Recreation was introduced to Harrisonburg, VA following World War II. In the years to follow Harrisonburg's parks were created and facilities such as the Community Activities Center were built. Additionally, Parks and Recreation acquired the National Guard Armory and Simms School (now known as the Lucy F. Simms Continuing Education Center) for community recreation.
The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation Department strives to meet its mission of enhancing the quality of life and meeting the needs of every citizen by providing comprehensive leisure service opportunities and to develop and maintain a safe system of open space and public facilities for the use and enjoyment by the public.
[22MB] Updated Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2013 - The Harrisonburg Parks and Recreation worked with Land Planning and Design Associates to develop an updated Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The last study was completed in 2003, and needed updating based on the growth of Harrisonburg, new trends, and new desires. The 2003 Comprehensive Master Plan can be found below for anyone who is interested.
[7.5MB] Ralph Sampson Park Master Plan 2008 - Ralph Sampson Park is located just northeast of downtown Harrisonburg, Virginia and is part of the City's Parks and Recreation system. Existing facilities at the park include a shelter, restrooms, basketball courts, tennis courts, and playgrounds. The City requested a master plan for the park in order to better accommodate the needs of local citizens who use the park, as well as to upgrade worn and aged facilities.
The primary goal of this Master Plan is to establish a plan of action for Ralph Sampson Park that is representative of the desires of the community and the needs of the City; that respects the character of the site; and that can adapt to the future needs of the City and surrounding neighborhoods.
[16MB] Comprehensive Parks and Recreation Master Plan 2003 - This plan for Parks and Recreation outlines policies and actions that will need to be implemented to ensure that Harrisonburg's Parks and Recreation system continues to meet the needs of the community. The plan provides a framework for implementing new programs, facilities and funding in the short term and long term future.
[5MB] Smithland Road Park Master Plan 2004 - The Smithland Road Property has been chosen to be the site of a new community park and athletic complex. The site is located in the northeast portion of Harrisonburg, along the City of Harrisonburg and Rockingham County line. Much of the background information and initial public input for this project was developed during the City of Harrisonburg’s Parks and Recreation Master Plan. The plan was completed in 2003 and included planning and input regarding the development of the Smithland Road Property. The process to decide what functions the park would hold and what program elements would be incorporated
included much community involvement. This was accomplished through public meetings and mailed questionnaires.
[3.7MB] Ramblewood Park Master Plan 2012 - The master plan incorporates in-progress recapping operations for the closed landfill cells within the property, a current Police Training Facility, and an active league-play, lighted softball program into a long-term park planning goals for the 147 acre park property. The master plan provides a range of park programs for residents of Harrisonburg that expands upon the current single use of softball on site. The master plan provides strategies for new lighting and the impacts of additional fill material over the closed landfill cells. The master plan also provides discussion of the Police Training Facility and its activity and development strategy within the property, development of a trail system as part of the comprehensive city trail network, cost projections for individual park program elements and park regions, and potential phasing.
[15.6MB] Purcell Park Master Plan 2020 - Purcell Park is a 57 acre parcel within the City of Harrisonburg, Virginia. It contains a robust trail system, recreational fields, three picnic pavilions, and a well-known playground. It is bisected by Blacks Run, as well as other tributary streams, and holds a freshwater pond stocked for fishing. The Purcell Park Master Plan was undertaken by the City of Harrisonburg’s Parks and Recreation Department in response to playground safety concerns and recurring flooding issues from waterways through the park. A thorough assessment of the underlying site conditions and community desires, and the feasibility of various options studied, was needed to develop a plan that would serve the City in the near future and provide a blueprint for future development. This document describes the master plan process and resulting recommendation.