Moving area recreation forward

Published 12:01 am Thursday, February 15, 2018

Recreation has had a long road since the non-binding referendum in 2009.  The original plans to build a sports complex have stopped.  However, the recreation initiative is not dead.  The truth is quite the opposite.

Pool construction is under way and should be operating beginning this summer.  The construction of the multipurpose field was completed last year.  The YMCA will remain in Natchez to operate and program those facilities.

The city and county have both obligated $100,000 for the next 10 years to update and add recreation assets.  That gives a total of $2,000,000.  The city chose to pull tennis, golf and neighborhood parks from the scope of this, but did leave the baseball fields at Duncan Park as part of the Recreation Commission’s scope of work.

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I want to make it very clear that youth baseball is not going anywhere.  The YMCA will partner to ensure that the facilities get the attention they need, help grow local leagues, and to make them more inclusive.  It is not the intention or mission of the Recreation Commission or the YMCA to displace local volunteer groups who have done such great work.  It is our mission to work with groups to bring better recreation offerings throughout Adams County.

So the questions are:   What do the people of Natchez and Adams County want?  What will improve all of our qualities of life?  What will entice people thinking of relocating here to make the jump?  What will bring our children back home?

That’s what we want to find out.  We have built an online survey, which is available at that asks the citizens of Adams County what they want to see in their community.  If you prefer, a text option is also available.  Text REC to 601-300-5186.  This is an opportunity for everyone to be heard.  We need your input.  We want to build facilities and programs of which we can all be proud.

If online and text surveys aren’t your preferred method, we will be hosting a community forum.  This forum will be similar to the one that the FOR Natchez group held earlier this year.  The event will be at 5:30 on Feb. 26 at the convention center.  This is an opportunity for you to voice your thoughts.  This will not be an opportunity for politics or grandstanding, but simply brainstorming.  There are no bad ideas.

Some of the areas that we are trying to focus on are health and wellness, accessibility to all citizens and visitors, and community enrichment.  Come and tell us what those items mean to you.
Alice Agner is the director of the YMCA of Natchez.