Oxford Parks and Recreation Department System-Wide Strategic Plan VISION: To provide excellent services that benefit the Greater Oxford Community with quality, continuously improving Parks and Recreation opportunities. MISSION: Provide safe, attractive, and modern grounds and facilities, offer qualityrecreational opportunities for citizens of all ages and interests, improve the quality of life in our community, promote healthy living and a healthy population, and preserve our natural resources. VALUES:QUALITY, FAIRNESS, TRUST, CARING, EQUALITY, INTEGRITY, DIVERSITY, FUN, CHARACTER Submitted By: Oxford Parks and Recreation Department Staff Oxford Parks and Recreation Department’s Advisory Committee Mike Fedewa – Chairman Paul White Wayne Richmond John Norris Frankie Wilkins James Lloyd 2005
Introduction & MethodologyThe City of Oxford parks and recreation master planning process came as a result of public demand forimproved and expanded parks and recreation programming and facilities. In 1999 a needs assessment wascompleted by the Department to determine immediate maintenance, programming, and development needs.Over the span of 5 years, maintenance needs have been the focus in order to bring present facilities to anacceptable standard of repair, programming was restructured to better serve the youth population, and severalcapitol improvement projects were completed in an effort to address immediate needs.In 2002, the Recreation Advisory Committee began work on a strategic plan that could serve as a master planfor creating system wide improvements in programming, maintenance, and capitol development. A mission andvision were adopted and all recommendations made are as a result of efforts to meet the identified goals.In 2004, the City Board of Commissioners directed that the Manager, Parks and Recreation Director, City Staff,and Advisory Committee develop a plan for capital improvements to be considered in order to prepare the Cityfor growth and demand.This Master Plan is the culmination of efforts of the Parks and Recreation Department’s Staff and Director, theParks and Recreation Committee, and the Recreation Advisory Committee. Feedback from the public over aperiod of 5 years was collected through one-on-one questioning, day-to-day contact and operations, publicservice surveys, two public forums, and a Recreation Needs Assessment Survey. Specific data provided by thestate of North Carolina and the U.S. Government was used in order to identify standards for development insimilarly populated areas. The data collected from the public and staff, coupled with the specific standards asset by State and National parks and recreation agencies and Granville County was used to help determinepresent and future needs for capitol development.Department OverviewThe Oxford Parks and Recreation Department provides services to not only the citizens within the City limits ofOxford, but also to the citizens in six of the nine townships in Granville County. Reference to those participantsthat are routinely served is made as the “Greater Oxford Community”. Parks and Recreation services inGranville County are uniquely structured with the City of Oxford providing the only Parks and RecreationDepartment within the County. As a result, multiple agencies such as churches, industries, private individuals,and non-profit organizations provide recreational programming throughout the County in order to meet theneeds of the public.The Department uses facilities that are owned and operated by the City of Oxford as well as multiple facilitiesowned by the Granville County Board of Education and the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford. It is theavailability of the outside agency facilities that makes it possible to provide programming. As population anddemand grows, availability of facilities becomes less accessible. It has been the policy of the City of Oxford toassist the Board of Education in maintenance and improvements of facilities with shared use in mind.Expanded use by the schools and increased volume in participation in all athletic programming has made theavailability of facilities limited. Limited availability has resulted in the inability to serve all citizens.The policy of the Parks and Recreation Department is to provide services to all citizens. Participation is notrefused due to inability to pay. Fees are minimal and are charged for participation in all athletic programmingand most recreational programming. The annual budget is less than $500,000 and approximately $70,000 issupplemented by Granville County annually to support programming. An additional $10.00 fee forprogramming is assessed to all non-resident participants.Quality services would not be possible without the participation of individuals from outside of the City limits.The “Greater Oxford Community” is the lifeline of the City. The Parks and Recreation Department is the onlyCity agency that serves outside of its limits. Demands are great and expenses increasing in direct response withcommunity growth and trends.
Element One - StaffingIt is the goal of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to have a professional, adequately compensated,well-trained staff to insure safe and quality programming for the citizens in the greater Oxford area.Objective One: Identify staffing needs necessary to maintain existing programs • Athletic/Recreation Programming Supervisor/Trainer/Risk Management Coordinator • Maintenance Worker • Provide appropriate training for full and part time staff.Objective Two: Identify staffing needs necessary to increase programming options. • Athletic/Recreation ProgrammerObjective Three: Identify staffing needs necessary to increase facilities. • Maintenance WorkerObjective Four: Identify salary and compensation necessary to staff existing programs at a high level. • Compete reclassification study and implement for present and future staff to place salary ranges in line with Departments with similar workloads and with similar job responsibilities, to represent more closely actual job responsibilities, and required tasks. • Implement a pay for certification plan for the Department as would apply to specific employees with specific required functions and in response to risk management issues.Estimated cost for Items in Element One: • $163,000
Element Two - YouthIt is the goal of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to provide the youth of the greater Oxford areawith quality, safe, entertaining, and instructional recreational opportunitiesObjective One: Identify exiting programs • Youth Sports – basketball, baseball, softball, football, flag football, volleyball, tennis • Youth Camps – basketball, baseball, softball, football, volleyball, tennis, fitness, summer • Special Events – car show, road race, tennis tournaments, Easter egg hunt, fishing events, Cookies and milk with Santa, Fall Festival, Hershey Track and Field Event, NFL Punt Pass and Kick Event, Dog shows, Relay for Life Events, Multiple Athletic Tournaments • Parks/facilities Available – Skateboarding, tennis, soccer, football, playgrounds, volleyball (outdoor and indoor), basketball (outdoor and indoor), swimming, baseball/softball, batting cage, fishing, nature trails, picnicking, open space.Objective Two: Identify programs that need to be added. • After school programming • Lifetime and non-athletic programming: arts, swimming, tennis, nature, board games, clubs, life skills, etc.) • Fitness • Educational programming for fitness, wellness, nutrition to combat obesity. • Expanded programming in football to increase underserved age groups • Expanded programming for teens (teens are offered tennis, basketball, baseball/softball, and swimming) All programming for teens ends at age 15. Ages 16 to 19 are eliminated from services. Additional staffing and restructuring of programming to serve this population would require additional staff for coordination of such, supplies, contract labor, insurance, and research of outside sources of funding. • Toddlers/Pre-school Children - Limited programming is available for this group. Accessibility to play areas would provide for additional services. It is not the intention of the Department to create a Day Care situation. • Programming for special needs populations – Youth in this group are not presently served. • Programming for At-Risk youth. • Expanded programming in skills development.*Most activities cannot be offered without facility expansions (Playground, gym)Objective Three: Identify underserved populations and determine what would be required to engage thisgroup. • Special Needs Populations – Would require staffing and supplies. Grants and resources available. Facilities and staff inadequate for service to this population. A staff person to coordinate efforts between local and state agencies would be required. • Hispanic – Would require staffing to coordinate and communicate with the population in order to mainstream that population into regular programming components. • Underprivileged – Would require staffing to coordinate efforts to identify these youth and provide services to them. Funding for financial assistance for those not able to pay fees for services would be necessary. Staff would identify funding sources through other government programs for this population. • Citizens not aware of services – would require a quality marketing plan to be developed.Estimated cost for Items in Element Two: • $219,500.00
Element Three - AdultsIt is the goal of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to provide the adult population of the greaterOxford area with quality, safe, and entertaining opportunities for recreational and leisure activity.Objective One: Identify existing programs. • Walking • Tennis • Men’s & Women’s volleyball • Aerobics • FishingObjective Two: Identify programs that need to be added. • Softball • Basketball • Tennis • Fitness/Aerobics • Leisure activities – (arts, dance, board games, cards, bocce, sewing, nature, flowers etc.) • Walking • Swimming • Horseshoes • Senior Activities – (specific activities designed for the aged would benefit the senior community by serving to increase their ability to be productive and healthy. A staff person could coordinate with outside agencies to enhance present services and create a more healthy senior population)Estimated cost for Items in Element Three: • $110,000 *Most activities cannot be added without additional facilities.
Element Four – Facilities and ParksIt is the goal of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to provide the people of the greater Oxford areawith quality, safe, adequate, and appropriate recreational and leisure facilities and parks.Objective One: Identify existing facilities and parks • Hix – One baseball field (modified in size, suitable up to age 13) - One softball field (not for men) - One gym floor - One aerobics room - Two tennis courts - One play ground - One batting cage - One skate park - One shelter • Granville Street Park - One tennis court - One paved play area - One sand volleyball court - Picnic tables - Small playground area • Rucker Park- - Two paved basketball courts - One lane pool - One softball field (not sized for men) - One shelter • Red Barn – Presently closed • Lake Devin Boat Ramp Area - One shelter - One small boat ramp - One small tackle loaner building - Nature trails (approximately 2 miles with picnic sites)
Objective Two: Identify new facilities and parks that will be required to address present and futureprogramming needs.Facility Presently Owned by other Recommended by Additional Owned by agencies but NCPR and GC for Facilities City given limited similar size Needed access for use. communityPlaygrounds 2 1 8 6Softball 2 3 12 10Baseball 1 4 12 11Football 1 0 3 2Soccer 1 2 6 4Basketball 1 2 7 6Volleyball 1 1 6 5Tennis 2 4 12 10Walking(indoor) 1 0 4 3Walking(outdoor) 0 2 6 6Pools (outdoor) 1 0 2 1Pools (indoor) 0 0 1 1Exercise/Fitness 1 0 4 3Aerobics 1 0 4 3Horseshoes 0 0 10 10Classroom/leisure 0 0 3 3Objective Three: Identify maintenance needs that are required to assure existing facilities and parksoperating at a high level. • Additional Maintenance Staff Person • Additional Maintenance Vehicle • Hix Gym - Plumbing repairs: Old copper pipes leaking throughout building - Air Conditioning: Old unit not operating, inadequate for space served - Air Conditioning in office: Replace window unit - Replace gutters: Downspouts crushed - Repaint parking area: Lines faded. Fire/emergency lanes not identified. - Repair roof • Hix Playground - Replace existing fence and extend around parking area to separate play area from traffic. • Hix Field - Restore soil on hills to secure fence and plant vegetation to prevent wash. • Rucker Park - Replace basketball goals - Repair shelter - Repair fence around softball field • Rucker Pool - Purchase backup pump and pump motor - Install generator backup for power outages
• Granville Street Park - Add shelter - Add additional playground equipment • Lake Devin - Fireproof and install fire escapes to Red Barn (OR) - Take bids and sell barn as salvage and replace with one story building - Replace signage around lake and trails - Repair footbridges, rail fences, and picnic areas around lake nature trailsObjective Four: Identify maintenance needs that additional facilities and parks will require in order tooperate at a high level. • Additional Maintenance Staff as facilities are expanded (both full and part time) • Additional Mower and mowing tools, field groomers as facilities are expanded. • Floor cleaning equipment (buffers, cleaning machines) Estimated cost: • Full Time Maintenance Staff: $30,000 per employee • Part Time Maintenance Staff: $15,000 annually • Mowers: $8,000 each • Tools (push mowers, weed eaters) – $100 to $300 each • Buffer - $1,200 • Court Cleaning machine: $2,000Estimated cost for Items in Element Four: • $274,200.00 (if Red Barn replaced)
Element Five – Natural Resources and WildlifeIt is the goal of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to encourage the preservation of naturalresources and to help build within the population of the greater Oxford area a capacity to appreciate andprotect those natural resources.Objective One: Identify existing programs that are used to educate and encourage the preservation ofnatural resources and/or develop an appreciation for nature. • Community Fishing Program • Nature trail access on Lake Devin with wildlife identification signage. • Fishing events for youth in cooperation with NC Wildlife Resources Commission • Lake Devin Fishing • Lake Devin Preservation program through strict preservation guidelines to assure Lake remains pristeen. • Hunter safety programs in cooperation with NC Wildlife Resources Commission.Objective Two: Identify future programming needs that would serve to educate the public, preserve naturalresources, and develop an appreciation for nature. • Tackle Loaner Program • Wildlife education center at Tackle Loaner Building (Lake Devin) • Preservation information shared through the web page and publications • Program to encourage setting aside of land for green space by developers and appropriate planting of trees, grasses, and foliage in the City as development occurs. • Boating on Lake Devin • Educational programs on wildlife, foliage, natural waterways. • Leisure activities around Lake DevinObjective Three: Identify existing passive parks and green areas that are currently under the auspices of theOxford Parks and Recreation Department. • The City of Oxford has no greenways, or green space areas opened to the public for leisure activity with the exception of Lake Devin. Nature Trails and wooded areas are opened to the public in season. • Oxford Community Park (Spring Street) includes a shelter and children’s play area. It is the only relatively large park in the City and is extremely busy due this and due to its proximity to town and other recreational activities offered by the City. • Granville Street Park is a more passive park that has been renovated in the past 4 years. It includes a large area for leisure activity, running, non-organized sports etc., sand volleyball, a paved play area, and one unlighted tennis court. It also includes moderate playground equipment for small children as well as picnic tables and benches. This park is buried in a neighborhood and is moderately used, being mostly used by those who live in the neighborhood. • The Red Barn is located on Lake Devin and is an old stable that was transformed into a community center for small group activities. It’s location and rustic charm made it extremely popular with the public. Concern that it could become a fire hazard prompted its closing in 2004. Its kitchen and bath area continue to be used for special events hosted by the department. • Rucker Park Shelter and trails – A deteriorating shelter exists within a park which includes a pool, basketball, and softball areas. Roughly designed trails surround the area but have grown over with vegetation due to neglect.
Objective Four: Identify new parks and green space areas that will be required to address present andfuture programming. • Additional playgrounds for public use. • Setting aside of green space by developers would be recommended by the Department to provide citizens space for leisure activities as well as to provide for wildlife habitats. • Renovation or the replacement of the Red Barn is encouraged in order to promote the use of Lake Devin to enhance public awareness and appreciation for this natural resource as identified in Element Four. • Develop further facilities at Lake Devin • Coordinate and partner with the County to encourage the completion of the County Greenway System.Estimated cost for Items in Element Four: • Playgrounds - <$60K + each- recommend 3@ total $180,000 • Green space – No cost. It is not the recommendation of this Department that developers set aside land within communities/developments for parks for the City to maintain. Pocket parks would create difficulties in maintenance and monitoring if turned over to the City for management. It is recommended that green space be maintained by homeowners associations and cared for by the neighborhoods. This process further enhances an appreciation for natural resources as well as encourging community involvement in the care of the property. • Seek outside funding for development around Lake Devin
Element Six – Communication and MarketingIt is the goal of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department to communicate and market all availableprogramming in order for the people of the greater Oxford area to fully access and utilize the programs andleisure facilities that are currently available.Objective One: Identify present methods of communication and marketing of the programs and facilitiesoffered by the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department. • Word of Mouth • Delivering notices to schools to be carried home in book bags by children • Public service information in newspaper • Radio announcements • Web page • Emails to previous participants who have current email addresses on file. • Mailing of post card reminders for athletic programming to previous participants. • Hand delivered flyers to public places • Signage/banners • Bulletin boardObjective Two: Identify new methods for communication and marketing of the programs offered by theOxford Parks and Recreation Department. • Publish Informational pamphlet • Publish Newsletter • Implement process to distribute newsletter • Increased emphasis placed on web page use. • Advertise web page address to public. • Place billboard signs in all parks with up to date information posted. • Schedule public speaking engagements • Increase use of radio and news media. • Distribute information to outside agencies such as Chamber of Commerce, School System, Industries • Create a desire within local industries to become involved. • Continue to improve services and facilitiesObjective Three: Develop a plan to continuously evaluate the effectiveness of the communication andmarketing efforts of the Oxford Parks and Recreation Department. • Develop a public awareness survey to be distributed periodically • Measure use of programming and facilities to determine increases or decreases of use.Objective Four: Develop a plan to continuously evaluate and respond to public satisfaction as pertains toquality of programming, public service, and facilities. • Develop a survey to be distributed to participants at the conclusion of all activities or programs. • Develop a plan to immediately correct deficiencies and to promote continued quality service.Estimated cost for all Items in Element Six: • $10,000 for all objectives (initially processes can be accomplished if staff is available without additional costs)
Priorities for Implementation1. Add Additional Staff2. Purchase of additional property that would be used for a City Recreation Center. Plans should be developed for the construction of the Recreation Center.3. Repair of present facilities4. Utilize the Oxford Park property and add additional playing fields5. Expand Greenways and hiking trails in coordination with the County6. Expand playgrounds throughout the City7. Develop more programming for underserved populations8. Expand leisure activity programming9. Develop a public relations, marketing, and communications strategy10. Renovate the Hix property11. Add a more accessible outdoor pool.
Time Line for Development2006-2009 1. Add Additional Staff 2. Purchase of additional property that would be used for a City Recreation Center. Plans should be developed for the construction of the Recreation Center. 3. Repair of present facilities 4. Utilize the Oxford Park property and add additional playing fields2007-2010 1. Expand Greenways and hiking trails in coordination with the County 2. Expand playgrounds throughout the City 3. Develop more programming for underserved populations 4. Expand leisure activity programming2008-2011 1. Develop a public relations, marketing, and communications strategy 2. Renovate the Hix property 3. Add a more accessible outdoor pool.