HENDERSON, Ky. (WEHT) – Through a five-year plan, the Evansville Parks board will focus on city park renovations that will help enhance the parks.

All parks will receive renovations, but not everything will be immediate. Two parks that will receive attention are bigger parks such as Wesselman and Garvin Park, with the main focuses being accessibility and safety.

Pete Andriot with Rundell Ernstberger Associates says he and his staff began working on this plan in May of 2022, as he hopes these improvements will help add to the quality of life in Evansville.

“So there’s a tremendous amount of data so social economical analysis out there that parks improve quality of life, they improve health and they attract people to communities,” Andriot explained. “More and more we’re seeing especially with Gen-Z that’s now graduating college, they’re choosing to live in communities that invest heavily in public amenities like park systems.”

A five-year plan pre-qualifies Evansville for certain funding including grant programs.

“We’re ready to submit a draft plan and then once it comes back from DNR with their comments, we’ll finalize and action plan and have parks board approve that,” Deputy Mayor Steve Schaefer said.

Schaefer believes parks deserve time and effort, just as any other project deserves.

“I’m one that believes there needs to be a lot more investment in our parks. Thankfully, we have a new parks bond where we’re trying to address some things but now we will develop a park by park strategy.”

Andriot and his team wanted to make sure every person can not only enjoy the parks, but is safe while doing so.

“One of the major priorities of the plan is making sure all future development is geared to be accessible and attacking the low-hanging fruit so that the facilities that are there can be used by everyone,” Andriot stated.

What was presented during the meeting was only a draft and now the public can give their input online by going to the Evansville parks website.