It has been close to 20 years since the last master plan has been developed for Warner Memorial Park. The latest master plan process started in 2017 with a neighborhood survey. Since that time, there has been nine public interactions, six advisory board meetings, and three City Commission Work Sessions concerning the Park. It was clear throughout the master plan process that there were differing opinions on the future of Warner Memorial Park. Manhattan residents showed great interest in the process and this level of public engagement helps City Administration, Advisory boards, and the City Commission make informed decisions on the future of our community open spaces.
Warner Memorial Park will continue to be a gem in the City's parks system. 80 acres of undeveloped public open space in the middle of a city is a precious resource that the community has a vested interest in protecting. Preservation of open space must be balanced against the needs and rights of the public to access and enjoy the parkland. This master plan recommends strategies based on the majority of public sentiment that supported minimal development and change to the Park. Based on these recommendations, Manhattan Parks and Recreation will continue to sustainably manage the native park landscape and promote appropriate public uses of the Park so residents and visitors can enjoy Kern Warner's legacy park for years to come.