Andy Gilley

Andy Gilley

The Hendersonville Parks Department is asking the public to complete a survey on their opinion of City parks and recreation by April 17. The survey will help the department develop a 10-year master plan.

The plan is being put together by Kimley & Horn, who hosted a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats analysis for the Parks Board and Board of Mayor and Aldermen last week. The firm is also working on the City’s ADA transition plan.

The plan will let Hendersonville apply for a Local Parks and Recreation Fund grant (up to $500,000) and a Recreational Trails Program grant (up to $200,000) from the state of Tennessee. The plan, which costs $79,000, will be finalized in July to allow the City to apply for the grants in August.

“There has not been a Parks master plan of this caliber done in a very long time,” said Andy Gilley, parks director. “It’s something that has been tried to be done in the past, and it just was never funded, and we were really grateful this time that the Board of Mayor and Aldermen saw the need and had enough forethought to fund it.”

Survey participation

The City needs participation in the survey because projects for the grant have to be reflected in a master plan as one of the priorities the community feels is needed, said Gilley.

Kimley & Horn told Gilley they would be doing good to get 500 survey responses. Gilley said he laughed and told them the City would get 1,000 responses.

As of April 5, there are over 1,500 survey responses, and Gilley’s goal is to get to 2,000 responses by the time the survey closes April 17.

Gilley said that he thinks there are so many responses because of strong partnerships with civic groups that are engaged in the community.

“It’s such a huge part of our community that people are proud of and they want to see us get the best we can get,” he said.

While Gilley has not seen any survey responses, he listed some things he thought people might like to see such as turf fields, better lighting, more facilities, swimming pools and amphitheaters.

“We’re getting packed out,” he said. “Our leagues are growing.”

Hendersonville only has one soccer complex for two soccer leagues that have close to 2000 kids total. Flag football participation has almost tripled in the past three years, and the City only has one football field, Gilley said.

“This is the public’s chance to give a lot of good input on what they expect so I hope everyone will take advantage of it,” he said.

The survey is available on the City website.

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