Parks Grant Ceremony

Front row from left to right: Sarah Elizabeth McCloud, Ann Marshall, Sonja Rine, Kayce Williams, Jim Hagaman, Joey Hensley.

Back row from left to right: Sam Whitson, Scott Cepicky, Kathy Groedi.

On Monday, the city of Spring Hill was awarded a $325,000 grant to go toward the city's Parks & Recreation Department.

Mayor Jim Hagaman said the grant would "make a wonderful impact on citizens of Spring Hill for years to come."

The competitive grant is part of $7.6 million awarded by the Local Parks and Recreation Fund and Land and Water Conservation Fund programs to communities across the state, $1.9 million of which is dedicated to parks and recreation.

Presented to Hagaman and members of the Parks & Recreation Department at Fischer Park, Ann Marshall of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation handed over the large check totaling almost a third of a million dollars.

The $325,000 will be used to improve both Fischer Park and the Walnut Street Skate Park, two of Spring Hill's most popular facilities.

“Our team worked hard on this application for over two months and this grant award will make such a wonderful impact on the citizens of Spring Hill of all ages and demographics for many years to come,” Hagaman said.

“Thank you to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation for creating the Local Parks and Recreation Fund program which provides state funding for the purchase and/or development of land for parks, natural areas, trails and greenways. capital projects, and recreational facilities.”

Over the years, Spring Hill's offerings when it comes to parks and greenspace have been described as mixed, with an online survey included in the city's Parks and Greenways Master Plan showing that of 750 respondents, 79 percent said that the city has too few parks and recreation opportunities.

The city's recreational shortcomings were further detailed by the Spring Hill Sportsplex Task Force in late 2019, who looked at a 2012 document from the Parks & Recreation Department that estimated the city would need eight baseball fields and eight basketball courts by 2020. By 2020, however, Spring Hill only had three baseball fields and four basketball courts.

The city does, however, have plans to expand its recreational offerings. By 2025, the city hopes to have completed a 1.3 mile shared-use path along McCutcheon Creek that will connect Harvey Park all the way to Wilkes Lane, just east of the Chick-fil-A.