Gainesville Parks and Recreation is continuing the implementation of the 2030 Parks, Greenways and Open Space Master Plan that focuses on preparing for the recent and future growth of the community. The Agency intends to upgrade and add amenities and facilities at every park, while also looking to acquire and develop new parks. Our current list of park projects is below:
NEW Disc Golf Course
With the continued increase in interest of the disc golf sport, Gainesville Parks and Recreation is currently designing an 18-hole course planned at Wessell Park. The course will begin near the parking lot and skirt the edge of the park amenities, eventually winding through the woods of this 11 acre park. Adding this amenity will provide opportunities for leagues and tournaments in the community. Construction will begin in winter 2022.
NEW Dog Park on Midland Greenway
Gainesville's first dog park is coming to the Midland Greenway. The small dog park will accommodate our residents that live in town and do not have a large yard to exercise their furry friends. It will be located near the entrance to the Greenway (682 Grove Street) across from the large pond that is located at the corner of Pine and High Streets.
Playground improvements, replacements, and installations are ongoing throughout Gainesville’s park system. This year 4 new playgrounds are being installed at the following parks:
- Midland Greenway Inclusive ADA Destination Playground - January 2022
The Midland playground will have poured in place rubber and synthetic turf surfacing along with ramp access to the main unit’s lower level that has specific inclusive elements such as Alta Glide and Music Panels. Separate sensory panels, a Ten Spin, and an Accelerator will also be featured.
Midland ADA Destination Playground Concept
- Midland Engine 209 Train Park - Spring 2022
- Kenwood Park - Complete
- Longwood Park - Complete
NEW Mini Pitch/Sport Court
In partnership with the United Way of Hall County and located at Myrtle Street Park, a mini pitch or sport court, is a place for local youth to learn and practice the sport of soccer. The mini-pitch will include LED lighting, artificial turf, fencing, goals, and benches.
NEW Kayak Shack
In partnership with Gnarly Marsh, Gainesville Parks & Recreation will be opening their first kayak vending machine at Longwood Park. Similar to scooter rentals in larger cities, park users will be able to rent a kayak from their smart phone and enjoy paddling in Longwood Cove on Lake Lanier.
Wilshire Trails Ridgewood Terrace Trailhead & Urban Fitness Court
Accessibility along the Highlands to Islands trail system is important for trail users. The parking lot at Ridgewood Terrace Road within Wilshire Trails Park will also include a unique outdoor fitness court for circuit training from TrekFit.
Trailhead Concept Plan
J. Melvin Cooper Youth Sports Complex
This long awaited project is planned to go out to bid in winter 2022 with construction beginning in the Spring/Summer. The 89 acre complex is located off Old Cornelia Highway, near White Sulphur Elementary, and will include 5 ball diamonds, 1 multipurpose field, a walking path, track, and playground. This park will generate significant economic impact for Gainesville and provide additional space that is greatly needed for youth programming.
Youth Sports Complex Concept Plan
Midland Greenway Renovations
- Phase 1 – Engine 209 Park and Greenway Lighting
Engine 209 Park has been relocated from its home on Jesse Jewel and Academy Streets to the corner of Grove and Davis Streets. This new park is located on the Midland Greenway and will include better access to view and enjoy the train, a large paver plaza, playground, and boardwalk across the wetland. The project will be completed in winter 2022. Greenway Lighting will begin in this portion of the greenway and will continue North through its entirety down to the current terminus just past Parker Street in the United Community Bank parking lot. Greenway lighting will make the park more user friendly in the winter months and provide an additional layer of safety for park users.
Midland Greenway Engine 209 Park Concept Plan
- Phase 2 – Main Entrance to Midland Greenway
The main entrance to the Midland Greenway has already seen the addition of the trailhead at the corner of Banks and Gordon and will soon see many more improvements. In addition to the bollard lighting that will illuminate the park, the main entrance will include a permanent covered stage with sound and lighting, as well as shade structures, a dining plaza, restrooms, and an ADA destination playground. More information on the playground is located above under Playgrounds. The project is currently in the design phase and construction will likely begin in the fall 2022.
Midland Greenway Concept Plan
Three new park restroom facilities are planned in the next 5 years. Locations include the Midland Greenway, Wessell Park and Riverside Park. The 2030 Parks Greenways and Open Space Master Plan survey results showed restrooms as a top 5 need ranked by the public.
Lanier Point Athletic Complex Improvements
All new LED lights have been installed at Lanier Point Athletic Complex. These lights replaced the outdated and ineffective halogen lights which reduces maintenance and operating costs. The new field lighting is more energy efficient while providing brighter light, and contributes to less light pollution in the community.
Candler Field Improvements at City Park
New sidewalks will improve accessibility for families to Candler Fields at City Park due to the uneven and often saturated terrain. The scorekeeper stands are deteriorating rapidly and need to be replaced with more weather resistant materials. These amenities serve the Youth Tball and Baseball program, as well as many of our Pee Wee Programs.
Martha Hope Cabin Improvements
Parking in City Park is an issue that needs attention. Parking improvements at Martha Hope Cabin will add approximately 30 spaces to City Park which should relieve some of the parking issues on game days, as well as during rental events.
Martha Hope Cabin Parking Concept Plan
The Ecology Center at Linwood Nature Preserve
Parking is also an issue at the Springview Drive entrance for the Ecology Center. It is difficult for park users to access the South side of the trail system for hiking or the center for events with little to no parking spaces. This plan will include 20+ parking spaces and a boardwalk to the entrance of the park.
Ecology Center Parking Concept Plan
The Agency began updating its park signage in 2017. This project is ongoing due to the magnitude and costs associated. Park users can expect to see new signage in the Midland Greenway in 2022. Wayfinding signage is critical to an enjoyable park experience.
Frances Meadows Center Maintenance Pool Paks
Frances Meadows Aquatic and Community Center operates 2 large indoor pools. The facility has three Pool Pak units that provide heating and air to the pool locations, while also supporting air quality and the heating of the pool water. These units are now 14 years old and nearing the end of their lifecycle. Mechanical repairs are ongoing and increasingly more expensive, so the Agency is replacing these units over the next 3 years.