Senoia completes long-range recreation plan

It is an ambitious plan for parks and recreation in Senoia that would add substantially to the family-friendly landscape in coming years. The draft of the city’s 20-year Recreation Master Plan has been completed and is available on the city’s website. As conceived, the total cost of the long-range plan was established at $25.9 million.

As noted in the initial section of the 20-year plan, the purpose is to serve as a guide for the formulation of local policy and to support the decision-making process intended to address the quality and location of recreational opportunities expected to be needed in the next two decades when Senoia’s population could reach 9,000.

The long-range plan addresses both active and passive recreational needs and includes recommendation for improvements to existing recreation sites, the development of new parks and facilities, land acquisition and capital improvements.

A previous 12-question public survey designed to obtain a better understanding of residents’ recreational needs showed Seavy Street Park was most often used by residents, followed by Marimac Lakes Park, the multi-use trail system and Leroy Johnson Park.

The survey determined that additional facilities needed included multi-use trails, picnic area and indoor multi-purpose space.

Survey results also showed that the greatest need was for improving existing facilities followed by providing additional programs and facilities.

The plan calls for numerous improvement to the existing park facilities and provides for the addition of two new parks. Plan recommendations also call for the installation of a number of multi-use trails and the ability to purchase additional parkland property.

Proposed enhancements to Seavy Street Park would expand options for outside play and indoor programs and activities, improve the park’s appearance and address drainage issues by replacing the tennis courts with a fountain or pond and erecting a train observation platform.

Recommendations for Leroy Johnson Park include replacing the five ball fields with five others in a new configuration, adding a centrally-located concession/restroom building and 200 parking spaces, tennis courts, a stand-alone ball field and the conversion of the existing senior center to a multi-purpose recreation center and gym. Projected recommendations also include two basketball courts and several additional fields for other sports.

Recommendations for Marimac Lakes Park focus on the area’s natural features and call for nature trails, lakeside trails and a boardwalk to increase pedestrian access. The area around the Stone Lodge would be outfitted with gardens and a gazebo. A connecting trail and roadway to the adjacent Leroy Johnson Park is also a part of the recommendation as is the planting of an orchard near Pylant Street.

New park facilities included in the plan call for the potential for the four-acre Gateway Veterans Park near the downtown area and “future community park” that would include an indoor aquatic center and other amenities.

The plan’s recommendations were derived from input from the Recreation Plan Steering Committee, city staff, previous plans and studies, the community survey and an assessment of the existing recreation system. Also used in the development of the plan were the guidelines suggested by the National Recreation and Parks Association.

Funding for the ambitious plan would likely come from a number of local, state and federal sources. Among those is the countywide one-cent sales tax referendum coming before voters in March. If successful, the city has targeted $1.25 million to go for parks and recreation. The projected costs of all aspects of the plan over the 20-year period would total $25.9 million

The City Council is expected to discuss and perhaps approve the plan at the Feb. 6 meeting.

The plan in its entirety can be viewed on the city’s website at www.senoia.com

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