Parks & Recreation Commission

Parks and Recreation Commission

From left: Terry Abernethy, Lora Dellinger, Ezra Toney, David Shugart, John Hass, Council Member Ed Sain, Mary Bess Lawing, and David Crouse.

The Parks & Recreation Commission is a seven-member advisory commission appointed by the Mayor and City Council for a three-year term. All members of the commission must be residents of the City of Newton. The commission meets the second Tuesday of each month at the Newton Recreation Center at 7:00 p.m. The Parks & Recreation Commission is only an advisory board to the governing body, manager, and administrator. Though the commission has no legal authority, it may serve important functions in the interpretation of the programs, facilities, services, and in making studies which help advance Parks & Recreation services. The commission is an important liaison for improving the leisure opportunities of the community.

The goals of the Recreation Commission are:

Goal: To provide facilities for both passive and active recreation to meet the needs of all Newton Residents.

  • The City of Newton park system includes community parks, neighborhood parks, and mini parks that service the recreational needs of the community. It is the intent of the Parks and Recreation Commission to continue and enhance this concept and continue and develop present and future parks.
  • To identify the public’s wants and needs for both active and passive Recreation.
  • To take inventory of current facilities and equipment and evaluate the adequacy of such for ongoing maintenance and replacement.
  • To make all facilities available to all Newton Residents.
  • To make facilities accessible to the handicapped.
  • To provide areas for both organized and spontaneous play.
  • To continue to maintain existing facilities at levels that meet or exceeds the public’s desire for safety, cleanliness and utility.

Goal: Sponsor and support a comprehensive program of recreation and park activities with the opportunity for a variety of experiences adjusted to meet the physical and psychological needs of City of Newton Residents.

  • To identify the demand for and types of programs needed ensuring a wide variety of opportunities for people of all ages, abilities and interests.
  • To interact with those private, public, and quasi-public organization to facilitate services and eliminate wasteful duplication.
  • To enhance the public knowledge and appreciation for the natural beauty of open space and the environmental and historical significance of one’s surroundings.

Goal: To make the citizens of the City of Newton aware of the programs and facilities available to them. To encourage their involvement and participation in every aspect thereof.

  • The Parks and Recreation Commission shall use the various channel available to it, such as the news media, mailings, web sites, branding, and official pronouncements, to advise its citizens of the program and facilities available.
  • The Parks and Recreation Commission, in cooperation with the various associations, service clubs, private interest, citizens and government agencies, shall provide a forum to the exchange for ideas with the purpose of encouraging participating by all.

Goal: Provide residents with multi-purpose trail systems that utilize environmental corridors and provide linkages between parks and other appropriate features within and outside of the City.

  • Develop trail systems which have multiple uses and are barrier-free.
  • Connect trails and bikeway with neighboring cities.
  • Connect local trails to regional trail systems.
  • Provide adequate directional signage on trails.
  • Incorporate the use of bicycle and pedestrian facilities when planning Park and Recreation projects.
  • Continued support of the Carolina Thread Trails program/system.

Goal: To maintain safe and reliable facilities in an efficient and most effective manner.

  • It is the intent of the Parks and Recreation Commission and Recreation Department to provide for a system of safety inspections and maintenance of all equipment and facilities. Such inspections and maintenance will be provided on a frequent regular basis.
  • It is the intent of the Parks and Recreation Commission and Recreation Department to provide the maximum level of safety and security at all parks within the system.
  • Continue to follow Certified Playground Guidelines, meet Consumer Product Commission Rules and Regulations, Association of Safety Test & Measurement for Equipment and ADA Standards, so that, the Department may stay in compliance with the State and National standards.

Goal: Preserve and maintain our natural resources for ourselves and future generations.

  • Preserve and maintain our natural resources for ourselves and future generations.
  • Promote community stewardship of natural areas.
  • Partner with agencies, organizations and businesses to enhance natural resource access and management.
  • Develop and implement sustainable practices.

Goal: Use all available sources of funds to further enhance the quality of the City’s park system.

  • Pursue funding from state and federal programs which can assist in the acquisition of development of desired park system improvements.
  • Use fund to develop facilities which will maximize existing parks and recreation areas and increase park use.
  • Solicit donations from other public and private organization to aid in park system development.
  • Update the City’s Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Plan and Master Plan every five years to maintain grant eligibility.
  • Continue effort of finding alternative funding methods for capital and operational needs.
  • Develop and maintain revenue-generating facilities which can aid in the development of new facilities and/or the maintenance of existing facilities.
  • Review the possibility of user fees to assist in development and/or maintenance of facilities.
  • Priority of funding shall be to maintain existing facilities.