Carlsbad plans for future parks and recreation needs

Dad son in park

The City of Carlsbad will begin to study the feasibility of a new multigenerational, multiuse recreation center and a new adventure park, while exploring where to place two new pickleball courts following the City Council’s acceptance of a new report based on extensive community input, industry trends and demographic changes in Carlsbad.

The report, called the "Parks & Recreation Department Needs Assessment and Comprehensive Action Plan," grew out of a yearlong process in which city staff, with the help of a consultant, gathered input on what the community would like Carlsbad’s future park system and recreation programs to look like. To read the report and learn more about the process, go here.

The multiuse, multigenerational recreation center is one of two "big ideas" that came out of the report’s information gathering process. The other is development of an outdoor adventure park that could provide a variety of activities, including mountain biking / dirt biking, rock or wall climbing, zip lines and canopy tours, educational signage and programs, ropes courses, an outdoor events space or an amphitheater, mud or artificial obstacle courses, adventure and environmental education programs, youth summer camps and special events.

The City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Department will soon begin the feasibility study of the multigenerational recreation center, weighing such issues as where to locate it so it will best serve the community, how much it will cost and how to pay for it. If the center is found feasible, the city hopes to break ground on the project within the next three years.

City staff also will investigate the best place to put two outdoor pickleball courts. Pickleball is a game played on a badminton-sized court with paddles and a perforated plastic ball similar to a Wiffle ball. City staff will have to modify existing tennis courts to accommodate pickleball, either by converting two tennis courts into pickleball courts, or by restriping them to accommodate both tennis and pickleball on a single court.

The report also recommends that the city design and develop the entryway to Calavera Hills Community Park, which was originally intended for a fire station, and to complete the development of a community garden at Calavera Hills park.

"The City of Carlsbad is committed to providing the best possible recreation programs and park facilities for our community, and this process was an important way to plan for the future," said City of Carlsbad Parks & Recreation Director Chris Hazeltine.

One of the major recommendations in the report is that recreation programs should shape facility design, not the other way around.

Hazeltine said the adoption of the report will also help determine funding decisions as new projects are incorporated into the city's Capital Improvement Projects budget.

After the feasibility study on the multigenerational recreation center is completed, the parks staff will conduct a public process that will update master plans for individual parks to determine where to locate new programs and facilities.

"We are committed to the needs assessment process now and in the future," Hazeltine said. "One of the key action items in the report recommends that the plan be updated for the next five year period to ensure that our programs remain relevant and meet the needs of our ever-changing community."

To see a video on the future of Carlsbad’s parks, go here.

For more information
Chris Hazeltine, 760-434-2887,

City media contact
Kristina Ray, 760-434-2957,


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