 2020, a schematic design study explored options for the replacement bridge design and preliminary costs, as well as cohesive design solutions for the adjacent segments of park road and the Border-to-Border Trail.

Community feedback was used to inform project goals and design criteria in the design process. The community also provided input on design options, which was used to refine the final design. The schematic design study report is available below.  


Ann Arbor PROS Plan 2023-2027

The 2023-2027 Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) Plan was adopted by City Council on Jan. 9, 2023. To view and read the plan:

2023-27 PROS Plan approved plan, 15 MB (PDF)
2023-27 PROS Plan approved plan, 40MB (PDF)

The PROS Plan is the City's vision for parks and recreation in Ann Arbor. The Plan:

  • provides an list of existing parks and facilities
  • describes the relationship between 
    • the park and recreation system
    • surrounding municipalities
    • recreation providers
  • identifies park and recreation needs
  • proposes major capital improvements for existing and new parks
  • fosters assessment of major issues and problems 
  • sets priorities for the next five years
  • sets goals and objectives that reach further into the future

The plan provides background information while charting system needs that may qualify for state and federal grant funding. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requires that those applying for recreation grants have a current plan on file. It is also required by MDNR to update that plan every five years. 


West Park Bandshell Project


Park Planner
Adam Fercho
[email protected]
​734.794.6230 ex.42549​

For updates on the West Park Bandshell Project

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Why is this project being done?

In the Spring of 2021, cracks were observed on the exterior of the bandshell foundation. Ann Parks & Recreation staff hired a consultant – Hubbell, Roth and Clark Inc. (HRC) – to perform a structural analysis on the structure. The structural report​ identified significant structural failures in the foundation. It was determined that the bandshell needed to be closed and fenced off from the community for safety reasons. Preliminary estimates put repair of the structure at over $2 million. Park planners and staff have spent a year behind the scenes working to develop a plan for the future of the bandshell. Due to the nature of the bandshell and the resources required for repair, it is important to get community involvement and feedback as we move forward. For that reason a consultant – SmithGroup – has been hired to assist in developing a comprehensive community engagement strategy. Throughout this fall and winter the community will have many opportunities to weigh-in and provide feedback on the West Park Bandshell project. 


Watch the virtual informational video: A public meeting was hosted on Monday, Sept. 11 to share with the community the scope of the project and provide details on how you can become involved in the process going forward. Watch it here.


Watch the presentation to the Parks Advisory Committee (PAC): ​City staff presented to the Parks Advisory Committee (PAC) on Tuesday, November 21 as a quick summary on the first round of the West Park Bandshell engagement. Watch the presentation here.

The consultant and city staff are currently fully analyzing the first round of engagement. Future meetings will be scheduled for early next year in 2024. Thank you to everyone for your participation in this first round of engagement! 


Allmendinger Park Playground Expansion


Hillary Hanzel
Landscape Architect/Park Planner
[email protected] | 734.794.6230 ext. 42548


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Improvements to the Allmendinger Park playground are complete. The playground design was based on feedback from community engagement that incorporated natural play features such as a boulder mountain and log/branch climber, as well as stump steppers and log balance beams.  Many of the logs and branches were built from an oak tree in the park that had to be removed prior to construction.  Additional play features include a new play structure, sand play area, log tunnel climber, and timber dome.  New walkways provide accessible routes to the playground as well as new picnic tables and benches.

A copy of the presentation from the March 7, 2023 public meeting is below, as well as a the recording of the meeting.


Barton-Bandemer Pedestrian Tunnel/B2B Trail


Hillary Hanzel
Landscape Architect/Park Planner
[email protected] | 734.794.6230 ext. 42548



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A pedestrian tunnel unde​rpass beneath the MDOT railroad by Bandemer Park is being designed. The City of Ann Arbor, the Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission, and the Huron Waterloo Pathways Initiative are partnering to design this tunnel. This tunnel underpass would connect the Border to Border Trail from Bandemer Park to Barton Nature Area and Huron River Drive. The Border to Border Trail would also be extended through Barton Nature Area with a new paved pathway connection. Design engineering is underway for the project. 

The project will be constructed in two phases, with the Border to Border Trail expansion first, and the tunnel underpass second.  Construction for Phase 1 of the Border to Border Trail will be in Winter-Summer of 2024.  Construction for Phase 2 of the tunnel underpass is contingent on permits and railroad approvals, but tentatively planned for late summer of 2024. 

A copy of the feasibility study is available below as well as a public meeting held on December 2, 2020.


South Maple Park Game Courts


Park Planner
Adam Fercho, [email protected]
​734.794.6230 ex.42549​



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Why is this project being done?

There is a need to relocate the existing tennis and pickleball courts at South Maple Park. Feedback is being sought on the new location within the park. Additional aspects of the project include improving accessibility and expansion of the existing parking lot.
 

Timeline


Spring 2022: Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation staff investigated the cracking on the existing tennis and pickleball courts at South Maple Park. It was determined that resurfacing was not possible, and that full reconstruction was required.

Summer 2022: Project teams begins to develop plans to rebuild the courts at their current location, address accessibility and improve the parking lot.

Winter 2022: It was determined that due to new EGLE regulations, the courts were required to be relocated. The existing courts sat atop a water reservoir, which is no longer permitted.

Spring/Summer 2023: Project team identifies two potential locations for new tennis/pickle​ball courts at South Maple.

Fall 2023: Community engagement begins, asking for feedback on the location and quantity of game courts at the park.

Summer/Fall 2024: Anticipated construction of new courts at South Maple Park.


Ways to participate


Please take a few moments to watch this short presentation​ on the project, and take our survey​ regarding the future of the game courts at South Maple Park. If any questions, comments, or concerns, please contact Adam Fercho, Park Planner at [email protected]


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​South Maple Park Page


​​​Learn more about South Maple Park including details about its amenities, access, parking and special features on its webpage​.


Buhr Park Ice Arena improvement project

An info session was held Tuesday, Feb. 22 on the Buhr Park Ice Arena Improvement Project. The scope of the work includes mechanical system upgrades and accessibility upgrades. If you did not have a chance to attend the session you can view the presentation here.  Planned improvements include replacing the outdated chiller unit and making accessibility upgrades. Parks has applied for a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant to help fund the project. If you have any questions, please contact Adam Fercho, Park Planner & Landscape Architect at [email protected].​

Provide input on new pavilion at Leslie Park

The Community Action Network (CAN) has donated a pavilion for use at Leslie Park. Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation staff studied three options for placement and asked for your feedback. Based on feedback, and further analysis, the pavilion will be placed just south of the basketball court. Rainwater from the pavilion will be collected to be used for the Food Forest at Leslie Park. We are currently in the process of putting together a bid package, and anticipate construction happening this fall.  If you have any questions, please contact Adam Fercho, Park Planner & Landscape Architect at [email protected]. The image below is the selected option.


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Dr. Harold J. Lockett Park Playground Improvements

Thank you to those who provided feedback and participated in our community engagement efforts regarding the playground improvements at Dr. Harold J. Lockett Park. We heard that there was both a desire to include natural play elements, as well as changing out some of the equipment for older children. Based on your feedback, we modified the plans to try and accommodate the desired uses. Construction is anticipated to begin in the winter of 2023.

For questions or comments about the project, please contact Adam Fercho at [email protected], or by calling 734.794.6230 ext. 42549.   ​

Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation ADA Transition Plan

Ann Arbor Parks & Recreation is currently in the process of creating an (Americans with Disabilities Act) ADA Transition Plan to help guide staff in making Ann Arbor parks accessible for all. This study has involved assessing all park facilities, parks, and nature areas to get an understanding of where barriers existing in the park system, so that we can better address them. In addition, all of our programs, services and activities (PSA's) are being studied to see how we can make improvements to ensure inclusion for all. Throughout this process staff has been able to participate in accessibility training so that we can better serve the community. 

We greatly appreciate all of the feedback we have received, helping us craft a transition plan that will better serve our community. There have been multiple public meetings, a survey and a pin-map to help us better identify needs when it comes to accessibility in the parks.

For more information on the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation ADA Transition Plan, please visit our accessibility website: 

Updates on the ADA Transition Plan will be posted here, in our weekly e-newsletter and on social media. If there are any questions about the ADA Transition Plan, please contact Adam Fercho, Park Planner at [email protected].  ​

Ann Arbor PROS Plan 2023-2027

The 2023-2027 Parks and Recreation Open Space (PROS) Plan was adopted by City Council on Jan. 9, 2023. To view and read the plan:

2023-27 PROS Plan approved plan, 15 MB (PDF)
2023-27 PROS Plan approved plan, 40MB (PDF)

The PROS Plan is the City's vision for parks and recreation in Ann Arbor. The Plan:

  • provides an list of existing parks and facilities
  • describes the relationship between 
    • the park and recreation system
    • surrounding municipalities
    • recreation providers
  • identifies park and recreation needs
  • proposes major capital improvements for existing and new parks
  • fosters assessment of major issues and problems 
  • sets priorities for the next five years
  • sets goals and objectives that reach further into the future

The plan provides background information while charting system needs that may qualify for state and federal grant funding. The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) requires that those applying for recreation grants have a current plan on file. It is also required by MDNR to update that plan every five years.