Richardson plans to address walking and biking trails and its aquatics facilities, according to an update of its Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Master Plan presented during the Nov. 7 City Council meeting.

City officials said Richardson conducts an update to the master plan every five years and schedules a rewrite every 10 years. The last update to the master plan was adopted in 2017.

Updating the master plan allows the city to refocus its efforts on what residents need in terms of parks and other recreation uses, allowing council and other departments to plan for future projects based on funding opportunities and other factors, said Lori Smeby, Richardson's director of the Richardson Parks and Recreation Department.

One of the major goals of the plan is to improve trail connections within the city, according to officials. This includes expanding trail connections to surrounding cities, adding natural trails, and implementing benches along trails and in parks.

Philip Neeley, project manager from the firm Dunaway, said the city also expects to invest in a citywide Aquatics Facilities Master Plan to evaluate existing neighborhood pools. The aquatics plan will evaluate the existing neighborhood pools to consider community priorities and analyze operational conditions. City goals include adding a potential splash pad and building an indoor aquatic center.

As part of an effort to showcase cultural history and natural resources, Richardson wishes to implement a Holistic Signage Program in parks and along trail corridors, according to Neely. The signage is designed to both display relevant information as well as blend into the theme of the park or trail, Neely said.

“You could have a signage program that not only is good information, but is a part of the feel of your park system,” he said. “The signage would have the cultural history and natural resources that people could learn more about.”

Adding gathering areas in specific parks, such as amphitheater space, civic plazas and great lawns, maintains high-quality recreation centers and services to expand facility capacity and usability, officials said.

Other potential city facilities that were identified as community wants include dedicated outdoor pickleball courts, an additional dog park, a disc golf course and a skate park.

Further updates of the plan are expected ahead of a potential adoption by council in early 2023. The final plan will include implementation projections for the city goals, including budget ranges and funding sources.

For details on the plan, click here.