A City of Corpus Christi Parks Master Plan is in the works to address long-term strategic development for the nearly 200 parks under the authority of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

Lloyd Lentz, a senior architect with Halff and Associates, presented information developed through a yearlong effort that included both phone and web surveys of several hundred residents in Corpus Christi.

The purpose of the presentation during the Sept. 20 city council meeting was to detail what the firm had done, what was learned from the surveys and which direction the city could take in crafting a master plan.

“What we learned is the citizens of Corpus Christi love their parks and that the parks are an important part of their standard quality of life,” Lentz said.

Among the 196 parks under the city’s Parks and Recreation Department, Cole Park by far rated number one. Lentz called it the city’s "signature park." Located off Ocean Drive, Cole Park boasts playground space, an entertainment venue for theatre and music, and access to the water.

The second highest-rated park, as defined by the survey, was West Guth Park, located in the Annaville area, off Interstate Highway 37. West Guth Park has winding hills with paved roads for automobile and bike traffic, as well as accommodating walkers and runners.

The park, located directly behind Tuloso-Midway Middle School, also contains a duck pond and playground.

Lentz pointed out, though, that there are some anomalies present in the survey results.

“There is a 20-point difference between Cole Park and West Guth Park. The others then drop off,” Lentz said. “There is a disparity when you see this kind of break between favorite park and next favorite park, and so on. You can take away from this that we have too many parks and they are not being used enough.”

According to the survey results, nearly 40 percent of those surveyed by phone were not satisfied with the condition of city parks. Over 50 percent of people who completed the web survey were not satisfied.

Lentz said it would essentially take a balance of man hours, effort and dollars to implement a master plan.

The plan will specify which grants, partnerships and bonds the city should target, as well as a process by which to develop emerging park interests in nature tourism and water-related athletics.