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A message from Parks & Recreation Director Scott Esmond
It’s one of America’s great pastimes and a phrase familiar to many in Broken Arrow, whether it’s baseball, softball, basketball, football, soccer, tennis, rugby or lacrosse you enjoy. I have had the great honor of serving as BA’s Parks & Recreation Director for the past 19 years. It’s wonderful to work in a community that appreciates beautiful parks and abundant recreation opportunities. We plan to keep it that way for generations to come. Here are some of the current Parks & Recreation projects we’re working on and what’s planned for the future.
What Projects Have Been Completed?Thanks to voter approval of General Obligation Bonds, residents are enjoying new tennis and basketball courts at Nienhuis Park, 3201 N. 9th St., which were completed last year. In July, we opened two new turf football fields at the Nienhuis Football Complex. General Obligation Bonds, commonly called GO Bonds, helped finance these and many other Parks projects in our community. GO Bonds are a common financing tool used by Oklahoma cities to pay for major capital projects, like the building of roads, public buildings and parks facilities.
We recently completed improvements at Morrow, Vandever and Copper Creek Parks. Morrow Park, 2500 N. 11th St., received new picnic shelters and tables, along with upgrades to the tennis courts and walking trail. The tennis courts at Vandever Park, 1101 W. Ithica St., also received new surfacing, netting and pickleball lines. If you’re a fan of pickleball, be sure to check out the changes. Copper Creek, 2800 W. Richmond St., has a new playground. A combination of capital improvement funds and GO Bonds helped complete these projects. As you know, our residents spend a lot of time at our parks and we want to keep them in great shape.
What’s in the Future for Parks and Recreation?One of the most exciting 2014 GO Bond projects is Broken Arrow’s first dog park at Rose West Park, near 101st Street and Garnett Road. This park is still in the works, but will be very impressive when it’s completed in summer 2018. These dollars are also helping us plan and design the Adult Softball Complex and ADA accessible fields at the Events Park, 21101 E. 101st St.; construction should begin late next year. Another project in the works is a rugby field and various practice fields at Highland Park, in East Broken Arrow.
Look for major improvements at the Indian Springs Sports Complex, 1400 W. Shreveport St. This includes new fencing, irrigation, parking upgrades, new lighting at the west soccer fields and a new playground. We’re also excited about building a new splash pad at Leisure Park, 801 W. Charleston St. It’ll be the first splash pad for the southern part of town. See a complete list of projects and videos at www.BrokenArrowOK.gov/BOND.
Economic Impact of Parks & RecreationNot only do residents enjoy the numerous Parks we maintain daily, but they are one of Broken Arrow’s major attractions, largely because of the superior athletics complexes our parkshave to offer. Bringing in major baseball, softball and soccer tournaments is a tremendous source of revenue for local restaurants, hotels and stores. This, in turn, helps the City continue to bringyou the high quality services you expect through the sales tax generated. Attracting these major tournaments is a priority for the City, and doing so requires continual investment in our Parks & Recreation facilities.
Opportunity in 2018Presently, the City Council and Administration are in the initial stages of preparing a new package of projects for voter approval in the summer of 2018. This fall, we will be taking a citizen’s survey to get your input on road improvements and other important quality of life projects. We will make the survey easily accessible, so that everyone in the community can participate. We value your input and want to hear your feedback. Our Parks & Recreation facilities are well used by residents and visitors every day. Maintaining and improving them will be vital to making Broken Arrow an attractive place to live, work, and play. But, before the City can move forward with any new Parks & Recreation projects, voters will have to approve the bond funding that will pay for the improvements. Additional public education on needs and costs is forthcoming, so stay tuned.