The newly formed Parks, Culture and Recreation Division in the City of Manassas is hitting the ground running.
According to Parks, Culture and Recreation Manager Kisha Wilson-Sogunro, the division was formed to improve the maintenance and future planning of recreational places in the city.
“[The city] had a vision to look at our parks, look at our recreation in the city, and look at how we can better enhance that,” said Wilson-Sogunro.
The division is taking over the role of Neighborhood Services, and according to Wilson-Sogunro, came about after several focus groups and community meetings, where residents expressed concerns and made suggestions on how recreation facilities could be improved.
Wilson-Sogunro said that the division will oversee and collaborate with several entities including the Manassas Museum, city pools, and the Center for the Arts at the Candy Factory, to bring them all “under one umbrella”.
“What we’re trying to do is establish the city, the City of Manassas, as a recreational hub, where people can come, families can come and enjoy themselves, have a great time,” said Wilson-Sogunro.
One project already underway is the renovation of Byrd Park, according to Operations and Maintenance Supervisor Christen Fox.
According to Fox, work on the park is being done this month, with the hopes of a ribbon cutting in August.
“Some new features coming to that park will be a shade structure, there with the concession stand…some new play equipment to make it more of an inclusive play feature for all ages – from two to an adult. New swings. New way finding signage. And [a] new renovated basketball court, roller hockey, and bang-shot basketball,” said Fox.
The division will also be doing a community engagement event in August to discuss the future of the Stonewall Park Pool.
“We’re [also] looking at the skate park for a couple of small enhancements,” said Fox.
A new Parks and Recreation Committee was formed to assist the division, and will be made up of volunteer city residents. Wilson-Sogunro stated that the committee is taking applications for members, and that interested individuals can apply online.