City Parks Department has busy year planned

March 6, 2009

By Jim Feehan

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Between a proposed sports park for southwest Newcastle, a series of sports camps this summer and a possible 5-kilometer fun run through the city, the Parks Department has a busy year in store.

Michael Holly, city parks program manager, said the Parks Commission would like to finalize the master plan for the sports park this spring. An environmental review that would include geotechnical analysis would also be included in the master plan.

At its Feb. 17 meeting, the City Council decided to delay a possible naming contest for the proposed sports park until the master plan has been reviewed, Holly said. 

The site has been called everything from “the Wazdot site (the nickname for the former state Department of Transportation site) to The Park at 95th,” he said.

The City Council is exploring the possibility of selling naming rights to the park to help fund the project. Once again, the Skyhawks youth organization will host a series of summer camps. 

The different camps include soccer, basketball, flag football, tennis, golf and cheerleading. The camps will take place at Hazelwood Elementary School and Lake Boren Park.

Steve Goucher, a former professional baseball player and scout for the Atlanta Braves, will host a baseball camp from April 6-9 at the Renton Academy fields.

The Parks Commission will also look at classifying usage of the city’s trails system.

“We definitely want to get the community input on this, so we haven’t missed anything,” Holly said.

A 5-kilometer fun run has been finalized. Clay Strom, a Newcastle resident and junior at Hazen High School, approached city officials about the possibility of holding a run. 

The route will start at Lake Boren Park and head toward May Creek Park. The run will be at 9 a.m. Aug. 29. 

The city would not sponsor the event, but Newcastle police and Public Works would be involved, he said. 

“This is an event that could generate a lot of excitement for the community,” he said.

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