09Hope Mills Municipal ParkWhen Hope Mills residents come to Thursday’s Food Truck Rodeo in the parking lot behind the Hope Mills Recreation Center, they need to plan on doing more than eating.When Hope Mills residents come to Thursday’s Food Truck Rodeo in the parking lot behind the Hope Mills Recreation Center, they need to plan on doing more than eating.

Kenny Bullock, head of the Hope Mills Parks and Recreation Department, wants them to arrive ready to share ideas for the town’s comprehensive recreation plan.

Representatives of the McAdams firm will be on hand to get input from the townspeople about their concerns for the future of recreation in Hope Mills.

Bullock said the plan being developed will include some nine park areas in Hope Mills, existing athletic fields like Municipal Park and Brower Park, community parks like Herring Park in the Eaglewood subdivision, and parks still on the drawing board like Heritage Park, which will include a museum devoted to the town’s history as a mill village.

There is also potential for major park development at the old golf course, which the town owns.

The main purpose of the comprehensive plan is to avoid duplication of services and to make sure that something offered at one park isn’t constructed at another park. “That’s the purpose of the comprehensive plan,’’ Bullock said, “to utilize all the park space independently instead of duplicating park space.’’

Athletic fields are always a major concern when anyone talks parks. Bullock said the town has existing fields at Municipal Park and Brower Park and also uses the field at Hope Mills Middle School.

Bullock said there are preliminary plans to add some fields at the golf course property. “We need some multipurpose fields we can use for soccer and football,’’ he said. “There may be a complex we can convert to football and soccer.’’

He said at Municipal Park it might be possible to use Fields 1 and 2 as a soccer/football field, then turn Fields 4, 5 and 6 into a wagon wheel type facility.

The most urgent priority in developing the parks is the construction of Heritage Park near the restored Hope Mills dam. “That’s part of the contract with the Hope Mills dam,’’ Bullock said. “The next priority is the museum for the historical committee.’’

The current plan for Heritage Park involves nothing to do with athletics. It is scheduled to feature walking trails and bridges.

Bullock feels it’s important not to lump all the parks into one pile when getting input from the public. “We need to concentrate on all of them,’’ he said. “Each park is different. We need to put a focus on all the parks and what we would like to do.’’

Meanwhile, public input at this Thursday’s Food Truck Rodeo is critical.

Bullock stressed to the citizens of Hope Mills that this is their time to speak out and voice their concerns and their opinions on the future of parks and recreation in the town. “Don’t wait until after the fact and it’s been done,’’ Bullock said.

Photo caption: The main purpose of the comprehensive plan is to avoid duplication of services and to make sure that something offered at one park isn’t constructed at another park.

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