Park Planning

By: Michael Gorsegner
By: Michael Gorsegner

February 9, 2006

"We had to bring to attention that it wasn't one, two or three specific areas that we had need. We have needs throughout the entire system," said Director of Parks and Recreation Mike Svetz.

Needs that anyone who has been to Charlottesville parks can see; out of date playgrounds, cracked showers, and even rotting pipes. The system is in need of a serious overhaul and Council is beginning that process.

"We've known for a while that we have a real challenge. Now the question becomes how do we break this down into manageable chunks," said Vice-Mayor Kevin Lynch.

A needs assessment study found that Charlottesville Parks are in need of a $33 million facelift. The task-at-hand, determine what can be done now and what can wait. But facilities are not the only shortfall.

"You know that we can build all the facilities in the world, but if we don't have good programming, they are just going to sit there," Lynch said.

A message that the Parks and Recreation Department is starting to address.

"We also need to refocus our facilities and our efforts in our parks to meet the programming needs of our community," said Svetz.

And while economics plays a major role in these changes, there are other determining factors.

"I don't think dollars and cents will be the end all be all, and it shouldn't be," Svetz said.

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