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 were invited to get involved in this project by completing surveys on this page. Information collected from these surveys helped 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.

Draft Comprehensive Plan for Review

A proposal for adoption of the City of Vancouver Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Comprehensive Plan update is open for public review through the policies and procedures of the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, commonly called SEPA.

SEPA is intended to ensure that evaluation of probable impacts on all elements of the environment are considered during decision-making process. The law helps agencies identify environmental impacts that may result from development projects, and regulations, policies, or plans (such as a county or city comprehensive plan), also called non-project actions. The City of Vancouver has determined that this proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment.

The public has 14-days to review and comment on a list of questions known as the environmental checklist designed to identify any probable impacts of a proposal before a final decision, or determination is made. The environmental checklist and draft plan documents are linked below. Comments may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on October 26, 2021.

A Planning Commission public hearing for review of the proposed Parks, Recreation and Cultural Service Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021, and a City Council public hearing for review is scheduled for Monday, December 20, 2021.


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 were invited to get involved in this project by completing surveys on this page. Information collected from these surveys helped 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.

Draft Comprehensive Plan for Review

A proposal for adoption of the City of Vancouver Parks, Recreation & Cultural Services Comprehensive Plan update is open for public review through the policies and procedures of the Washington State Environmental Policy Act, commonly called SEPA.

SEPA is intended to ensure that evaluation of probable impacts on all elements of the environment are considered during decision-making process. The law helps agencies identify environmental impacts that may result from development projects, and regulations, policies, or plans (such as a county or city comprehensive plan), also called non-project actions. The City of Vancouver has determined that this proposal will not have a probable significant adverse impact on the environment.

The public has 14-days to review and comment on a list of questions known as the environmental checklist designed to identify any probable impacts of a proposal before a final decision, or determination is made. The environmental checklist and draft plan documents are linked below. Comments may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on October 26, 2021.

A Planning Commission public hearing for review of the proposed Parks, Recreation and Cultural Service Comprehensive Plan is scheduled for Tuesday, November 9, 2021, and a City Council public hearing for review is scheduled for Monday, December 20, 2021.

SEPA Comments

The public has 14-days to review and comment on a list of questions known as the environmental checklist designed to identify any probable impacts of a proposal before a final decision, or determination is made. The environmental checklist and draft documents are linked above. Comment may be submitted until 5:00 p.m. on October 26, 2021. 

Type your comment into the box below to share your thoughts about the SEPA Environmental Checklist.

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Page last updated: 13 October 2021, 16:11