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Sunday April 21st, 2019 10:19AM

Gainesville residents say they want more trails, greenspace and connectivity

By Joy Holmes Multimedia Journalist

Gainesville residents told the city’s Parks and Recreation Department at Thursday’s public input meeting they want to see more biking trails, greenspace and connectivity in the city.  

The department is preparing a master plan that will organize the department’s projects through 2030. The plan is focused on what the people of the city want to ensure that new programs and facilities are used to the fullest potential.

Mack Cain, a landscape architect working alongside the city, said the plan includes the city’s 22 parks, and improvements will be based on public opinion through a survey conducted by the Parks and Recreation Department.

“These kinds of plans make sure that money is well spent and spent in the right place,” Cain said. “The last thing you want to do is build a bunch of tennis courts and nobody plays tennis.”

The most requested additions: more bike trails, walking trails and greenspace inside of the city. Cain said the requests heard at Thursday’s meeting nearly mirrored the past meetings he has attended, including a meeting with Hall County.

“People want trails and connectivity. They want to be able to move around without using their cars,” Cain said.

Among the requests, people hoped to see more sidewalks, lake access, dog parks, community gardens, pastimes such as disc golf and bocce ball and volunteer organizations to help care for the parks and gardens.

Gainesville Parks and Recreation asks the community to complete the online survey so the department can generate a presentation to city officials in a second meeting. Children are encouraged to complete the survey.

“A 12-year-old has a totally different idea of what he wants to do in a park than an old guy like me, and the Parks and Rec Department needs to know that," Cain said. 

Click here to complete the Gainesville Parks and Recreation survey.

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