Parks & Recreation

Creating Spaces That Enhance Communities

Parks and recreation play a crucial role in building and maintaining healthy, vibrant communities by supporting economic development, fostering connections and enhancing environmental sustainability.

Benesch’s park & recreation experts have the skills to bring together communities to develop a common vision and organizational framework that will achieve your community-specific recreational goals. Whether you are looking to develop spaces that promote active lifestyles, incorporate therapeutic elements or simply accommodate users of all ages and abilities, we can help.

From comprehensive master planning to greenway and park design, multi-use athletic complexes and more, our team of planners, engineers and landscape architects bring a keen understanding of how to plan for and design spaces that enhance quality of life socially, economically and environmentally. We understand the importance of balancing form and function with the realities of local budgeting constraints.

Transforming Recreational Facilities—Big and Small

Through a blend of planning, technical expertise and stakeholder collaboration, Benesch can help you reimagine and revitalize existing spaces or create entirely new recreational facilities.

Photo of park pavilion at Harrisburg Park in North Carolina
By developing a deep understanding of your community’s needs, we are able to identify opportunities for inclusive, sustainable, and multi-functional designs that cater to diverse age groups and interests.
Aerial view photo of the ballfields at Currituck Community Park in North Carolina
Using a strategic approach to the development of large sports complexes, we maximize the potential of these facilities to attract visitors and boost the local economy.
Photo of Miracle Field at High Point Athletic Complex in North Carolina
Our focus on accessibility and inclusion fosters social cohesion, and empowers all community members to lead healthier, more active lifestyles.

Achieving a Common Vision

Providing your community with safe, inviting and functional parks and recreational facilities starts with capturing a common vision and developing an implementable plan. To do that, Benesch will lead a robust public involvement campaign with strategies tailored to your community. These can include:

  • Advisory Committees: certain projects benefit from the formation of advisory committees made up of community members and local government officials. We’ll work with them throughout the process to gain better insight into goals for the space and potential cultural or historical elements that need to be considered.
  • Virtual and In-Person Public Meetings: By offering both virtual and in-person public meetings, we are able to connect with a larger, more diverse segment of your community. These meetings can be used to hear ideas and concerns, present ideas and gain further insight into their needs and desires.
  • Surveys and Comment Forms: To collect information from a large number of people quickly, we’ll develop and conduct online and in-person surveys. We’ll analyze this data and present the results to you and the public.

In addition to gaining valuable insight into your community’s vision for their parks and recreation spaces, our public involvement practices are meant to build trust, encourage accountability and increase transparency.


Creating Connections to Natural Resources

Sustainable Greenways Design Principles

Utilizing native plantings, stormwater management systems, and multi-use pathways, Benesch ensures that your greenways serve as accessible corridors for both recreation and environmental preservation.

Catawba River Trailhead path in Rock Hill, North Carolina

Inclusive Design for Trail Systems

Our designs accommodate people of all abilities and ensure a welcoming outdoor experience while connecting communities to larger trail networks in the area.

Aerial view of Chicago Riverwalk

Vibrant Waterfront Developments

By incorporating public plazas, recreational amenities and mixed-use facilities into waterfront developments, we can help create dynamic community hubs.

Photo of Benesch's employees during a land use meeting

Funding Your Community’s Vision

Whether you’re looking to maximize your available program dollars or need support getting ahold of funding, Benesch can help.

Our extensive industry experience means we can develop solutions that make the most of your budget. Taking into consideration your goals and priorities, we’ll utilize creative strategies to deliver your projects successfully.

Additionally, Benesch has decades of experience helping clients find and win grant funding. With local and federal grant knowledge, our experts are able to help you navigate the intricacies of the application process.

We recognize the impact these projects have, and we want every community we help to win the funds they need.

Landscape Architecture Group Manager Jeff Ashbaugh.

In recent years, Benesch has helped our North Carolina clients secure millions of dollars in grant funding to support parks and recreation projects.

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Strategies for Long-Term Growth

Through our master planning services, Benesch will provide a long-term strategic plan that serves as an essential tool for effectively navigating the changing needs of your community and setting your department up for future success. With clear goals and objectives for the future of parks and recreation spaces outlined in an implementable plan, you’ll be able to work towards a common vision that matches the public’s needs.

With your plan in hand, you are empowered to make informed decisions, allocate resources efficiently, and ensure that your parks and recreation offerings are responsive hubs of well-being, leisure and connection for years to come.

Site plan rendering on the Town of Waxhaw downtown in North Carolina
Kids playing at Kaier Brewery Community Park in Mahanoy City, Pennsylvania

Redevelopment and Adaptive Use

The redevelopment and adaptive reuse of abandoned land, property and waste zones into usable and accessible public spaces represents a remarkable opportunity to revitalize communities and restore vibrancy to neglected areas.

Benesch can help you identify opportunities for redevelopment and design the new spaces to fit your needs.

Learn how we worked with Mahanoy City, PA to turn the former Kaier’s Brewery into an accessible community park.

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