Essential Spaces – A Vision for Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services

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Now more than ever, people are recognizing the important role public parks, trails and natural areas play in our community. These “Essential Spaces” support mental and physical health by welcoming residents to relax, have fun and stay active outdoors. Essential Spaces also contribute to a vibrant and connected community by opening doors to economic vitality.

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services manages over 1,600 acres of parkland, 20 miles of trails, 80 developed parks, two community centers and a growing cultural program that celebrates the diversity and history of Vancouver through public art and events. Now, we need your help to create a vision for the future of these Essential Spaces.

Now is a great time to reimagine Vancouver’s Essential Spaces:

  • In less than a decade, the population of Vancouver has grown 13.32%, which is more than Clark County (12.7%) and the State of Washington (9.9%). As our population grows, so do the needs of our community!
  • Many of the park and playground structures in our park system are reaching the end of their life cycle and need to be replaced. This is a chance for all of us to dream up new designs that will make parks across the city feel like exciting destinations.

Vancouver residents are invited to get involved in this project by completing surveys on this page. Information collected from these surveys will help shape updates to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Comprehensive Plan. The plan will set goals and identify specific projects for the city’s Essential Spaces for the next six to 10 years. It will also make those projects eligible to receive state and federal grant dollars to help fund our vision for the future.

The first Essential Spaces survey closed on Aug. 31, 2021. A new survey on budget priorities is now available below through Sept. 15, 2021. Get involved!


Now more than ever, people are recognizing the important role public parks, trails and natural areas play in our community. These “Essential Spaces” support mental and physical health by welcoming residents to relax, have fun and stay active outdoors. Essential Spaces also contribute to a vibrant and connected community by opening doors to economic vitality.

Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services manages over 1,600 acres of parkland, 20 miles of trails, 80 developed parks, two community centers and a growing cultural program that celebrates the diversity and history of Vancouver through public art and events. Now, we need your help to create a vision for the future of these Essential Spaces.

Now is a great time to reimagine Vancouver’s Essential Spaces:

  • In less than a decade, the population of Vancouver has grown 13.32%, which is more than Clark County (12.7%) and the State of Washington (9.9%). As our population grows, so do the needs of our community!
  • Many of the park and playground structures in our park system are reaching the end of their life cycle and need to be replaced. This is a chance for all of us to dream up new designs that will make parks across the city feel like exciting destinations.

Vancouver residents are invited to get involved in this project by completing surveys on this page. Information collected from these surveys will help shape updates to the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Services Comprehensive Plan. The plan will set goals and identify specific projects for the city’s Essential Spaces for the next six to 10 years. It will also make those projects eligible to receive state and federal grant dollars to help fund our vision for the future.

The first Essential Spaces survey closed on Aug. 31, 2021. A new survey on budget priorities is now available below through Sept. 15, 2021. Get involved!

  • Budget Priorities Survey

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    Over 2,300 people responded to the Essential Spaces Survey. Thank you, Vancouver!

    Now that the community goals for parks, recreation and cultural services have been identified, we need your help setting budget priorities to achieve these goals over the next 10 years. Please complete this two-question survey to tell us what you think.

    >>Take the survey now


  • Encuesta sobre las prioridades del presupuesto para los espacios esenciales

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    Más de 2300 personas respondieron la Encuesta sobre espacios esenciales. ¡Gracias, Vancouver!

    Ahora que se han identificado los objetivos comunitarios para los servicios de parques, recreación y cultura, necesitamos su ayuda para establecer las prioridades del presupuesto para lograr estos objetivos en los próximos 10 años. Complete esta encuesta de dos preguntas para darnos su opinión.

    >> Responde la encuesta