Hamiltonians have heaped lots of praise on their city’s parks, playgrounds and river paths in the Hamilton City Council’s latest Parks Survey.
The annual Parks Survey attracted 375 responses between 18 July to 11 August this year with 92% of the respondents saying they really enjoy visiting Hamilton’s green parks and open spaces.
The overwhelmingly positive results show just how treasured the city’s green spaces are.
Parks and Recreation Manager Maria Barrie says the Parks Survey is also a valuable way for the Council to stay informed of what Hamiltonians think while also working out where the gaps are and how to enhance them.
“As a team, we maintain more than 1000 hectares of open space which includes 145 parks and 63 sports areas. We also manage 85 playgrounds and are responsible for more than 100,000 park trees and 40,000 street trees, says Ms Barrie.
“There’s a lot of work that gets done behind the scenes to keep these spaces in great shape but it’s always good hear about issues that haven’t been brought to our attention before. Many of them, like overflowing bins, we can address through simple refinements to our maintenance schedule.”
Ms Barrie says she is aiming for 80% of households to have access to a park or open space within 500 metres of their home. “We’re making great progress and are currently at 76%.”
Another goal is to open the city’s green spaces up for more diverse use, so they are places which support play in all its forms including organised sport, informal recreation and ‘pop-up’ or spontaneous play.
Ms Barrie says the new playground at Hillcrest Stadium is an excellent example of this as it caters to the needs of all ages and is closely linked to existing amenities.
“We also have a special focus on improving how people get to and around our parks. The feedback from the survey includes some great ideas about how and where we can remove barriers, especially for people with disabilities, so everyone can enjoy these spaces.”
The Parks and Open Spaces Team will use the feedback from the survey along with the Hamilton Play Strategy results received earlier in the year to develop further priorities as part of the Council’s 2021-31 10-Year Plan.