LOVE YOUR PARKS - PARK PROJECTS – UPDATED MAY 2022
Gainesville Parks & Recreation is continuing the implementation of the 2030 Parks, Greenways & 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 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 & 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 is completed and the staff are finalizing course layout and signage now.
Playground improvements, replacements, and installations are ongoing throughout Gainesville’s park system. This year 4 new playgrounds are being installed at the following parks: Kenwood, Engine 209, Midland, and Longwood. Installation is complete. Longwood’s new playground includes a 3 story mega-tower and Midland’s is an inclusive, ADA destination playground.
NEW Mini Pitch/Sport Court
In partnership with the United Way of Hall County 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. The space has been graded, leveled and the concrete subsurface has been poured. We are currently waiting on the turf and the court system to be installed. Completion is expected by the end of June!
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.
J. Melvin Cooper Youth Sports Complex
The Ground Breaking event will be held in June of 2022 and construction will follow in July. 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 bring in an estimated $6 million in economic impact annually and provide additional space that is greatly needed for youth programming. Concept Plan
Midland Greenway Renovations
Phase 1 – Engine 209 Park & 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 includes better access to view and enjoy the train, a large paver plaza, playground, and boardwalk across the wetland. The project is complete. 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. Installation of lighting along the greenway will begin in June 2022!
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.
A dog park is coming to the Greenway in summer 2022! Just past the new ADA playground across from the detention pond. This project is in partnership with McNeal Development
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 below. The project is currently in the design phase and construction will likely begin in the fall 2022.
NEW Park Restrooms
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 have greatly improved accessibility for families to Candler Fields at City Park due to the uneven and often saturated terrain. The scorekeeper stands were deteriorating rapidly and needed to be replaced with more weather resistant materials. These amenities serve the Youth Tball and Baseball programs, as well as many of our Pee Wee Programs. This project was completed prior to the spring 2022 baseball season.
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. 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. 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 for the public.
Frances Meadows Maintenance PoolPaks
Frances Meadows Aquatic & Community Center operates 2 large indoor pools. The facility has three PoolPak 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.