Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has successful 2021, eyes large goals for 2022

Justin Flippen Park was officially dedicated in April of 2021. The Parks and Recreation Advisory Board listed the dedication as one of its accomplishments. Pictured above are [left to right] Commissioner Chris Caputo, Mayor Scott Newton, Vice Mayor Paul Rolli and Commissioner Gary Resnick. [Staff]

By Katina Caraganis | New Pelican Writer

Wilton Manors – City commissioners praised the work done by the members of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board in 2021 during their Feb. 22 commission meeting. 

Carl Shearer, chair of the board, presented its 2021 accomplishments and 2022 goals during the meeting. The mission of the board is to make recommendations to the city commission regarding the acquisition, development, and maintenance of parks, parkways, and playgrounds in the city.

Additionally, the members also provide recommendations of established rules/regulations for the operation of city recreational facilities and for fees to be charged to the public for the use of city facilities.

Shearer said the 2021 accomplishments were impressive considering five members of the seven member board were new.

The board’s 2021 accomplishments include:

Revised the user fee schedule to offset city costs of recreation programs and services to ensure public enjoyment of city facilities, which includes the dog park, boat storage and facility rentals, and addressing fee reductions for non-profit organizations effective fiscal year 2022.

Secured board approval regarding CDBG 48 funding cycle for the replacement of the closed playground at Hagen Park utilizing a physical community outreach approach.

Recommended full funding of the city’s 10-year Parks System Master Plan and presented to the city commission for consideration and approval.

Conducted public outreach and presented results to the city commission, which included unanimous board approval to move forward with the Site 92 acquisition proposal from Broward County, Colohatchee Park expansion for future access as outlined by the 2010 Parks System Master Plan.

Voiced approval to move forward with the Kiwanis Club “gifting proposal” of their land and facility to the City Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

Successfully provided special event support in soliciting partnerships, participants, and partners.

Completed Justin Flippen Park with formal dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.

Pursued FRDAP application for potential significant repurposing of Hagen Park.

Successful start-up of Manors Market at city hall on Sundays.

Reviewed and approved Art Walk solicitations utilizing a formal application and work process.

Shearer said the board has a number of goals for 2022, including:

Commission approval for renewal of city’s park system master plan.

Pursue renaming opportunities for Site 92 and Kiwanis Club once the city owns these properties.

Continue public outreach for city recreational programs.

Assist with needs assessment should the park’s system master plan be approved.

Evaluate programs, amenities, services, and fees providing input and guidance.

Establish workshops on sponsorship opportunities.

Maintain and grow green space.

Increase responsiveness approach as land acquisition opportunities arise.

Lynn Lawrence Day 

The commission recognized Feb. 22 as Lynn Lawrence Day in honor of Black History Month.

Lawrence, who owns the Dairy Queen on Wilton Drive, was honored for her commitment to the city and to remind her and the community that “she is a significant reason why this is such a wonderful community and she is a major reason why life’s just better here in the Island City.”

According to Lawrence, “as a woman, you aren’t often viewed as having the same capability to accomplish certain goals. That flows into being black as well. Being in Wilton Manors has been a blessing, I’m truly blessed to be in such a wonderful community and be surrounded with the overwhelming support of our local community.”

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