Parks Master Plan Update

Share Your Vision…Shape Our Future!  The 2021 Parks Master Plan update is underway! The Plan will provide staff, elected officials and citizens with a valuable planning tool to guide the development of three park facilities over the next 10 years and beyond. Please take a moment and review the improvements, challenges and proposals for each park. These maps provide a conceptual layout to guide the future growth of each park and are adaptable to change. Please note the elements in the maps are not drawn to scale nor located in their exact future position.

James City County Recreation Center Park

Park Map 

The James City County Recreation Center Park includes the recreation center and surrounding park amenities. This park does not have an existing Master Plan, but is largely developed with existing amenities. An adjacent parcel is included in this draft plan, which was the former site of a James City County Service Authority water tower.

Current park amenities include:

  • the Recreation Center
  • Skate Park
  • two lighted softball fields
  • two lighted rectangular fields
  • 2.1 mile multiuse paved trail
  • ADA accessible playground

The Master Plan team is recommending the following additional amenities:

  • Expansion of the James City County Recreation Center for voter registration
  • Expansion of the Skate Park
  • Picnic shelter 
  • Off-Leash dog area
  • Restrooms and parking facility for Skate Park, off-leash area, and picnic shelter
  • Restroom/concession building near athletic fields

Upper County Park

Park Map

Opened in 1984, Upper County Park is one of the County’s oldest parks. A draft Master Plan was created in the early 1990s, but there is no current approved Master Plan for the site. The Master Plan team (Team) used the existing, established park amenities as a starting point, and incorporated citizen feedback and data from the 2017 Parks & Recreation Master Plan as a guide for potential future amenities. The Parks & Recreation Master Plan classifies Upper County as a community park, primarily serving residents at the upper end of the County. The  Parks & Recreation Master Plan identified a lack of several park amenities in this region, notably hard surface trails, gymnasiums, recreation centers and indoor pools.

Current park amenities include:

  • 25-meter outdoor pool
  • Toddler pool
  • Basketball courts
  • Sand volleyball courts
  • Picnic shelters
  • Playground
  • Multiuse trails
  • Mountain bike trails
  • Primitive camping area
  • Restrooms
  • Seasonal store/concessions

The Team is recommending the following additional amenities:

  • Cover/enclose swimming pool for year-round use
  • Replacement of toddler pool with splash pad/sprayground feature
  • 0.5 mile paved multiuse trail
  • Community gymnasium with two full sized indoor courts and fitness area
  • Pickleball/Tennis court
  • Off Leash dog area
  • Archery range
  • Park maintenance/storage area
  • Increased parking to support new amenities

Warhill Sports Complex

Park Map
2016 Master Plan Map

The Warhill Sports Complex Master Plan was last updated in 2016. Since that time, new features such as a private indoor pool facility and community garden have been added to the park. Additionally, some amenities originally featured on the park master plan have been represented at other park locations, such as the potential running center at Jamestown Beach Event Park. Since the sports complex is used by a large variety of groups, staff held a meeting with all 22 community partner organizations to solicit feedback and determine needs for the park’s future development. Participants expressed the need for more lighted rectangular fields, more full-sized baseball fields, and softball fields to support the growing participation in senior softball. 

The Master Plan team is recommending the following additional amenities to the 2016 Master Plan:

  • Synthetic turf baseball complex featuring two lighted large fields, two lighted small fields, restrooms/concession (B)
  • Baseball stadium (D2)
  • Re-designed connector road between the Longhill Road and Opportunity Way sides (E)
  • Existing private indoor pool facility (G2)
  • Lighted pickleball/tennis courts (H)
  • Existing community garden (I)
  • Existing Grounds maintenance facility (O)
  • Parking to support additional amenities

The team is recommending eliminating the following amenities from the 2016 master plan:

  • One large field from baseball complex to expand parking (A)
  • Softball complex (B)
  • Seven multipurpose rectangle fields (E, F)
  • Proposed indoor sports facility
  • BMX Park
  • Running Center

Next Steps

Comments and survey results received from citizens will be incorporated into a draft Parks Master Plan. The draft plan will be reviewed and approved by the James City County Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and the County Planning Commission. The Plan will then be presented to the James City County Board of Supervisors for final approval in the fall. Once approved, a prioritized action plan will be developed to set goals and recommendations to implement and guide the capital improvement process including funding, as well as provide the community with a strategic long-range vision for the future of these County parks. Please look for details on our progress in the local media.

About Us

Parks & Recreation reviews and updates park master plans on an annual basis. The James City County Recreation Center Park (adjacent to the Recreation Center), Upper County Park and the Warhill Sports Complex have been identified for review in 2021. An interdepartmental team was formed to review these plans - employees were selected based on their area of expertise to ensure that the final product would be inclusive of amenities that were important to the many different stakeholders within the County as well as the citizens they serve. The team, led by the Department of Parks & Recreation, included members from the Planning Department and General Services.

Our Goals

The three parks being reviewed share some similarities, but are largely unique in amenities and past planning. The James City County Recreation Center Park and Upper County Park do not have formal, adopted master plans while the Warhill Sports Complex plan has been updated on several times. Most of the park areas are largely developed, with the exception of a parcel adjacent to the Recreation Center Park which was the former site of the James City County Service Authority water tower. With these differences in mind, the team took a slightly different approach for each park but adhered to the following goals for all three:

  • Evaluate and confirm where existing park amenities are successfully meeting community needs
  • Determine unmet needs as illustrated in the 2017 Parks & Recreation Master Plan
  • Evaluate maintenance and conditions and longevity of park features
  • Learn from the community if facilities in the plan are no longer needed, feasible or should be built in other parks
  • Create an updated master plan to guide development for the next decade and beyond.