The City of Dunedin’s prominent parks and recreation system is a cornerstone to the quality of life offered by this Pinellas County, FL, community. Known for its well-maintained urban parks, particularly within the downtown Community Redevelopment Area, the City also boasts several active parks with recreation facilities and programming for all ages. Public golf courses, a marina, a fine art center, and other special purpose facilities are also featured as well as natural areas that support conservation, environmental education, and habitat connectivity. Seeking to respond to existing recreation needs and anticipate residents’ future desires, the City worked with Wade Trim to complete a Parks and Recreation Strategic Plan that sets a course for improvements over the next five to ten years.
The Plan is focused on maintaining the high quality and level of service of existing facilities, with supplemental or new recreation opportunities to meet specific community needs. Recommendations of the Strategic Plan were generated based on a four-phase planning process that included an Environmental Scan, Community Involvement, Level of Service Standards, and Financial/Operational Assessment. Public input was gathered using surveys and public forums where goals and priorities emerged including a new dog park, additional sports fields, improvements to the public pool complex and skate park, and more programs for older residents. Implementation of these recommendations will depend on the City’s ability to secure funding and balance parks and recreation needs with plans for other improvements in the Dunedin community.
A map of Dunedin’s parks and recreation service area shows where gaps exist, directing the City’s focus on acquiring new park lands and expanding recreation opportunities. Goals include improving connectivity from neighborhoods to existing parks, promoting private-public partnerships, and converting underutilized open space to usable parks.