Rip Robertson is the Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Tucker.
This summer in Tucker has been busy and productive for our Parks & Recreation department. Last year at this time, we had a good discussion about several improvements planned for Fitzgerald Park. Although some of those plans have been altered, the updates for this park are still much needed. The start of these improvements has always hinged on updating the park's aged and faulty water and sewer infrastructure that is in terrible shape. We have a contract in place for these improvements, but, like many projects in 2022 (and really since 2020), supply chain issues have impacted both the start and eventual completion of this project.
Fitzgerald Park is the City’s sports complex, and we wanted to update the community as we move through the improvement process. The City and the design consultant hosted a community meeting to discuss the upcoming improvements planned for Fitzgerald and heard a lot of good feedback. Although not all the suggestions are able to be incorporated into a sports complex, the feedback did prompt some additional thoughts and changes. Once the fields are completed, we hope to create a walking path, a playground and parking for the casual park user. The initial upgrades, once the infrastructure project is complete, will improve access, parking, lighting and sound during games and practices. They will also help lessen the impact on the surrounding communities.
We also recently hosted meetings for both Lord Park and Johns Homestead. These two parks will undergo some exciting improvements that we will highlight in future issues of InTucker as well as several other park projects coming in the next year. We will host additional meetings as we continue to progress through the improvement process and welcome your feedback, so let us know your thoughts on our website, tuckerga.gov.
Our next First Friday Concert is Friday, August 5th. Come enjoy some great music and fun at our Church Street Greenspace as we feature the Mike Veal Band (mikevealband.com). We invite you to dance the night away and visit with all your friends. The fun starts at 6 p.m. with food from “Love at Wurst Sight” and music starts at 6:30 p.m.
I have several questions that have been asked:
Are there plans/is there a timeline for updating the fields?
Our baseball/softball fields have “skinned” infields because they are more durable. They are dual use, less maintenance and easier for excessive play. We also use portable mounds because, again, the fields are dual use: baseball and softball. Our mounds are very good quality to allow for proper pitching and follow through for our players.
When can we expect to see upgrades to the Kelley Cofer poolhouse?
There are a lot of questions about funding and allocation for projects. I can tell you that we work hard to ensure that we get as much done as time and money permit. We have made numerous improvements to our pools and will continue to do so over the next several years. There are several items that are on the list of priorities, but funding is only one of the considerations. The planning process is lengthy and there are many aspects to be considered. As asked, if a new pool house were to be built, it would require time to explore all possibilities and how to best facilitate use of the entire complex. We have had some discussions but are not ready to begin the planning process.
I want to start a program at the Rec Center. How can I do that?
We have many programs at the Tucker Recreation Center, some of which are provided by independent instructors and some by our staff. If someone has ideas, either independent or internally provided, contact our Program Manager, Jen Young. Her contact info is available on our website, www.tuckerga.gov/parks.
Are there any plans to add more youth sports for girls?
We currently offer girls registration for basketball and softball but at this point, have not had enough participants to compete in a regular season. Co-ed has worked thus far and with continued growth, we anticipate having softball and basketball in the next couple of seasons. We were successful this past basketball season in forming girls’ all-star teams to compete in the GRPA District tournaments. The teams were very successful, and we hope to build on that success going into the upcoming season. Look for registration information at www.tuckerga.gov/parks.