Springfield officials ask for resident input on park redesign projects

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SPRINGFIELD, Fla. — As residents in the city of Springfield continue to rebuild, the city’s parks are also getting a makeover.

“We’re looking at nature trails, basketball courts, tennis courts, a lot of different things,” said Springfield’s mayor, Ralph Hammond. “We got the land already, all we’ve got to do is start developing it.”

Hammond says he wants as many residents as possible to be a part of the process, opening the floor to ideas and feedback.

“It’s not the city’s parks, it’s the community’s parks,” said Hammond. “We want their input highly.”

Residents are getting the chance to share their ideas with city officials as well as National Park Service coordinators, who are helping the city create a master plan for the area’s parks, to be put into action over the next 25 years.

“We need walking parks, we need playgrounds for children,” suggested Jeanie Hammond, a longtime resident of Springfield. “And just to be able to feel secure where we are and where our kids are.”

The National Park Service is also helping city officials come up with an implementation strategy for the master plan, which is scheduled to be ready in February.

“We also look at doing a funding strategy, of where there are different ways to look,” said Deirdre Hewitt, a National Parks Service Program Manager. “Not just with relying on grants but looking at the community, having sponsors.”

Residents will have another chance to bring their ideas to the spotlight on Thursday, December 5th, from 4-6 p.m. at the Springfield Community Church.

“Give us your ideas,” said Mayor Hammond. “Even a small idea will help.”

For residents who could not attend either public forum, there will be an online feedback link available in the near future, where they can submit their comments and ideas about the parks.

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