New recreational park planned for Troy

Published 11:00 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Troy residents could be seeing an all-inclusive park at the Sportsplex soon if funding and plans develop as expected.

Troy Parks and Recreation Director Dan Smith got approval from the city council Tuesday evening to seek funding from a grant worth $15,000 from KaBOOM!, a group that helps build community playgrounds.

“What’s exciting about this new playground is that heavy emphasis will be placed on handicap accessibility,” Smith said.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

But the facility is hoped to be much more than a playground and will extend the walking trails already at the complex. Other plans include a pavilion and open areas to picnic – and the space will be animal-friendly. Smith said that the idea of including a dog park has been brought up many times and the construction of a new facility may be the avenue needed to incorporate an area for dogs to run and play.

“We want a lot of community input about what people would like to see and what they want in a playground and park,” Smith said.

He expects to host the first organizational meeting for the project in a couple of weeks.

In order for the new playground and park to become a reality, Smith will be working with the Miracle League and the Troy Exchange Club on funding issues and will be relying on business and community participation in the way of bake sales and car washes.

Smith said about $225,000 was raised for the Miracle Field, so he believes a fund-raising goal of $100,000 for this project is realistic.

Troy University has even pledged to provide resources and labor for the actual construction of the park.

“We are very appreciative of everyone’s interest in this,” Smith said. “We are fortunate to have two very nice parks in Troy, already, but this will give people choices.”

Murphree Park, located off Murphree Street, is a historic public park with a playground, pavilion and picnic tables. That facility is about 100 years old and received a renovation in 2000. Washington Park, on Washington Street, boasts a pool, pavilion and outdoor basketball court.

Smith said there are four locations on the 130 acres at the Sportsplex that are being discussed for the project.

“This will be a place where a family and children can go, and it’s something we believe is very important for our community,” Smith said. “People will be able to walk or come out here and sit on a blanket in the sunshine. That is what a park should be.”