Dover Looking to Better Parks - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Dover Looking to Better Parks

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Part of the run-down basketball court at Dover Park in East Dover. (Photo: WBOC) Part of the run-down basketball court at Dover Park in East Dover. (Photo: WBOC)
A sign that reads Dover Park and Recreation Center. There is no longer a recreation center, and some are asking when a new one will be built. (Photo: WBOC) A sign that reads Dover Park and Recreation Center. There is no longer a recreation center, and some are asking when a new one will be built. (Photo: WBOC)

DOVER, Del.- Some people in Dover are saying the city has a problem with its parks.

Willy Hardman of Dover takes his kids to Brecknock Park in Camden, because it suits their needs better than a Dover park does. WBOC asked him if Dover needs more parks like Brecknock.

We asked him if he thinks Dover needs more parks like Brecknock.

"Dover needs two or three," he said. "I mean it's got everything you need from the kids to the bigger kids to parents and everything."

The park has an indoor bathroom, upgraded playgrounds and athletic fields. Those are all things Ann Marie Townshend, director of the Dover Parks and Recreation Department, says Dover needs more of.

She agrees with people like Hardman and says the city will be going park by park to identify how it can best address issues at parks as they pertain to the neighborhoods where they sit .
She also says there is some regional consideration when planning things like athletic fields, because we can draw people from surrounding areas to use our recreation facilities.

"It [will be] multiple master plans," she told WBOC today. "Sot the idea is individual master plans for different parks."

Some people are most frustrated about parks like Dover Park off White Oak Road. The sign that sits at the entrance says "Dover Park and Recreation Center."

It used to have one. The Dover City Council voted to tear it down with a promise to build a new one. Today, there is no recreation center at the park. Townshend says she does not see the need for one.

"At this point, I don't believe that we have the data that indicates that we need another recreation center," she said. "That doesn't mean that we don't need it. I think what we need to do is look and see once the new [recreation] center run b the county is up and running--look and see what the demand is at that point."

The data she is referring to comes from the City of Dover Recreation Needs Assessment. It was approved by the city council in 2015, and lays out and prioritizes what Dover residents have articulated as their outdoor recreation needs.  

It shows that the most common issues people had were wanting indoor restrooms, expanding trail systems and adding benches to some parks in Dover.

Townshend says the city will begin to look at the parks one-by-one this summer.

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