The City of Idaho Falls Parks are categorized into 8 Park Classifications based upon the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) guidelines. Each classification serves a specific need in the community.
Mini / Pocket Park
The mini park is used to address limited, isolated, or unique recreation needs of concentrated populations. Mini parks typically serve a quarter-mile radius. The size of a mini-park ranges between 2,500 square feet and one acre in size. These parks may be either active or passive, but address a specific recreational need rather than a particular population density, although a high population density may create a specific recreation need. Recommended improvements for mini parks may include a small pavilion, picnic area, park benches, and a 6 foot-wide perimeter trail. Off-street parking is not recommended.
Neighborhood parks serve a variety of age groups within a limited area or neighborhood. They range in size from 1 to 15 acres and generally serve residents within a quarter - to half-mile radius. The neighborhood park includes areas for active recreation activities such as field games, court games, playgrounds, etc. Passive recreation activities may include walking, viewing, sitting, and picnicking. Facilities are generally unlighted and off-street parking is not recommended.
Community parks are larger than neighborhood parks and serve several neighborhoods. They range in size from 16 to 99 acres and generally serve a user area of one to two miles in radius. The community park may include areas for intense recreation activities such as competitive sports, swimming, tennis, playgrounds, volleyball, etc. There may also be passive recreation opportunities such as walking, viewing, sitting, and picnicking.
Metropolitan parks are large park facilities that serve multiple communities. They range in size from 100 to 499 acres and serve the entire city. The metropolitan park includes natural areas or developed areas for a variety of outdoor recreation activities such as ball fields, playgrounds, boating, fishing, swimming, picnicking, and trail systems.
Regional parks are very large multi-use parks that serve several communities within a particular region. They are 500 acres or larger in size and serve those areas within a one-hour driving distance. The regional park provides both active and passive recreation opportunities, with a wide selection of facilities for all age groups. They may also include areas of nature preservation for activities such as sightseeing, nature study area, wildlife habitat, and conservation. National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) standards for regional parks vary due to the specific site characteristics and natural resources.
Special Use Area
Special use areas and parks are for specialized or single-purpose recreation activities. NRPA defines these parks as historical areas, nature centers, marinas, golf courses, zoos, conservatories, arboretums, arenas, amphitheaters, plazas, or community squares. There are no specific standards for size or acreage since each site will vary. Special use parks may carry a double classification.
Linear Park / Linkages / Greenbelt
Linear parks and linkages are built connections or natural corridors that link parks together. Typically, the linear park is developed for one or more modes of recreational travels such as walking, jogging, biking, in-line skating, hiking, horseback riding, and canoeing. Linear parks may include active play areas. The NRPA does not stipulate specific standards for linear parks other than they should be sufficient to protect the resource and provide maximum usage.
Conservancies include areas for protection and management of the natural / cultural environment with recreation use as a secondary objective. Recreation use might include passive recreation such as viewing and studying nature and wildlife habitat. The NRPA does not indicate specific acreage or size standards for the conservancy other than they should be sufficient to protect the resource and provide appropriate usage.