Approximately 40 citizens turned out at the Mechanicsville Library on December 14 for a public meeting on the Hanover County Parks & Recreation Department’s draft master plan.
Citizen concerns included the loss of natural areas to ball fields; the cost of maintenance for fields (lights, mowing, irrigation); lack of connectivity among parks; seeming priority of playing fields over biking/hiking areas; light pollution; lack of passive, open areas; need for a new dog park at Pole Green; need for a greenways plan and need for expeditious cutoff of field lights.
Respondents to the Parks & Rec citizen survey did not name athletic fields among their top five priorities, yet the 20-year, $85 million draft plan shows a fairly aggressive expansion of playing fields.
Citizens perennially want to see more trails and passive areas, according to Parks Director Greg Sager. The survey bore out that fact in the top five, which included no wish for more team sport facilities.
In preliminary remarks that evening by the master plan consultant, citizens learned that Hanover falls short of neighborhood and area parks acreage and that multi-use field inventory exceeds the Virginia Outdoors Plan recommendation.
Review the draft plan at www.co.hanover.va.us/parksrec/default.htm
The next public meeting is scheduled Monday, January 25, 7:00 p.m. at the Parks & Rec office/Taylor Complex on Route 54, when the Parks & Rec Advisory Commission meets to finalize the master plan.