Master Plan Concept Options

Since 2020, we have conducted public engagement meetings and surveys, analyzed data, and interviewed stakeholders for the Portsmouth City Park Master Plan project. This helped us determine the priorities and goals of Portsmouth residents, and how we can best utilize park space for future improvements. Using this feedback, we narrowed the selection down to three City Park master plans: All plans share three main similarities:

  1. An enhanced entrance with new signage, landscaping, and simplified circulation
  2. An improved waterfront treatment involving living shores, native vegetation, educational signage, and boardwalk/pier components
  3. An extensive trail network for walking, running, and cycling

Other similarities include a potential bait shop or snack stand near the northwest boat launch; reorienting the boat launch to the west, using the existing landform to protect the marina from tidal; maintain historic monuments and time capsule feature, and propose exciting amenities advised by the public during our previous community engagement.

The reimagination of City Park is contingent on two primary factors: how to utilize the current golf course real estate, and how to handle traffic between boat users and park users.  These decisions will impact the park’s programming and facility locations.

Concept 1

Key Takeaways:

  • Retain the golf course, driving range, Pokey Smokey, and the boat launch in the same location. Improve these facilities with updates and upgrades to improve user experience.
  • Retain the spinal road through the park and build additional facilities on the eastern side of the park

The Details:

  • Repair boat launch, provide small water front store for convenience items and provide waterfront turnaround with designated event space on the water.
  • Golf course greens, tee boxes, and cart path infrastructure would upgraded for appropriate drainage.
  • The existing club house building would be replaced with a new building that would include club house, bathrooms, meeting space, park office, and maintenance.
  • Eastern half of park would have enhance family facilities that may include athletic courts, dog park, and/or skate park.

Concept 2

Key Takeaways:

  • Convert the golf course into a multi-use event lawn and pollinator meadow, adding approximately 50 acres of public park space
  • Build a new road that begins after the park entrance and maneuvers left, into the northwest corner of the park, where the existing boat launch is (this would separate boat traffic from regular traffic early-on)

The Details:

  • The altered road layout will improve the waterfront as a continuous open space.
  • The Pokey Smokey train tracks would be incorporated with the newly renovated playground, historic monuments and observation tower offering panoramic views of the park and river.
  • The three existing parking lots would remain with family focused amenities built around them including a splash pad, athletic courts, and a Ninja course.
  • Additional parking lots added to the entry road that provides access to new amenities like the event lawn, dog park, picnic areas, and disc golf course.

Concept 3

Key Takeaways:

  • Maintain and enhance the golf course driving range while eliminating the golf course, adding approximately 26 acres of public park space and preserving the course as a revenue source for the city
  • Build a new road that begins halfway through the park and maneuvers left, into the northwest corner of the park, where the existing boat launch is (this would separate boat traffic from regular traffic halfway through the park)

The Details:

  • The driving range would consist of a double tier driving bay, a full fence enclosure, night lighting, and a 9-hole pitch and putt course
  • A reconstructed parking lot on the existing lots, intended to be the central point to park amenities including the small craft launch, Pokey Smokey, splash pad, mini golf, and skate park.
  • The southeast corner would be renovated as a private event space for weddings, services, and family reunions.  The renovations would include a new building and pavilion, pond improvements and landscape enhancements to the Friendship strolling garden.
  • New amenities replacing the golf course open space include large dog park, athletic courts, and general open recreation space.

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