During 2015, the PARKS department replaced two outdated playgrounds at Wallace and Noonday parks. Operations also replaced more than 450,000 square feet of sod on various sports fields in the county.
The department performed renovations to 37 baseball and softball infields incorporating 1,968 tons of infield mix, constructed pitchers mounds and homeplate areas using 90 tons of mound mix and broadcasted 1,250 tons of topdressing sand on the turf of 49 fields to improve the playability and safety of all play surfaces.
The PARKS Land Unit assisted with ongoing SPLOST projects by completing construction of the soccer field at Terrell Mill, two baseball fields and one football field at Wallace Park, began constructing two softball fields at Bells Ferry Park and completed sod installation for the entrance and inside the hub at Al Bishop Park. They installed stream bank stabilization flex-mat to eliminate bank erosion on the creek banks at Rhyne and Perry Parham parks and graded the area for the playground at Wallace Park.
PARKS operations staff worked closely with contractors during construction to keep Miller Park operational and made major preparations for the Shrine Circus, the North Georgia State Fair, rodeos, dogs shows and other major events.
The department hosted 40 tennis tournaments at the six Cobb tennis centers in 2015. Tournaments are offered for all age groups and levels of play. More than 2,400 participants competed in the tournaments. Cobb’s tennis class instructional program introduced tennis to more than 1,900 participants. This is one of the larger programs of this type in the state. A total of 440 tennis teams and nearly 5,400 participants utilized a Cobb tennis facility for league play in fiscal year 2015. These teams host visiting teams totaling 1,500 teams and more than 15,000 players coming to Cobb and our facilities to compete in league competition. These leagues included ALTA, USTA and other leagues.
The aquatics program’s largest addition this year was the opening of the new Seven Springs Water Park. The water park opened Memorial weekend and closed Labor Day. Daily attendance averaged approximately 1,000 participants. All of the other aquatic facilities maintained high demand and provided services to approximately 500,000 participants throughout the year.
Fullers Park’s baseball field was revitalized through the generosity of the Atlanta Braves Foundation. Improvements include a re-graded infield, an added infield mix, laser grading for proper drainage and rebuilt pitching mounds. On-deck circles and new netting at the backstop were also purchased and installed.
The gymnastics center had another successful year with all instructional programs filling, the Cobb Challenger’s competitive team thriving with more than 130 year round competitors and the gymnastics center serving as the host of the National Special Olympics annual event for the fifth year.
The 17th annual ABA Dixieland National BMX competition was held April 23-26 at Wild Horse Creek Park BMX track. More than 1,300 participants from 37 states and two countries raced for a national championship.
The Legacy Showcase youth fast-pitch softball competition was held July 16-19 at Al Bishop, Kennworth and Sandy Plains parks. A total of 104 teams from California to Massachusetts came to display their skills to more than 320 college coaches. This event generated a 2.5 million dollar local economic impact to the community.
The adult softball program continues to be the largest program in the state. Fiscal year 2014 had 310 teams with 5,333 participants competing in five parks for the league championships. Al Bishop softball complex also saw 5,232 softball players competing in weekend tournaments March-November.
The inaugural Cobb Sports Alliance Cup adult soccer tournament was held Sept. 18-20 at the Hubert Soccer Complex. A total of 18 teams from around the state participated in the men’s, women’s and coed divisions.
The Atlanta Braves partnered with Cobb PARKS to renovate two baseball fields at Powder Springs and Fullers parks. These renovations were made possible with materials donated through the Chipper Jones 10 for 10 program.
The Cobb PARKS Annual Ultimate Cheerfest 2015 was held at the Mable House Barnes Amphitheatre. A total of 30 recreation league cheerleading reams registered and awards were presented to the first, second and third place winners. Approximately 2,500 spectators were in attendance.
The PARKS Department collaborated with local community groups to sponsor back to school bashes at three recreation centers: Ron Anderson Recreation Center, Fair Oaks Recreation Center and the South Cobb Recreation Center. Sponsors included the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Powder Springs Task Force, Austell Task Force, Wal-Mart and Square Work Lodge #596.
Our Therapeutic Recreation Service Unit held the Annual Doris Sims Spring Formal in April. A total of 120 attended. Special attractions included free limo rides, catered dinner, free pictures and dance.
The Cobb County egg hunt event had the highest attendance to date of 2,200 people.
The Cobb Civic Center is closed for major renovations and is scheduled to reopen March 2016.
The PARKS operations staff currently manages 5,490 acres of green space of which 1,800 acres is actively maintained as useable parkland. Included within the division’s responsibilities are more than 177 various sports fields, 118 tennis courts, five multi-use/basketball courts, 42 playgrounds, two sand volleyball courts, more than 30 miles of trails and a variety of other recreational opportunities for Cobb County residents.