Virginia Beach parks need millions of dollars in improvements, study says

VIRGINIA BEACH — A recent study recommended the city consider several funding strategies to bring its public parks up to par with similar cities, including a possible tax increase.

Virginia Beach faces a backlog in park maintenance, and several districts don’t have an adequate number of public parks. The city also is lacking park amenities that can be found in peer cities, including a nature center, splash pad and archery range, according to the park need assessment.

An estimated $115 million would required for short-term fixes over the next five years, the study found .

“We understand that resources are limited, so where are you going to be focusing first to make the biggest impact,” said Tristan Cleveland, project manager for Virginia Beach consulting firm Kimley-Horn, at a meeting Tuesday.

The city owns 7,425 acres of park land, of which 5,772 is developed. Addressing safety hazards, improving trail conditions and providing accessible amenities in the developed parks are among the highest priorities recommended in the report.

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