Planning Board member Hunter Jones presented a “State of the Parks” presentation Thursday to City Council, reviewing the parks available to residents and offering ideas about how to make them better.
Going over each park in turn, he gave a brief status update and a list of improvement ideas, including at some of the high-profile parks like Patton Park and Berkeley Mills.
Jones, who is also a parks and recreation professional, conducted a Facebook survey on the parks’ needs. Twenty people answered the survey, and 95% said parks need improvement in the areas of community events, safety and cleanliness, and connectivity to downtown.
The parks used most included Patton, Berkeley and the Oklawaha Greenway, and are visited mostly for walking or hiking, attending sports events, concerts and other events.
When it comes to greenways, Jones noted the strong potential for the paths but also the flooding problems and engineering needs.
At the Whitmire Building, he recommended converting the less-used shuffleboard courts into pickleball courts and creating a senior center or virtual learning center as a potential revenue source.
Jones also floated the idea of relocating Hendersonville High softball and middle school baseball and softball to William H. King Memorial Park and installing a high-end disc golf course at Berkeley Mills Park.
He also split the Berkeley Mills Park Master Plan into two sides and recommended moving several aspects around.
He also broached the idea of a teen center at Boyd Park.
The council didn’t discuss the ideas, but Mayor Barbara Volk said they would take them into account as park planning moves forward.