AUGUSTA (WJBF) – Good parks make good neighborhoods, the city of Augusta taking care of more than 60 recreational facilities, but some commissioners want to know if the city would be better off with less.
This land in Augusta used to be called Central Park, the city still owns it but is it still needed as a park, that’s want Commissioner Brandon Garrett wants to know.
A few months ago, the Director for Parks and Rec was telling us he identified some parks that he thought were really underutilized and wanted to do some recommendations for possibly closing them or finding other uses for them,” said Commissioner Garrett.
For years nearby residents flocked to Blount Park in Sand Hills, that’s not the case today, nor was it in October of 2020, when neighbors said the city wasn’t taking care of it.
“Me and a couple of guys in the neighborhood tried to keep it. We cut it ourselves and then the prisoners came up and they cut it a few times and then they stopped and that was it. So it’s basically abandoned,” said Neighbor Edwin Bennett, in October of 2020.
“Are we able to sell them, are they in an area where they can be used for something, or do we offer them to the neighborhoods around them is there something you want to keep is there a mechanism for that,” said Commissioner Garrett.
Other commissioners also want to hear from the department but understand any talk of closing parks could rile nearby residents.
“There maybe one or two parks that could be closed, because they’re not being used, but as soon as you announce about closing the park, people are going to start complaining about not having enough parks,” said Commissioner Dennis Williams.
“As we’re having these conversations the communities around these parks will weigh in and hopefully, they will step up to the plate if their park in on the chopping block and say hey we want to take care of it,” said Commissioner Garrett.
Now the parks master plan did identify 16 that could be closed because of their condition or limited use in Augusta George Eskola WJBF NewsChannel 6.