Parks & Recreation Department
1405 S 11th St
Lawton, OK 73501

Park Standards

In order to provide a basis for determining how many parks and facilities are needed in this community, staff needed to utilize an established set of standards. This plan has adopted the standards set by the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA). A comparison was made with Lawton's existing parks and facilities to these national standards.

1. Lawton is very fortunate to meet the standards for the recommended number of neighborhood parks and total amount of park acreage.

2. With the addition of East Side Park, the City will meet the minimum recommended number of community parks, although a west side community park is strongly recommended.

3. The City is deficient in the present number of soccer fields, baseball/softball fields and swimming pools.

4. The City is once again fortunate to have a large metropolitan park (Elmer Thomas) to serve the entire community.

Adopted Definitions of Park Categories

Neighborhood Park
Description: Provides recreational opportunities for all ages of the neighborhood. When possible, neighborhood Parks should be separate facilities, however, they may be located adjacent to elementary schools or linear parks.

Typical Facilities: Play apparatus for all ages of children, multi-use paved surfaces, picnic areas with shelters, informal ball fields, walkways, tennis courts, restrooms and landscaping.

Service Area: to mile radius Population Served: 1,000 to 5,000

Acres Required: 5 acres per 1,000 (5 acres minimum)

Community Park
Description: Provides recreational facilities for the community to utilize. Facilities should be provided for people of all ages. Should be located on arterial streets and accessible by pedestrians and bicyclists.

Typical Facilities: Swimming pools, lighted athletic fields and tennis courts, pedestrian and exercise trails, large picnic areas with shelters, landscaped areas to buffer adjacent developments, areas of natural value and water areas.

Service Area: to 3 mile radius Population Served: 15,000 to 20,000

Acres Required: 3 acres per 1,000 (20 acres minimum)

Metropolitan Park
Description: To accommodate social, cultural, educational, and physical activities of particular interest to the community.

Typical Facilities: Lighted athletic complex, large swimming pool, nature center, zoo, community center, museum, golf course, historical sites and amphitheater.

Service Area: Whole Community Population Served: Varies with usage

Acres Required: Varies

Regional Park
Description: Provides extensive areas for passive recreation and regional recreational facilities that compliment urban resources.

Typical Facilities: Campgrounds, picnic areas, nature centers, wildlife sanctuaries and golf courses.

Service Area: Urban areas Population Served: 50,000 to 100,000

Acres Required: 5 acres per 1,000 (250 acre minimum)

Park and Open Space
Comparison to National Standards
Based on Lawton's Population
from the 1990 census
Developed Open Space: Needed: (500 to 840 acres)
Existing: (862 acres)
Neighborhood Parks: Needed: (16 - 80)
Existing: (75)
(out of a total of 80 parks)
Community Parks: Needed: (3-8)
Existing: (2)
Metropolitan Parks: Needed: (1)
Existing: (1)
Regional Parks: Needed: (1 - 2)
Existing: (potential for 2)
Recreation Facility Comparison to National Standards Based on Lawton's Population from the 1990 census
Facility Units/ Pop. Present +/-
Basketball Courts 1 / 5,000 21 +1
Tennis Courts 1 / 2,000 18 -32
Volleyball Courts 1 / 5,000 2 -18
Youth Baseball/ Softball (lighted) 1 / 5,000 13 -7
Football 1 / 20,000 8 +3
Soccer 1 / 10,000 0 -10
Adult Softball 1 / 5,000 5 -15
Swimming Pool 1 / 20,000 1 -4