npressfetimg-260.png

Recreation for all generations: Fort Smith looks to provide fun for all with parks projects – Arkansas Online

FORT SMITH — The Parks Department is looking for ways to improve recreation in the city for all generations’ interests.

The department is wrapping up mowing and other summer projects as well as preparing a budget of projects it wants done in the next year.

Doug Reinert, parks director, said the department is working to build restrooms at new parks such as John Bell Jr. Park, while also continuing to repair and replace ones damaged by flooding in 2019.

More extensive projects include replacing the walking path and installing new basketball courts and an inclusive playground at Creekmore Park, having the Street Department fix the walls of the water inlet for Wildcat Mountain Lake at Carol Ann Cross Park, and installing new bathrooms there to make it more accessible and Americans with Disabilities Act compliant.

“We haven’t had it open in years,” he said. “We tear it down, and then we’re going to replace the big one at Carol Ann Cross and redo the parking lot, the new fishing dock. So that is coming next summer. We should have those plans finalized soon.”

In July the city approved building a new dog park along Fort Chaffee Boulevard. The previous park at the Louisville and South 83rd Street intersection closed to allow Fort Smith Regional Airport to expand its runway. The new park is planned to be 24 acres with walking trails, a wading pool, physical fitness obstacles and separate spaces for small and large dogs to play, a dog wash room and public restrooms. It is expected to cost around $3.2 million.

Reinert said the department is ready to build the fencing and install a water line and shade structures so the public can start using it. He said due to the extent and cost of the project, it will have to be built in phases.

“We might be able to do a public/private partnership, which will be helpful because that helps us get things done faster and actually gets things funded,” Reinert said. “So we’re working on that one, and we’re evaluating another dog park that’s centrally located.”

Reinert said many other municipalities have a separate recreation department to schedule league softball, baseball, tennis and soccer games. He said Fort Smith contracts for those services, and then the Parks Department helps maintain those facilities.

Reinert said providing those quality of life amenities is really important, as that’s one of the items people look at before moving to a new community.

“I’m a believer that a city should provide great amenities for the people that already live there, for them to enjoy their leisure time with their families,” said Jeff Dingman, deputy city administrator. “When cities do that, visitors and prospective residents and business owners take notice, and that’s how investing in parks, recreation and lifestyle amenities contributes to growth and economic development.”

Shortly after Labor Day, the department will start preparing its Christmas light displays for downtown and Creekmore Park.

Brian Penix, the department’s division I supervisor, said about 15,000 additional lights were ordered for this year, about 12,000 of which will go on a new, 50-foot tall Christmas tree. He said they’re also planning to build a tunnel around the Creekmore Express Train.

Reinert said some of the displays’ lights are being replaced with smart LEDs so they can move in time with music or people talking.

“Our guys work really hard, and they work in a lot of adverse conditions — rain, …….

Source: https://www.arkansasonline.com/news/2022/sep/04/recreation-for-all-generations-fort-smith-looks/

FORT SMITH — The Parks Department is looking for ways to improve recreation in the city for all generations’ interests.

The department is wrapping up mowing and other summer projects as well as preparing a budget of projects it wants done in the next year.

Doug Reinert, parks director, said the department is working to build restrooms at new parks such as John Bell Jr. Park, while also continuing to repair and replace ones damaged by flooding in 2019.

More extensive projects include replacing the walking path and installing new basketball courts and an inclusive playground at Creekmore Park, having the Street Department fix the walls of the water inlet for Wildcat Mo…….

FORT SMITH — The Parks Department is looking for ways to improve recreation in the city for all generations’ interests.

The department is wrapping up mowing and other summer projects as well as preparing a budget of projects it wants done in the next year.

Doug Reinert, parks director, said the department is working to build restrooms at new parks such as John Bell Jr. Park, while also continuing to repair and replace ones damaged by flooding in 2019.

More extensive projects include replacing the walking path and installing new basketball courts and an inclusive playground at Creekmore Park, having the Street Department fix the walls of the water inlet for Wildcat Mo…….

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.