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It’s not easy to make a list of the things that Boca Raton Parks are missing. We have so much in our parks that it’s hard to think of things we don’t have. This poll lets you give your opinion on what the parks have and don’t have.

Special thanks to Parks District Commissioner Craig Ehrnst for the support reaching out to other District people for additions to this list. Thanks also to Briann Harris and Melissa Dawson who provided items to the list including Pickleball and Splash Pads.

Editor’s Note:

I wasn’t a big fan of money being spent, or park land being lost, towards building more tennis courts. After the Nadal deal for Patch Reef became history I saw Art Koski in a video segment looking brokenhearted. He mentioned how it would still be nice to build indoor tennis courts somewhere else. I thought to myself “this guy is the only one who wanted them.”

Later that morning I was having coffee with my dad and my dad said to me “You know what the City should build? Indoor tennis courts.” I realized I was being ignorant in thinking  Mr. Koski was alone in his opinion about indoor tennis courts.  That motivated the creation of this poll. Your opinion is what matters.

Do you have an idea for the parks that you don’t see here?

Please share your idea in the comments below.


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  1. So 100% voted in favor of more free parking. Yet 20% ie one person voted in favor of more paid parking. Lmao. Totally contradictory. Hilarious!
    Everyone wants food and water at the beach.
    No one wants public pools.
    This is what I concluded from the results.

  2. In many cities handball is very popular. All you need is a concrete wall requires no maintenance and kids can play with a handball or tennis ball. Also, many tennis players like practicing hitting the wall since comes right back to them.

  3. More swing sets, gyms to climb, space to play Chase, BENCHES in the shade for mothers, COVERS like NEEDED at Sugar Sand so the kids do not have to sit on HOT swings or get sunburn. The play areas for kids are used everyday by Moms and grand moms after school, on weekends, holidays. They are crowded…so many kids and lots of use ! We need more…everywhere.

    • We need those moms who need more benches to participate in this poll. Benches are a simple thing but a big deal when they’re all taken up. I like what they did up on the Red Reef Boardwalk, where the benches are dedicated to people. If the Parks District could use our help at BocaWatch to get the word out on other public/private sponsorship initiatives that’s what we’re here for.

  4. BTW…who made the list? WAYY to long plus some of it was ridiculous..shooting range?
    One killing and the city would be sued, along with other stuff that is/was unreasonable.

    • I made the list. Making it that long does have the effect of making less people overall complete it, true. It was really hard for me to winnow it down. But…. making it that long also gets more of the folks who are willing to put some thought into it – people who don’t mind investing their time and imagination. I’d personally rather have thoughtful people answer than people who are just voting frivolously.

      Markham Park out on State Road 84 has a shooting range. It’s quite cool. I don’t know if they’ve been sued for anyone getting hurt. They’re very serious about safety. It looks like, from the initial numbers, there’s no majority of people who want one here.

      Who knows where this will go, how the Parks folks are going to see and use these numbers? Maybe if City puts a couple million dollars into a Snake Pit they’ll have enough left over to get really exotic snakes like cobras and mambas. What’s the point of having a snake pit with only a few kinds of snakes?

  5. Since the Cities new golf course (Boca Raton National) will be located in East Boca, I feel that attention should be given to coordinating this course with the existing Red Reef course on A1A.. The courses will now be only about 3 miles apart. I hope the district keeps this in mind..

  6. I would love to see the creation of “Neighborhood Green Island Parks”.
    The definition is where empty lots in non HOA communities are purchased by the city via public fund raisers, bond issues etc. Trees, benches, etc can be donated by neighborhood residents creating a sense of community cohesiveness. Plaques, such as “In Memory of…” or donated by local businesses and residents can raise revenue for upkeep etc.
    Also, and “Adopt a Park” similar to the current “Adopt a Spot” and “Adopt a Road” opportunities would encourage more community involvement.
    The lot is developed minimally into a micro park, preserving green space, creating an “island” of natural flora and fauna.
    There are inexpensive security measures available to monitor these “Green Islands”
    Where there’s a WILL, there IS a Way!

  7. How bout Bocci Ball and concrete ping pong tables and tables with games on them like checkers, chess etc. these were things I saw in a park in Cary NC. They had a box with equipment and left it out. Is it expecting too much that people here would respect that
    Your list was very comprehensive thanks

  8. Wow. Great feedback. A couple of thoughts… Your right the list was long ( and comprehensive), and we do plan to integrate East golf courses after community session feedback. The City has a community based Parks and Recreation board (next meeting May 1 5:15pm at Comm. center) that needs to be involved that gives guidance to the City and the District. The fact that a simple survey was done, so quickly is a blessing and proof that residents are engaged. Jason, please summarize, publish and present to all. All, please consider attending City’s Strategy meeting and provide public comment:
    Tues – May 1st, 8-4:30 (Public comment 11:30-12, 4-4:30) at 6500 Congress bldg.
    Wed – May 2nd, 9-1:00 (Public comment 11:30-12) at 6500 Congress bldg.
    District meetings are typically first Monday, and last Monday of the month. Our bylaws focus on supporting/partnering with the City, so we need to be aligned to make the greatest community impact.

    • Thanks. I’ll make the meetings part of what gets added to our calendar regularly.
      I can’t wait for this next meeting. These raw responses will be here at this web address for as long as the site stays up, and we can add items over time, but we’ve got enough to make some credible conclusions from now. It will be interesting to see the highs, lows, and know that the small majority of us pulling for the snake pit won’t be unheard.

  9. A great start would be to actually OPEN all the parks. There are at least a couple of spaces maintained at public expense that aren’t open to the public because they aren’t yet officially parks. What’s that about? It’s ludicrous. Also, stop treating dogs like vermin. The only public spaces accessible to dog owners are dog parks (few and far between) and sidewalks. Dog owners are probably the biggest group of walkers and we are hugely limited on where we can go. Heavily fine those who don’t pick up poop, that’s a disgrace, but don’t treat the rest of us like pariahs. In Europe dogs are allowed pretty much everywhere -off leash and on and the world doesn’t come to an end. It’s stupidly over-regulated. Tear up the rule book and teach individual responsibility instead….rant over.

  10. We just need more parks in general. There are not enough open spaces to play sports or take kids to play. Every neighborhood within the city should have a park, large or small within 5-6 blocks walking distance. Even better, build a large central space in Boca to compete with Central Park in New York. Make Boca the city with parks and well known for it’s amazing open public spaces.

  11. Some things like a climbing wall for example would need more insurance. We have public golf courses (one in the works). Don’t need it at the parks. I don’t think a shooting range is what we need in light of MSD and every day is another shooting on the news.
    The tennis star that wanted to open a school and indoor courts, we have a perfect spot. Th abandoned golf course on north east Boca at Hidden Valley. Why not suggest this to him?

    • I did…
      I hope the City can find a way.
      A lot of improvements to our parks can be done without having to spend too much money. Benches, chilled water fountains, more bike trails. Make some interactive and guided nature trails or boardwalks on some of unused space at Patch Reef and Sugar sand if permissible. Bike trails at Patch Reef would work nicely with the Patch Reef trail that runs behind the park.

  12. Sugar Sand park play area for children is fabulous.
    I wish it was bigger with more interactive enjoyment for the kids.
    Major problem is no shade for protection. The slides are so hot they are dangerous at times.
    The sun can be a danger and there is little protection for children.

    • I called Rec dept about no shade or benches…lip service was the reply. NOTHING was done. In Aug /Sept…No one will be there…happened last year

  13. Good Survey – Thanks.
    I would like to see more Soccer fields (son & grandkids are keen on soccer and the fields seem to be in short supply.)
    I like the idea of a tennis center in the old Hidden Valley golf course area. (Particularly if the Council wants to expand City Hall). Public facility preferred!

  14. I would love to see tiki huts on the beach. For shade and aesthetics. How awesome would that be. And don’t charge to sit under them.

  15. I think the beaches should not be cluttered w/ anymore stuff except people who go and then leave w/ all their stuff. There maybe shortages I’m not aware of and we should probably add to meet the needs of public ie soccer fields etc. Please do not, spend money and take up green space w/ more buildings etc unless for activities that can’t be done outside. I esp like walking/nature trails. Ones w/o unobstructed views with excess buildings would be good. Also good for the wildlife and environment. Avoid paving over surfaces whenever possible. Development needs to slow way down and we need to preserve our green spaces that aren’t developed. The combined survey/list as a whole would be super expensive so need to be careful how we spend. Probably there is a list of parks and services already provided ie city website. I need to take a good look at that, we have stuff I didn’t know about. Glad Boca has so many activities and promotes for exercise. Thanks for asking!


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