City plans park improvements

Published 10:47 pm Thursday, September 29, 2011

A new dog park in downtown, a kayak and canoe launch point on the Nansemond River and nature interpretation projects in North Suffolk all are on the agenda for parks and recreation improvements.

City Council members heard a report on the plans from Parks and Recreation director Lakita Frazier during their retreat Thursday. The retreat continues today from 8:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Frazier said her department already is moving forward with plans for the dog park at Lake Meade Park behind Farm Fresh on North Main Street. That park already hosts a playground, tennis courts, picnic shelters, a walking trail and a skate park.

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However, Frazier said, more improvements could enhance the park further. Plans are under way for a dog park that would include areas for large and small dogs, more picnic areas, more parking and hiking and biking trails.

At Constant’s Wharf Marina, Frazier reported, her department plans to apply for a grant next year to create a canoe and kayak launch point on the Nansemond River, on the east end of the pier.

An extensive master plan for Sleepy Hole Park includes a trail system, another dog park, a fishing area, an improved playground, water access and more.

However, some eroding shoreline also will need to be stabilized, Frazier said.

At the Planters Club, the city plans a new deck, a new handicap ramp and improvements to the ventilation system.

Finally, at the former Driver Transmitter Station in Driver, Frazier envisions a sportsplex site with water access, including a fishing pier, shelters and another canoe and kayak launch point.

However, a surrounding wildlife refuge and other restrictions are complicating those plans. More negotiations with the federal government are needed to bring that project to fruition, she said.