City of Hercules logoAt its Feb. 27 meeting, the Hercules City Council approved a resolution adopting the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan, which has been in development since late 2022. The adopted plan represents the culmination of years of effort and collaboration between the City Council, City staff, a Steering Committee, community leaders, stakeholders and residents.

“We are deeply grateful to our enthusiastic community for contributing their thoughtful input toward the future of Hercules’ Parks and Recreation facilities,” said Hercules Mayor Dan Romero. “This Master Plan will serve as an invaluable blueprint for years to come as we chart the future of our City parks system. We look forward to the work ahead to make our community’s vision come to life.”

Approved by a unanimous Council vote, the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan provides a framework to guide the City in setting priorities and making decisions about its parks, recreational facilities, trails, open spaces and natural areas over the next 10-plus years. The goal of developing the Master Plan was to:

  • Document the current condition of City park facilities
  • Identify community needs and investment priorities
  • Develop recommendations for 10-plus years of recommended projects
  • Devise a five-year action plan with priority projects

Community engagement efforts for the Master Plan development began in early 2023. The City invited the community through a variety of forums to identify park system needs and priorities. Hercules’ success in leveraging emerging technology and innovation to conduct community outreach has resulted in the City’s recent nomination as a Smart Cities North America Awards finalist. This robust, community-centered outreach for the Master Plan included:

  • Launching a standalone project website
  • Sharing social media posts, press releases and email blasts
  • Distributing two online surveys that drew over 1,000 participants
  • Hosting 12 activities, events and workshops
  • Facilitating public discussion between key City staff, a seven-member project Steering Committee, the City Council, Planning Commission and Community Library Services Commision

During Summer 2023, the City applied this community input toward the development of a park enhancement action plan to be implemented over the next 10 years. Public feedback largely indicated that the City should focus its enhancements on existing parks and facilities. A community prioritization effort helped identify priority projects at the following eight sites:

  • Beechnut Park
  • Foxboro Park
  • Frog Pad Park
  • Refugio Valley Park and Tennis Courts
  • Shoreline Park
  • Woodfield Park
  • Bay Trail
  • Sycamore Avenue Trail (proposed)

At the Feb. 27 Council meeting, public commenters expressed an additional desire for improvements at Hanna Ranch for community athletes participating in sports on the grounds. Council discussion clarified that the Master Plan is a “living document” and proposed projects for the coming years are not exhaustive. The City plans to work with the community to address such priority locations throughout the five and 10 year plans.

Implementation of Master Plan priority projects is dependent upon funding. The City’s next steps are to develop funding strategies for priority projects, finalize and sequence projects, plan and design large projects and start construction.

To view the Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan and the Feb. 27 Council meeting, including meeting presentation documents, please visit the City’s website.