By: Kara Duffy
February 18, 2013
Thomasville, GA - On any given day in Thomasville, you can find dozens of people taking advantage of the city's public parks.
Miranda Mullins lives in Moultrie, but says she visits Thomasville a couple times a month, just for their parks.
"We really enjoy the open atmosphere of this park and the playground equipment, our five-year-old son loves it," she said.
Thomasville's Public Works Department has teamed up with the Police Department and City Code Enforcement Office to make sure parks in the area remain enjoyable for all visitors.
"We're planning to change all of our playground boarders out this year and do an assessment of all of our playground equipment so we'll be ready for our 2014 budget, which isn't really that far off, to upgrade all of our parks and playground equipment for our kids' safety," said Mike Atkinson, the director of Public Works.
Police will also be enforcing a set of guidelines, designed to keep the parks safe and family-friendly.
Those guidelines include:
-NO ALCOHOL ALLOWED IN PARK
-NO ILLEGAL DRUGS ALLOWED IN PARK
-NO PARKING ON THE GRASS; PARKING ALLOWED IN DESIGNATED AREAS ONLY
-NO ANIMALS ALLOWED IN THE PARK UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED
-NO VEHICLES ALLOWED ON PARK GROUNDS. VEHICLES MUST REMAIN IN DESIGNATED PARKING AREAS
Folks in the community say they hope this initiative will also encourage kids to spend more time playing outside, instead of staying inside behind computer screens and televisions.
"Put the iPads and iPods down for a little while," said Atkinson. "Get out, run the bases; run the basketball court. Just get involved and get your body healthy."
"Keeping them active is a very good way to keep them healthy, so anything you can do outside is great," Mullins added.
Park officials say, so far, they've already upgraded the playground at Cherokee Lake and added covers to the bleachers at Remington Park's baseball fields.
City officials say funding for these projects come through the city's Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax, also known as SPLOST.