Panhandle Park Closed for Safety Could Re-open After Updates


Kids need a place to play and run around outside and that’s why Okaloosa County Commissioners are making parks and recreation a top priority.

“It’s important to have an outside area for them in their community that they can get to that they don’t have to travel a long way so that their children can have exercise and frankly they can have family bonding time,” said Trey Goodwin, Okaloosa County Commissioner.

At one time, Sylvania Park was hustling and bustling with young children and generations of families.
In the last few years, it’s attracted fewer people and eventually been closed for safety. While this park is closed now, it could reopen soon. Officials say that the park has reached its max lifetime span and needs an update.

“Equipment at this park is actually reaching its end of life. So, the county has budgeted and planned to upgrade and refurbish the parking facility,” shared Goodwin.

Now that there’s been a change of hand in ownership for the property, the new owner has different plans for the land. 

“The lease is coming up for a renewal term and the property owner is not obligated to renew the lease and that’s their right,” said Goodwin.

So, Commissioners are looking to the future as well but before any big decisions are made, Goodwin told us that they want to hear from the residents first.

“The County is going to step back and say wait let’s not spend the money on something that we have to tear out in 6 months to a year. So the goal is from Okaloosa County’s perspective is to engage the community,” said Goodwin. “And share what their concerns are and what their needs are and possibly revision and re-imagine the park on a new place in a new format that will meet the current community needs.”

At New Hope Christian Church at 6:00 P.M., the town hall will be next week on Thursday, June 13. 

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