The city of Phoenix, Ariz., is recognizing the need for more parks to accommodate a rapidly growing population.

As reported by the Mail Tribune, a parks master plan prepared by Community Service Center, part of the University of Oregon, recommends the city consider investing more than $1 million in current parks and acquire another 69 acres. That’s all to serve a population that is expected to grow by nearly 40 percent over the next 20 years.

Planning director, Evan McKenzie, said at a recent city council meeting that the plans involved significant input from the community. “This is a living document. It is a guiding plan and it is not ‘the’ plan. Nothing in it is set in stone. Just because something is in here doesn’t mean it will happen, and because something isn’t in the plan doesn’t mean it won’t,” McKenzie said.

The new parks would primarily serve residents to the north of the city, as nearly all the city’s current parks are located in the southern portion of the city.

The plan includes a community park of up to 20 acres that would be installed north of the current city limits and east of I-5, where more than 400 acres are expected to be annexed for development.

Andy Berg is Executive Editor of Athletic Business.