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FROM THE PARK BENCH: Welcome to 2021!

Rick Meyer

Rick Meyer

Welcome to 2021. The city of North Augusta Parks, Recreation and Tourism staff is looking forward to working on our goal of enhancing the quality of life for our community.

Before we take a look ahead in 2021 we want you to know that our maintenance staff will be busy the next two weeks taking down Christmas decorations and transitioning our downtown street banners. Most of the street banners that you see going up at this time of year are banners that have been painted by local artists with our Arts & Heritage Center.

Our young people return to school this week and we also start our youth basketball program. Games will be played Monday through Saturday for the next seven weeks. As previously mentioned we will be using our three largest gyms for games to keep as much social distancing as possible. There will be one hour and 45 minutes between games to allow our staff to sanitize the gyms in between games. Spectators are currently being recommended to wear masks for all youth basketball games.

Now, as promised, let’s take a sneak preview of what’s on the drawing board in 2021 for your Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department.

One of our first projects for early spring 2021 will be repaving the section of the Greeneway from the Riverview Park Activities Center to the Martintown Road Bridge. Funding for this resurfacing will come from a $100,000 South Carolina Parks, Recreation and Tourism Recreation Trails grant plus matching funds of $25,000 from the city of North Augusta 2020 General Fund and Riverfront/CC Redevelopment funding for Greeneway upgrades. Total cost of the project is $206,904.69

The Riverview Park Adaptive playground will get a new surface in the first half of 2021. Funding for this project will come from the Riverfront/CC Redevelopment fund and a $15,000 South Carolina PRT Parks & Recreation Development fund grant.

The Riverview Park Activities Center will see the completion of the change to LED lighting in the building in 2021. Additional technology upgrades for the Activities Center are in the plans but will depend on grant funds and the ability to program tournaments based on COVID-19. We have high hopes that the 25th annual Peach Jam will return this July after having to cancel last year’s event due to COVID-19.

The amphitheater in Riverside Village has been officially named the Sharon Jones Amphitheater. Mayor Pettit has instructed PRT staff to plan and execute a special event at the amphitheater in April 2021 that will unveil signage and plaques that will highlight the life, career and accomplishments of Sharon Jones. We will also be working on a concert schedule for spring, summer and fall.

Soccer Field No. 5, located next to the water treatment plant, will make its official return to play in 2021. The field has been reconstructed and should be ready for action by the fall season.

That’s a quick look at just some of what’s coming in 2021. There is potential for more so stay tuned.